Little-known Uruguay is one of the least explored of the South American republics, hardly considered as a holiday destination but in reality a hidden gem. With a population of just over three million, the people are easily outnumbered by the cattle (approximately 11million) and the cattle by the sheep (24million). In total about three quarters of the land is given over to livestock rearing. Stay on a working estancia, or ranch, and get a fascinating glimpse into the rural life of the gaucho. Uruguay also has a fantastic coastline with white sand beaches. It's a favourite holiday destination with well-heeled Latin Americans. The combination of its colonial history, countryside and impressive beaches means that there is always plenty to see and do, and a holiday or tour to Uruguay can easily be combined with its neighbour Argentina. In fact a very pleasant way to enter the country is by crossing the River Plate from Buenos Aires on a hydrofoil or catamaran.
Located entirely within the temperate zone, Uruguay has a climate that is fairly uniform. Seasonal variations are pronounced, but extremes in temperature are rare. July and August tend to be the rainiest months. Most tourists visit during Uruguay's summer months from mid-November to March which is also the high season.
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