First-half goals from Pedro - helped by a large deflection - and Roberto Soldado put the world and European champions on their way to victory in Recife.
Luis Suarez reduced the deficit with a superb free-kick late on but Spain held on for the important win ahead of their next games with Tahiti and Nigeria.
"These are three magnificent points that leave us in a very good position in the group to go into the next two games," said Spain coach Del Bosque.
While Del Bosque.was delighted with the three points, he rued their missed chances and admitted they struggled in the final stages of the match, which he put down to the difficult conditions inside the stadium.
"It was a good game and we dominated for almost the entirety of the match, but by the end we were under the cosh a bit," he said.
"We were patient and adopted a combination of keeping control of the ball and playing direct football.
"We did almost everything well, we defended carefully, we got the ball back quickly, we created good football but couldn't finish off our attacks and at the end we were a little worried. We shouldn't have had to suffer like that. We finished the game badly as we had to conserve our energy, above all because of the temperature and because we were worn out.
"We didn't just play well in the first half, we also had a good second half, but their goal and the way we ended the game put a dampener on the performance. By the end we were a little nervous because we missed some goalscoring opportunities and had we taken them we would have been much more relaxed."
Despite the nervous finish precipitated by Suarez's goal, Del Bosque said his team got their tactics right.
"We managed to nullify their two most dangerous players that they brought on to improve in the attack. We knew that we were going to take the initiative and direct the game. We may have conceded a goal from a set piece but on the whole we knew how to counteract Uruguay."