Uruguay

 

One hour across Rio del Plata from Buenos Aires you reach the rolling hills of Uruguay, a land of estancias, gauchos, livestock and yerba matte.

Squeezed, not only geographically, between Argentina and Brazil, this region used to be called Banda Oriental, being located on the eastern shore of Rio de la Plata, its inhabitants being named Orientales. Uruguay became independent in 1828 after many years of wars with its two large neighbors that occupied parts of its territory. The old name of Banda Oriental may still be able even today to reverberate legends of pirates and brigands, many of the present modern cities having their roots in these stories.

Colonia de Sacramento was founded by Portuguese settlers from Brazil in 1680. It was one of the most important centers of smuggling British goods across Rio de la Plata into the Spanish colonies, a commercial route that the Spaniards fought to have under control. During the 17th century the city played host for many of the famous British brigands including Francis Drake and was repeatedly attacked by the Spanish fleet, its fortified corner citadels defending it each and every time.
Today, the corsairs are gone and Colonia is a tranquil little town with charming Portuguese houses and old cars perfectly preserved. Its streets and squares are lined with plane trees and its Barrio Historico, located on a promontory in Rio de la Plata, was declared Patrimonio Cultural de la Humanidad.

Three hours south stands the capital of the country, Montevideo, where half of the 3 millions inhabitants of the country live. The Spaniards founded the city in 1726 mainly to deal with the smuggling from Colonia and they positioned it on a promontory between Rio de la Plata and a bay that during winter gather extremely strong winds inside the city.

Mercado del Puerto is an old iron wrought structure today full of restaurants that serve the traditional “lomo” and “parilla” and it stands as the heart of Ciudad Vieja. This part of the city used to be the place where most of the old and beautiful houses were built, nowadays many being dilapidated with run down facades that knew better days. Starting from Ciudad Vieja the city keeps a main axis on the Avenida de 18 Julio on which line up several beautiful squares, like Plaza de la Constitution with the beautiful building of Palacio Taranco and Plaza Independencia, that has in the middle the monumental statue of the country national hero Jose Artigas and on one of the sides one of the tallest building in South America.

Watch our travel video and you will not forget these places!

 

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Uruguay Stock

1.5 hours of HD stock footage from these locations:

Colonia, Montevideo

Uruguay Images