Uruguay is one of the smallest of the South American republics. It is bordered to the north by Brazil, to the southeast by the Atlantic, and is separated from Argentina in the west and south by the River Uruguay. The landscape is made up of hilly meadows broken by streams and rivers. There is a string of beaches along the coast. The country enjoys 500km (300 miles) of fine sandy beaches on the Atlantic and the Rio de la Plata, woods, mountains, hot springs, hotels, casinos, art festivals and numerous opportunities for sport and entertainment. Montevideo, the capital, is the country’s natural trading center. There are nine major bathing beaches, the best of which are Playas and Miramar. The Atlantic coast resorts are popular from December to April, and have fine beaches. Local dishes include asado (barbecued beef) and bife de chorrizo (rump steak). Theater, ballet and symphonic concerts are staged in Montevideo from March to January.