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Treinta y tres

At the confluence of the Olimar and Yerbal rivers lies the peaceful town of Treinta y Tres. Like a typical countryside town in Uruguay, with low buildings and pavements with lush trees, the town is based around its main square and its monument of the 33 Orientals.

Very close to the town lie irresistible natural treasures for aficionados of ecotourism, such as the first national protected area of the country, the Quebrada de los Cuervos, a place which is emblematic for its geomorphology, exuberant flora and fauna and also for the stories and legends which are woven into the fabric of the place. Visitors to the department of Treinta y Tres will also discover the Merín Lagoon, one of the largest reserves of fresh water and one of the main ecological treasures in Uruguay. This body of water which borders Brazil covers an area of 4,500 square km and more than 120 km of coastline on the Uruguayan side. It has been a national nature reserve for several years and has been declared a global reserve of freshwater by the FAO.

Treinta y Tres is also an ideal place to discover the local traditions of the inhabitants of the Uruguayan countryside and the warmth of the simple life. The department shares a border to the north with the department of Cerro Largo, to the south with those of Lavalleja and Rocha, to the east with Brazil, through the Merín Lagoon and to the west with the departments of Florida and Durazno. Hydrographically it has a large number of rivers, streams and lakes. The most important rivers are the Cebollatí River on the southern border of the department and the Olimar River which is the main tributary. The latter is so important for the water supply of the department that its inhabitants are called "olimareños". While Treinta y Tres has traditionally been a department with a heavy focus on livestock farming, the production of rice has given a significant boost to the economy of the region, driving the pre-cooked products industry and the installation of rice mills. Long before the department existed, the lands in the region were inhabited by indigenous people as evident by the numerous native hills which have attracted the interest of anthropologists and archaeologists from around the world.