After a 2.5 day sail from Falkland Islands, during our 16 day South American cruise aboard the MS Zaandam, we arrived in Montevideo in Uruguay.
Montevideo is the capital and largest city of Uruguay. According to the 2011 census, the city proper has a population of 1,319,108 in an area of 201 square kilometres. The southernmost capital city in the Americas, Montevideo is situated on the southern coast of the country, on the northeastern bank of the Río de la Plata.
The city was established in 1724 by a Spanish soldier, Bruno Mauricio de Zabala, as a strategic move amidst the Spanish-Portuguese dispute over the platine region. It was also under brief British rule in 1807. Montevideo is the seat of the administrative headquarters of Mercosur and ALADI, Latin America’s leading trade blocs, a position that entailed comparisons to the role of Brussels in Europe.
In 2016, it was classified as a beta global city ranking eighth in Latin America and 78th in the world. Montevideo hosted every match during the first FIFA World Cup, in 1930. Described as a “vibrant, eclectic place with a rich cultural life”, and “a thriving tech center and entrepreneurial culture”, Montevideo ranked eighth in Latin America on the 2013 MasterCard Global Destination Cities Index.
Montevideo is situated on the north shore of the Río de la Plata, the arm of the Atlantic Ocean that separates the south coast of Uruguay from the north coast of Argentina; Buenos Aires lies 230 kilometres west on the Argentine side. The Santa Lucía River forms a natural border between Montevideo and San José Department to its west. The Bay of Montevideo forms a natural harbour, the nation’s largest and one of the largest in the Southern Cone, and the finest natural port in the region, functioning as a crucial component of the Uruguayan economy and foreign trade.
It was interesting to walk around the colorful Mercado del Puerto close to the harbour where there were a large variety of restaurants and souvenir shops.
We departed the port of Montevideo on a beautiful evening and got a wonderful view of the city as we headed up the Río de la Plata (Plate River) estuary towards our next stop, Buenos Aires in Argentina.
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