Fray Bentos was founded in April 1859 by the action of a group of merchants who were pursuing a large real estate project taking advantage of the exceptional conditions of the natural port on the Uruguay River.
British and Scottish immigrants, Germans, Brazilian and Uruguayan, acquired in 1858 the portion of land around the port of Fray Bentos, on high ravines that dominate the landscape of the river.
On the plane, the layout and the technical controller of the surveyor George Hammett, this idea was created, with a projection difficult to understand in the middle of the XIX century, given the impeccable, careful and futuristic vision of the original urban center. Streets and wide lanes, taking care of the natural landscape on the coast of the Uruguay River, from the beginning the plan demarcated spaces for the main public services, as well as squares and places for future development.
More than 150 years after its foundation, Fray Bentos (which was founded with the name of Villa Independencia), has the recognition of such an impeccable layout and occupation of the land, since this checkerboard has been recognized as National Heritage, besides being part of as a containment area surrounding the main historical core, of the Industrial Landscape recognized as World Heritage by UNESCO in 2015.
Fray Bentos has a road connection to the south of the country through National Route No.2 and inland through Routes Nos. 24 and 25.
The Uruguay River has benefited the city (which is the capital of the department of Río Negro) by the depth of its port, as well as facilitation in international connections. Just 9 kilometers away, is the International Bridge Gral.José de San Martín that enlza the lands of Uruguay and Argentina.
The city integrates an area of agricultural production and dairy products, in addition to being the point of convergence of the production of eucalyptus wood for processing in the nearby UPM factory.
At 8 kilometers, there is a very natural resort called Las Cañas, one of the main tourist attractions of the lower Uruguay River.