Uruguay is a small country in southern South America, between Argentina and Brazil, bordering the South Atlantic Ocean. Three-quarters of the low-lying country is grassland, ideal for raising cattle and sheep. There is water pollution from the meat packing/tannery industry, as well as inadequate solid/hazardous waste disposal.

The lagoons on Uruguay’s east coast (aka “Bañados del Este”) are recognized as a Wetland of International Significance under the Ramsar Convention; but, Uruguay is better known for its nearby beaches (Punta del Este, La Paloma), than for its national parks. (See Wikipedia List of national parks of Uruguay.)

Biosphere reserves:

  • Bañados del Este 1976

IUCN members:


A violent Marxist urban guerrilla movement, the Tupamaros, launched in the late 1960s, led Uruguay’s president to agree to military control of his administration in 1973. By yearend, the rebels had been crushed, but the military continued to expand its hold throughout the government. Civilian rule was not restored until 1985. Uruguay’s political and labor conditions are among the freest on the continent.

In December 1933, the 7th conference of Pan-American Union meeting in Montevideo passed a resolution which recommended governments of American countries to join with the Roerich Pact, a treaty on protection of artistic and scientific institutions and historic monuments. Hostelling International Uruguay boasts 19 hostels located in the main tourist areas.

World heritage:

  • Historic Quarter of the City of Colonia del Sacramento (1995)

ICCROM members:


  • Sustainable tourism in Bañados del Este (Uruguay) by CS Karez, 2012
  • Tourism public policy and territory in the thermal region of Uruguay-case study: Guaviyu Hot Springs (1957-2007) by C Quintana, 2011
  • Heritage and tourism: activation heritage tourism in Purificación (Paysandu, Uruguay) by C Quintana & R Stagno, 2009
  • Rural tourism in Uruguay: a growing trend by M Mackinnon & A Bentancur, 2009
  • Local Forces in Tourism Development in the Castillos Coastal Zone, Uruguay: the Role of Local Businesses and Community Groups by MA Schunk, 2003

Uruguay Data