Capital: Fray Bentos
Population: 51.600 hab.
Density: 5,8 inhab./km2
Places to visit
Río Negro is nestled between the two most important rivers in the country, the majestic Río Uruguay (Uruguay River) and the mighty Río Negro (Black River). They have a combined discharge of over five million liters per second.
The territory contains numerous flowing rivers and borders with two major hydroelectric reservoirs: Rincón de Palmar and Rincón de Baygorria. Its climate is mild and pleasant which facilitates enjoyment of nature throughout the year.
Río Negro has extraordinarily fertile soil which exceeds 200 points on the CONEAT index in many areas, and this makes it one of the most productive departments in the country.
In Fray Bentos, the first industrial establishment of Uruguay was installed, Liebig´s internationally famous meat packing plant. Today, the department is witnessing a new period of rapid industrial development after the installation of the Botnia pulp mill, which has brought a new era of prosperity.
The department is also characterized by the presence of multiple areas of valuable and bountiful biodiversity. The preservation and valorization of these areas has been beneficial to the local communities living in the region. For example, the Farrapos Estuaries and Islands of Río Uruguay, located on the western coast of the department, have been identified and promoted as a Protected Area by the National System of Protected Areas, and are a source of pride for the people of Río Negro.
Located 45 km from Fray Bentos, Nuevo Berlín offers a resort area on the coastline of the Uruguay River, and small islands which allow you to enjoy a different kind of tourism.
The tranquility and friendliness of its people make this village an ideal vacation spot. Its main points of interest are the Sauzal and Santa Rosa beaches, the Yeguada River, the Saladero ruins, the old Garbarino general store and the picturesque Nuevo Berlín pier. From there you are able to see several of the islands in the Uruguay River and embark on the adventures that each of them has to offer.
Accommodation options are varied. Tourists can choose from municipal motels, a posada in a period house on the promenade and the municipal campsite. When it is time to eat, you have the municipal Parador (a type of bar) with a great view of the Uruguay River and Casa Meira, a new restaurant located next to the service station.
Esteros de Farrapos National Park
The Esteros de Farrapos and Islands of the Uruguay River National Park is a system of riverine wetlands and islands that are permanently and/or temporarily flooded as a result of the flooding of the Uruguay River.
On its margins elevations develop that reach a height of between two and three meters, on which arboreal vegetation develops with a wide variety of species that cushion the effect of the river flooding. It is noteworthy for its high degree of naturalness, the diversity of its environments and its role in preventing and controlling floods, protecting the coastline of the Uruguay River, and as a breeding site for priority species in terms of both conservation and commercial value.
Several ecosystems coexist there: marches, swamps, natural fields and the coastal scrub, which generates a biological corridor. There is also the hill park which is open with a variety of trees allowing for a large diversity of birds, some of which are endangered nationally and regionally, such as Saffron-cowled blackbird and three species of capuchins.
The islands are also spaces for the breeding and wintering of Nearctic and Neotropical migratory species. This latter point has earned the area recognition as a Ramsar site. Among the mammals it should be noted that one of the two documented records of the maned wolf, the largest native canid and also endangered, comes from this area.
Source: Ministry of Tourism