Uruguay is the second-smallest country in South America, wedged between Argentina and Brazil. The country is known for its colonial-era historic districts in Colonia and Montevideo, popular beaches on the Atlantic Coast, and beef production—a former meat processing plant in Fray Bentos is a world heritage site. Calmer and safer than its neighbors, Uruguay is a low-key, easygoing destination.
The name Uruguay means river of the colorful birds. It is related to the name Guyana: Arawak Guayana, land of many waters.
Often called the Switzerland of South America not for geographical features but for a stable democracy and social benefits such as free education. In 2002 Uruguay faced one of its biggest economic crises which had very negative effects on safety due to the rise in crime, and although the activity levels in 2008 were at pre-crisis levels, crime is still relatively high, but still low for the region. Long a desired country for immigration, Uruguay has been suffering from high levels of emigration for almost four decades, mainly of highly trained workers and people with high level studies (brain drain) seeking better opportunities abroad.
Uruguay has a rich agricultural and civic history. It has more than three times as many cattle as people (the highest ratio of any country in the world by far). The dominant pre-20th century live stock driving techniques are still utilized in some areas, and are less visited tourist attractions than the pleasant beaches and city centers. The country has a mostly low-lying landscape. Cerro Catedral, the country's highest point, is 514 m high
- Image by @guzmanbarquin