Driving Directions Uruguay

URUGUAY is one of the smallest countries in South America. It lies to the south of Brazil on the east coast of the continent and is bordered by the Uruguay River to the west, the waters of the Rio de la Plata to the south, and the Atlantic Ocean to the east. Uruguay consists of low plains and plateaux.

In the southeast, the grass-covered, rolling hills rise to 500 meters or 1,641 feet. There is a plateau with hills rising to 377 meters or 1,237 feet in the northwest and the second area of higher ground along the Atlantic coast with a maximum elevation of 501 meters or 1,645 feet.

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The climate is temperate and rainfall plentiful, and the natural vegetation is prairie grassland. Some of the river valleys are wooded, but Uruguay lacks the dense forests of other parts of South America.

Google maps™ Uruguay

The Negro River, which rises in Brazil, crosses the country from northeast to southwest, dividing Uruguay almost into two halves. It joins with the Uruguay river in the southwest before opening out into the large Rio de la Plata estuary.

About 90 percent of the land is suitable for agriculture, but only about 8 percent cultivated. The rest of the area used for grazing the vast herds of cattle and sheep, which provide over 35 percent of Uruguay’s exports in the form of wool, hides, and meat. Stock-rearing is the mainstay of Uruguay’s economy.

Cultivation is on a relatively small scale, but crops grown include corn, wheat, rice, sugar cane, vegetables, potatoes, sorghum, and fruits. Fishing is vital to the economy.

Uruguay has few mineral reserves, and oil imported. Hydroelectric power supplies most of Uruguay’s energy needs. Industrial activities include cement and steel production, food processing, and the manufacturing of textiles, aluminum, electrical goods, and rubber.

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