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A map of Uruguay Uruguay lies sandwiched between its huge neighbours, Brazil and Argentina. Much of the country is covered by the grassy plains of the Pampas. Low ranges of hills called cuchillas rise from these plains. Uruguay is criss-crossed by rivers. The largest, the Rio Negro (“Black River”) flows across the country from east to west, while the River Uruguay forms the western border with Argentina. Along the coast are sandy beaches, dunes and lagoons. Uruguay has a mild temperate climate.

A map of Uruguay

Street drummers, Montevideo


Nearly all Uruguayans are descendants of the thousands of Spanish and Italian immigrants who arrived in the country after independence in 1828. The official language is Spanish, but on the border with Brazil many people speak a mixture of Portuguese and Spanish, called “Portuñol”. About half the entire population lives in the capital, Montevideo.

With 11 verses, Uruguay’s national anthem is the longest in the world. Usually, only the first two verses are sung.

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