Perhaps overshadowed by its two bigger brothers Brazil and Argentina, Uruguay is a country not to be overlooked by any means.
Through Uruguay Photo Gallery we intend to pay some justice to it, and to show you some of its geography, traditions and way of life.
Small indeed - second smallest country in South America by size - it's been doing much better lately than its larger neighbors in a number of aspects.
Over the last decade or so, it became a popular international tourism destination and home to a vigorous, domestic tourist trade that has even surpassed its meat exports.
Last year (2013) it welcomed three million visitors - up from 500,000 in 2005. For two years in a row it's been included in "The Developing World's 10 Best Ethical Destinations", which identifies the best tourism destinations in the world. Furthermore, it's been recommended as one of the top countries for people willing to retire and to leave in peace while paying reasonable taxes.
During summer month (December to March) it draws many international visitors attracted by its pristine beaches and relaxed (and safe) way of life. The Rocha and Maldonado Departments concentrate the largest amount of beach towns along its over 600 km shoreline facing both the Atlantic and the Rio de la Plata. Punta del Este is provably the first summer retreat to come to mind, but it doesn't finsh there in the least, there is much more to it.
Ecological and rural tourism it's been also growing in importance over the last few years in cities along the Uruguay river such us Fray Bentos, Salto and Paysandú. If you happen to visit it during the second week of March, don't miss the Fiesta de la Patria Gaucha (Festival of the Gaucho Culture) that takes place in Tacuarembó, Uruguay's largest Department.
Being one of the largest celebrations of its kind in South America, it's a festival featuring bareback rodeos, folk music, dances, parades, contests and the traditional parrillada among other attractions. You will have the chance to interact with real gaucho characters, dressed in style and all. They are the soul of the Uruguayan countryside.
Although small in size, Uruguay Photo Gallery is a bird's view to try and introduce you to the country's shoreline as well as Uruguayan culture and gaucho traditions such as mate (Yerba Mate), asados (BBQ) and doma de caballos (horse taming), deeply rooted in the history of the country as well as in the rest of the Rio de la Plata basin, including Argentina and South of Brazil.
Let's go then to enjoy some photos of Uruguay. Your feedback is very important to us, so don't hesitate to let us know about how do you like it...
All images shown at the Uruguay Photo Gallery belong to Vince Alongi (Creative Commons Licence CC BY 2.0) with the exception of three pictures that are part of the work of Eduardo Amorim (CC BY-NC-SA 2.0): "Horse Taming", "Horse Taming 2" and "La Trampa".