Uruguay, or  The Oriental Republic of Uruguay, sits in the south-eastern part of South America, to the south of Brazil and the north of Argentina.

It was inhabited by a tribe called the Charrúa. The Spanish arrived in the territory of present-day Uruguay in 1516 but the people’s fierce resistance to conquest limited their access to the region in the 16th and 17th centuries. In 1603, the Spanish brought cattle to the territory, which became a source of wealth in the region.

Montevideo was founded by the Spanish in the early 18th century specifically for the military. Its harbour soon developed into a commercial area competing with Argentina’s capital, Buenos Aires, one of the biggest ports in South America.  Montevideo is the capital of Uruguay and its largest city.  With one of the finest natural harbours in the region a permanent settlement was established here by the Spanish in 1724 and over time it became a prosperous commercial centre for shipping.    These days, little remains of Montevideo’s Spanish past and the city has become a magnet for Argentinians from Buenos Aires eager to soak up the sun, sea and laid back atmosphere.

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