Eastern Republic of Uruguay is a country located in the southeastern part of South America. It is home to 3.46 million people, of whom 1.7 million live in the capital Montevideo and its metropolitan area.
Uruguay's only land border is with Brazil to the north. To the west lies the Uruguay River, to the southwest lies the estuary of Río de la Plata, with Argentina only a short commute across the banks of either of these bodies of water, while to the southeast lies the South Atlantic Ocean. Uruguay is the second smallest country in South America, larger only than Suriname.
Montevideo was founded by the Spanish in the early 18th century as a military stronghold. Uruguay won its independence in 1825-1828 following a three-way struggle between Spain, Argentina and Brazil. It is a constitutional democracy, where the president fulfills the roles of both head of state and head of government.
The economy is largely based on agriculture (making up 10% of GDP and the most substantial export) and the state sector. According to Transparency International, Uruguay is the least corrupt country in Latin America (along with Chile), with its political and labor conditions being among the freest on the continent.
An estimated 94.6% of the population are of mostly European descent.
At 176,214 square kilometres (68,036 square miles) of continental land and 142,199 square kilometres (54,903 sq mi) of jurisdictional water and small river islands, Uruguay is the second smallest sovereign nation in South America (after Suriname) and the third smallest territory (French Guiana is the smallest). The landscape features mostly rolling plains and low hill ranges (cuchillas) with a fertile coastal lowland. A dense fluvial network covers the country, consisting of four river basins or deltas; the Río de la Plata, the Uruguay River, the Laguna Merín and the Río Negro. The major internal river is the Río Negro ('black river'). Several lagoons are found along the Atlantic coast.
The highest point in the country is the Cerro Catedral at 514 meters (1,685 ft) in the Sierra Carapé hill range. To the southwest is the Río de la Plata, the estuary of the Uruguay River, which forms the western border, and the Paraná River.
A longstanding border dispute with Brazil involving territory in the north of Uruguay has not harmed close diplomatic relations with Brazil in recent years.
Since 1954, Uruguay has an Antarctic base "General Artigas" on King George Island, which is part of the South Shetland Islands archipelago, at 62°11′04″S 58°54′09″W, some 100 km (62 mi) from the Antarctic peninsula.
The climate in Uruguay is temperate: it has warm summers and cold winters. The predominantly gently undulating landscape is somewhat vulnerable to rapid changes from weather fronts. It receives the periodic influence of the polar air in winter, and tropical air from Brazil in summer. Without mountains to act as a barrier, the air masses freely move by the territory, causing abrupt weather changes.
The coolest month is June, while the warmest is January. The rainfall is equally distributed throughout the year but tends to be more frequent in the autumn months. There can be frequent thunderstorms in the summer. Snow is not very common. One of the coldest winters (since 1951) was 2007: July averaged 6-7°C (42-45F) in Montevideo, and 6-8°C (42-46F)in Florida city.
National extreme temperatures sea level are, Paysandú city 44.0°C (01-20-1943) and Melo city -11.0°C.