The Uruguayan District of Salto was created late in the XVII century. It was founded in November 1756 by the then governor of Montevideo, don José Joaquín Vianna, along with 400 men who should settle down at a spot called Salto and wait for the Marquis of Valdelirios, whom they were supposed to escort. Vianna and his men built a fort and several sheds.
The city owes its name to the Spanish word used to refer to the many falls of water created by the Uruguay River in that area, also known as “itu”, which in the Guaraní native tongue means “reefs”.
After 81 years, on June 17, 1837 the Department of Salto was created whose head was located in the village bearing the same name and founded by Vianna.
Some years later, more precisely on June 8, 1863, President Berro passed a decree that set forth that the village of Salto was elevated to the category of city.
These lands witnessed one of the most important historical events in Uruguay. In December, 1811, more than 11,000 people camped in Salto for over a month. They were escorting General Artigas on what he himself called “la Redota” or emigration. One of the greatest exploits of the eastern people who were escaping the royalists through the Salto territory. Artigas’ camp in Salto was known as “Ayuí”.