The department of Lavalleja is located towards the southeastern area of Uruguay, limiting with the department of Rocha to the east, with Florida to the west, with Canelones and Maldonado to the south, and with Treinta y Tres to the north. It has an area of 10.016 km2 and a population of approximately 37.925 inhabitants, with a resulting density of population of about 6.1 inhabitants per km2.
This department was named in honor to Juan Antonio Lavalleja, an outstanding military man who played a major role in the pursue of the independence of Uruguay.
The capital of the department of Lavalleja is Minas, a city with about 37.930 inhabitants, who are locally known as minuanos. Within this city and its surrounding areas tourists can find several attractions to visit, such as the Cerro de Arequita (Arequita Hill), the Parque Salus, San Francisco de las Sierras, Salto del Penitente, and Villa Serrana.
This department was originally founded as a town in 1837 with the name of Minas. Minas was recognized as a city and the department as Lavalleja, as known nowadays, in 1888. The economy of this department is based in cattle farming and agriculture, as well as the exploitation of limestone and marble.