Uruguay is located in a southeastern part of South America and is home to over 3 million people. Even though the country is small, the culture is an impressive mix of artistic and literary traditions. Travel and tourism play a large part of the countries income revenue, along with agriculture. Because it is not a top tourist destination, Uruguay has some very beautiful beaches and landscapes that are natural and unspoiled.
Montevideo is the largest city and capital of Uruguay. Here travelers can enjoy many beautiful beaches such as; Pocitos, Buceo, Playa de los Ingleses, Punta Gorda and Carrasco. The city is full of museums, monuments, historical sites and squares. Tourists can also enjoy exploring the historic district and old town areas.
The Museo Municipal de Bellas Artes, was opened in the 1930's and features artworks from around the world. There is an entire collection that focuses on the artwork native to Uruguay, as well as exhibits and artifacts. Exhibits in the museum include the artists; Juan Manuel Blanes, Pedro Figari and Jose Cuneo.
El Cabildo is the town hall and the location where the Uruguay constitution was signed. At one time during the 19th century the building also served as a jailhouse. Today, the structure has been converted into a museum containing historical archives, maps, photographs, antiques, costumes and artwork.
The Palacio Salvo is considered to be the landmark of the city of Montevideo. The Salvo palace used to be the tallest building in South America. The design was done by an eccentric Italian architect Mario Palanti and is 26 stories tall and has over 300 different rooms. Today the structure is open to the public and provides visitors with a unique look back over the history of Montevideo.
On the southern tip of Uruguay is the town of Maldonado. Here guests can visit Punta del Este, which is an upscale vacation destination. During the summer months, this region experiences a large influx of tourists numbering well over 2 million. Punta del Este has some fabulously beautiful beaches and scenic coastal areas. Each beach on the peninsula has public access and some feature quiet, calm waters, while others experience strong waves and thick golden sand. The city is rich in colonial history which is reflected in the architecture throughout. Gorlero Avenue is the main avenue and boasts an active community and is lined with casinos, fine restaurants, commercial art galleries and cinemas.
While in Punta del Este, many people enjoy visiting the historical Punta del Este Lighthouse. It was built on November 17th, 1860 by Tomas Libarona and its main intent was to guide ships over the Atlantic Ocean and de la Plata River. The structure is composed of a mixture of volcanic rock soil from Rome and is harder than concrete. The lighthouse is over 45 meters tall and has 150 steps. The crystal panels in the lighthouse, came from Europe, France and as part of the illumination system it runs off of electricity and in case of emergency they operate using acetylene gas.
A lovely four-star hotel to visit in Punta del Este is the Conrad Hotel and Casino. This establishment is a South American paradise complete with valet service, disco, art gallery and a number of shops within the grounds of the hotel. For guests seeking an architectural gem, the Avenida Pedragosa Cierra y San Ciro is a dazzling example. The hotel is smaller and features only forty-four rooms and four suites, this is the way the owner preferred it to remain so that more attention could be focused on the guests. The country of Uruguay is for tourists desiring something different and memories they will carry with them forever.