Montevideo is Uruguay’s capital and biggest city. According to the 2011 census, the city proper has a population of 1,319,108 residents (almost one-third of the entire population of the nation) and occupies an area of 194.0 square kilometers (74.9 sq mi). Montevideo, the Americas’ southernmost capital city, is located on the country’s southern coast, on the northeastern bank of the Rio de la Plata.
The city was founded in 1724 by a Spanish soldier, Bruno Mauricio de Zabala, as a strategic maneuver in the middle of the Spanish-Portuguese conflict for the platine area. It was also briefly ruled by the British in 1807. Montevideo was the host city for the whole of the inaugural FIFA World Cup. Montevideo is the administrative capital of Mercosur and ALADI, Latin America’s two largest trade blocs, a position that has drawn analogies to Brussels’ role in Europe.
Montevideo has frequently been ranked as having the greatest quality of life in Latin America: by 2015, it had maintained this position for 10 consecutive years. Montevideo has the 19th biggest economy on the continent and the 9th greatest per capita income among major cities in 2010. It had a GDP of $40.5 billion in 2015 and a per capita income of $24,400.
It is a Beta World City, ranked sixth in Latin America and 73rd globally. Montevideo is ranked 8th in Latin America on the 2013 MasterCard Global Destination Cities Index as a “robust, diverse town with a vibrant cultural life” and “a booming tech hub and entrepreneurial culture.” By 2014, was ranked as the world’s ninth most gay-friendly city, and first in Latin America. It is Uruguay’s commercial and educational center, as well as its primary port. Additionally, the city serves as the financial and cultural center for a greater metropolitan region with a population of around 2 million.
Montevideo – Info Card
|POPULATION :||• Capital city 1,305,082|
• Urban 1,719,453
• Metro 1,947,604
|TIME ZONE :||UYT (UTC−3)|
|AREA :||• Capital city 194 km2 (74.9 sq mi)|
• Metro 1,350 km2 (521.2 sq mi)
|ELEVATION :||43 m (141 ft)|
|COORDINATES :||34°53′1″S 56°10′55″W|
|SEX RATIO :||• Male: 46.6%|
• Female: 53.4%
|AREA CODE :||2|
|POSTAL CODE :||11#00 & 12#00|
|DIALING CODE :||+598 2|
Tourism in Montevideo
Montevideo is Uruguay’s attractive capital city. It is located on the Rio de la Plata’s eastern bank. The city is home to well over a third of Uruguay’s population and serves as the country’s cultural and political capital.
Tourism contributes significantly to Uruguay’s economy. Montevideo’s tourism industry is concentrated on the Ciudad Vieja neighborhood, which has the city’s oldest structures, as well as various museums, art galleries, and nightclubs, with Sarand Street and the Mercado del Puerto being the most popular destinations in the old city. Square Independencia is located on the outskirts of Ciudad Vieja and is surrounded by several attractions, including the Sols Theatre and the Palacio Salvo; the plaza also serves as one end of 18 de Julio Avenue, the city’s most popular tourist destination outside of Ciudad Vieja. Apart from being a retail thoroughfare, the road is notable for its Art Deco architecture, three significant public squares, the Gaucho Museum, and the Palacio Municipal, among other attractions. The boulevard goes to Montevideo’s Obelisk; beyond that lies Parque Batlle, another popular tourist site along with Parque Prado. Along the coast, the Fortaleza del Cerro, the Rambla (the coastal boulevard), the 13 kilometers (8.1 miles) of sandy beaches, and Punta Gorda, as well as the Barrio Sur and Palermo barrios, draw a large number of visitors.
The Ministry of Tourism provides a two-and-a-half-hour city tour in English, Italian, Portuguese, and German, while the Montevideo Tourist Guide Association offers guided excursions in same languages. Apart from them, a slew of private firms arrange guided city excursions.
The city receives the majority of visitors from Argentina, Brazil, Chile, and Europe, with visitors from other parts of Latin America and the United States increasing each year, owing to an increasing number of international airline arrivals at Carrasco International Airport and luxury cruise ships that dock in Montevideo and frequently participate in The Wine Experience.
Climate of Montevideo
Montevideo has a moderate humid subtropical climate (Köppen climatic classification: Cfa). The city has temperate winters (June to September), scorching summers (December to March), and turbulent springs (October and November); the city experiences frequent thunderstorms but no tropical cyclones. Rainfall is consistent and equally distributed throughout the year, totaling around 950 mm (37 in).
Winters are often damp, breezy, and cloudy, and summers are hot and humid with little breeze. In the winter, bursts of freezing and generally dry winds and continental arctic air masses create an unwelcome chill in the city’s daily life. In the summer, a gentle sea breeze often blows in the evenings, providing a welcome cooling effect on the city, in contrast to Buenos Aires’s intolerable summer heat.
Montevideo’s yearly average temperature is 16.7 degrees Celsius (62.1 degrees Fahrenheit). The lowest temperature ever recorded is 5.6 degrees Celsius (21.9 degrees Fahrenheit), while the highest is 42.8 degrees Celsius (109.0 degrees Fahrenheit). Sleet is a common occurrence throughout the winter. Snowfall is exceedingly rare: just four flurries have been documented without accumulation, the most recent on 13 July 1930 at the World Cup’s opening match (the other three were in 1850, 1853, and 1917); the supposed 1980 Carrasco snowfall was really a hailstorm.
Geography of Montevideo
Montevideo is located on the northern bank of the Rio de la Plata, the Atlantic Ocean arm that divides Uruguay’s south coast from Argentina’s north coast; Buenos Aires is some 230 kilometers (140 miles) west on the Argentine side. To the west, the Santa Luca River serves as a natural boundary between Montevideo and the San José Department. Canelones Department is to the north and east of the city, with the Carrasco stream marking the city’s natural eastern boundary. The coastline that forms the city’s southern boundary is punctuated by rocky outcrops and sandy beaches. The Bay of Montevideo comprises a natural harbour, the biggest in the country and one of the largest in the Southern Cone, as well as the greatest natural port in the area, contributing significantly to Uruguay’s economy and international commerce. Numerous streams wind their way through the town, eventually emptying into the Bay of Montevideo. The shoreline and rivers are severely polluted and have a high salt level.
The city is on average 43 metres above sea level (141 ft). Two hills, the Cerro de Montevideo and the Cerro de la Victoria, rise to its highest point, the Cerro de Montevideo’s top, which is capped by a fortress, the Fortaleza del Cerro, at a height of 134 metres (440 ft). By road, the closest cities are Las Piedras to the north and Ciudad de la Costa (a agglomeration of coastal settlements) to the east, both of which are between 20 and 25 kilometers (16 miles) from the city center. By road, it is about 90 kilometers (56 miles) to San Jose de Mayo (San Jose Department) and 46 kilometers (29 miles) to Canelones (Canelones Department).
Economy of Montevideo
Montevideo, being Uruguay’s capital, serves as the country’s economic and political hub. The city is home to the majority of Uruguay’s biggest and richest firms. Since the 1990s, the city has experienced rapid economic development and modernization, culminating in the construction of two of Uruguay’s most significant structures—the World Trade Center Montevideo (1998) and the Telecommunications Tower (2000), the headquarters of Uruguay’s state-owned telecommunications company ANTEL, further integrating the city into the global marketplace.
The Port of Montevideo, located in the northern portion of Ciudad Vieja, is one of South America’s main ports and is critical to the city’s economy. Due to a growth in international commerce, the port has been increasing swiftly and regularly at an average annual rate of 14%. The Inter-American Development Bank has provided the city with a US$20 million loan to renovate the port, enhance its size and efficiency, and allow reduced marine and river transit costs.
The major state-owned enterprises with headquarters in Montevideo include AFE (railways), ANCAP (energy), Administracion Nacional de Puertos (ports), ANTEL (telecommunications), BHU (savings and loan), BROU (bank), BSE (insurance), OSE (water and sewage), and UTE (electricity). These businesses function under public law and are governed by the Ente Autonomo, a legal organization recognized in the Uruguayan Constitution (“autonomous entity”). Additionally, the government holds a stake in other businesses functioning under private law, such as those entirely or partly controlled by the CND (National Development Corporation).
Banking has historically been one of Uruguay’s greatest service export sectors: the nation was once nicknamed “the Switzerland of America” due to its banking industry and stability, albeit that stability has been endangered in the twenty-first century due to the current global economic environment. Banco Republica (BROU), headquartered in Montevideo, is Uruguay’s biggest bank. Almost 20 private banks operate in the country, the majority of them subsidiaries of multinational banks (Banco Santander,ABN AMRO, Citibank, Lloyds TSB, among others). Additionally, there are several brokers and financial service bureaus, including Ficus Capital, Galfin Sociedad de Bolsa, Europa Sociedad de Bolsa, Daro Cukier, GBU, and Hordeana & Asociados Sociedad de Bolsa.
Internet, Communication in Montevideo
Wireless Internet access is widespread and is available at Carrasco Airport, the Tres Cruces bus station, the majority of hotels, and several restaurants and bars (usually they are advertising it with a sticker in the window). Many are free to use, and their connections are allegedly fast and stable enough for Skype chat. Additionally, several public parks promote the availability of free Wi-Fi.