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Which Countries Share A Border With Uruguay?


Modified: December 28, 2023

by Bonnibelle Marchand



Uruguay, officially known as the Oriental Republic of Uruguay, is a small South American country nestled between Brazil and Argentina. With a population of around 3.5 million and a land area of approximately 176,000 square kilometers, Uruguay is one of the smallest countries in South America.


Uruguay is known for its diverse landscapes, including beautiful coastline along the Atlantic Ocean, lush countryside, and rolling hills. The country is also famous for its rich cultural heritage, warm hospitality, and vibrant cities such as Montevideo, the capital, which is home to nearly half of the country’s population.


Being a relatively small country, Uruguay shares its borders with only two neighboring countries. However, these borders hold historical significance and have shaped the culture and identity of Uruguay.


In this article, we will explore the countries that share a border with Uruguay and delve into some of the unique aspects of these borders.



The border between Uruguay and Brazil spans approximately 1,068 kilometers, making it the longest border that Uruguay shares with any country. It stretches from the city of Chuy in the east to Bella Unión in the west.


The Uruguay-Brazil border is defined mainly by the course of the Uruguay River, which runs through both countries. This river serves as a natural boundary, offering breathtaking views and opportunities for outdoor activities such as fishing, boating, and bird-watching.


One notable feature along the Uruguay-Brazil border is the town of Rivera, which straddles both countries. It is divided by a street, aptly named Avenida Internacional, with half of the street belonging to Uruguay and the other half to Brazil. This unique setup allows residents and visitors to easily cross between the two countries.


The border region between Uruguay and Brazil is characterized by a blend of cultures and influences. The proximity to Brazil has had a significant impact on the population, with a considerable number of people in the border area having Brazilian ancestry and speaking both Portuguese and Spanish.


Economically, the Uruguay-Brazil border region is vibrant and dynamic. Trade and commerce flourish in towns like Rivera and Chuy, where cross-border shopping is a popular activity. Residents from both countries often take advantage of the price differences on goods such as electronics, clothing, and household items.


Additionally, the border region serves as a gateway for tourism. Brazilian visitors frequently travel to Uruguay to explore its pristine beaches, charming towns, and vibrant cultural scene, while Uruguayans venture into Brazil to experience its diverse landscapes, bustling cities, and world-renowned attractions like the Iguazu Falls.


Overall, the Uruguay-Brazil border is a lively and dynamic region that showcases the cultural richness and economic ties between the two countries. It serves as a symbol of the close relationship and harmonious coexistence shared by Uruguay and Brazil.



The border between Uruguay and Argentina stretches across approximately 579 kilometers, making it the second-longest border that Uruguay shares with a neighboring country. It runs along the Uruguay River and the Rio de la Plata estuary.


This border holds historical significance, as Uruguay was once a territory under Spanish and Portuguese rule. The Spanish crown had control over the region known as Banda Oriental, which encompassed present-day Uruguay. The struggle for independence from Spanish rule led to the creation of the independent state of Uruguay in 1828.


The Uruguay-Argentina border is marked by a mix of urban centers, natural landscapes, and historical sites. The city of Fray Bentos, located along the eastern bank of the Uruguay River, is notable for its industrial past and the historic Fray Bentos Meatpacking Plant, which has been designated a UNESCO World Heritage Site.


The town of Colonia del Sacramento, located across the Rio de la Plata from Buenos Aires, Argentina, is another prominent location along the Uruguay-Argentina border. Known for its well-preserved colonial architecture, cobblestone streets, and charming waterfront, Colonia del Sacramento attracts tourists from both countries.


Argentina and Uruguay share not only a border but also a passion for football (soccer). The Uruguay-Argentina rivalry is one of the oldest and fiercest in football history, with both countries boasting rich footballing traditions and a long history of competitive matches.


Economically, the Uruguay-Argentina border region is significant as it facilitates trade and commerce between the two countries. The ports of Montevideo in Uruguay and Buenos Aires in Argentina serve as major hubs for international trade, connecting Uruguay to global markets through Argentina.


Additionally, the border region is home to several vineyards and wineries. The fertile soils and favorable climate in both Uruguay and Argentina have led to the production of high-quality wines. Wine enthusiasts from both countries often take the opportunity to explore the vineyards and indulge in wine tasting tours.


The Uruguay-Argentina border is a testament to the close ties and historical connections between the two countries. It represents a shared heritage, cultural exchange, and economic cooperation that continue to strengthen the bond between Uruguay and Argentina.


Controversial Border Territories

While Uruguay shares peaceful and well-defined borders with Brazil and Argentina, there are a few border territories that have sparked controversy and disputes between the countries involved.


One such territory is the Isla Brasilera, also known as the Vizcaíno Peninsula. This small landmass is located in the Uruguay River, near the confluence with the Río Negro. It has been a subject of dispute between Uruguay and Argentina. Both countries claim sovereignty over the island, which has led to tensions and diplomatic negotiations.


Another contentious area is the Arroyo de la Invernada, a small stream that acts as a natural border between Uruguay and Brazil. Disputes have arisen over the exact location of the border line along the stream, resulting in occasional conflicts and disagreements.


The Laguna Mirim is another region that has faced territorial disputes. Situated between Uruguay and Brazil, this lagoon is shared by both countries and is subject to ongoing discussions regarding fishing rights and environmental preservation.


These border controversies highlight the complexities and challenges that can arise in defining international borders. Disputes over border territories require careful negotiations and diplomatic resolutions to maintain peace and stability between the countries involved.


Despite these territorial disagreements, Uruguay, Brazil, and Argentina have generally maintained peaceful relations and have worked towards resolving border disputes through diplomatic means. These instances of controversy are outliers compared to the overall amicable relationship between the countries.


It is important to note that the majority of the Uruguay’s border with both Brazil and Argentina is well-defined and peacefully shared, allowing for smooth travel, trade, and cultural exchanges between the neighboring nations.



The borders of Uruguay play a significant role in shaping its culture, identity, and relationships with neighboring countries. Uruguay shares borders with Brazil and Argentina, two influential nations in South America, each with its own unique history and characteristics.


The Uruguay-Brazil border, defined largely by the Uruguay River, offers picturesque landscapes and bustling cross-border trade. The border region thrives economically, attracting visitors from both countries and creating a vibrant blend of cultures.


The Uruguay-Argentina border, marked by the Uruguay River and the Rio de la Plata estuary, holds historical significance and showcases a mix of urban centers, natural beauty, and historical sites. The border region contributes to the shared heritage and cultural exchanges between Uruguay and Argentina.


While there have been disputes over certain border territories, Uruguay, Brazil, and Argentina have generally maintained peaceful relations and pursued diplomatic solutions. These occasional controversies should not overshadow the overall amicable relationships and cooperation between the countries.


Understanding the borders of Uruguay helps us appreciate its diverse landscapes, rich cultural heritage, and the connections it shares with its neighboring nations. Whether it’s exploring the vibrant streets of Montevideo, embracing the natural beauty along the Uruguay River, or experiencing the passion of a football rivalry, Uruguay’s borders are gateways to unique experiences and opportunities.


As we delve into the intricacies of Uruguay’s borders, we gain a deeper understanding of its place in South America and its interconnectedness with its neighboring countries. The countries that share a border with Uruguay contribute to its vibrant tapestry, showcasing the bond of friendship, culture, and cooperation that exists in this corner of the world.