Uruguay gets its name from the river that separates it from its neighbour, Argentina. This small country in Latin America is found between the province of La Pampa in Argentina and the hills in the south of Brazil. The majority of the country is composed of vast plains.
A huge marshy area prone to flooding has formed at the mouth of the Uruguay River. Further along the coast, the river has created a number of lagoons and some low-lying hills. The north and north-east of the country are made up of small mountains, none of which surpass 600m in height. The highest point in Uruguay is Cerro Catedral, which stands at 514m above sea level.
The south of the country is marked by the Rio de la Plata, which is fed by two rivers: the Rio Uruguay and the Rio Negro. They come together to form one of the biggest estuaries in the world. This part of the country is essential for its development. Indeed, the two rivers provide Uruguay its electricity and drinking water. What's more, they are the key to the country's economic development, as boats travel through here to reach the city of Salto in the north of the country.
At the beginning of colonisation, Uruguay was only populated with Spanish businesses and nomadic Gauchos. In 1800, the large properties, ?Estancias', started to appear thanks to the European residents (of Italian and Spanish descent).
Uruguay is a rich and varied country in terms of vegetation. There are numerous green spaces spread across the country's surface.