Don't Miss Places - Travel To Uruguay
Punta del este
Incredible beach resort, you can read more about this amazing heaven here:
Punta Del Este Beaches
Colonia del Sacramento
Colonia is an Amazing old city, founded as Nova Colonia do Sacramento in 1680 by Manuel de Lobo,
It is the oldest town in Uruguay and capital of the departamento of Colonia. It has a population of 21,714.
Built in Portuguese style of houses and cobblestoned streets, the historic portion of Colonia is
reminiscent of old Lisbon. Winding streets and colorful houses are laid out in a pattern different from
Spanish colonial cities, and a delight to explore.
A couple of my favorite historical sights in Colonia de Sacramento are the Calle de los Suspiros (street of the sighs),
a beautiful little cobblestone street lined with colorful houses and Colonia's trademark yellow lamps,
Another favorite sight is the historical city gate and walls. One of my favorite beach in Colonia is Playa Ferrando,
a very scenic beach in a small bay about 15 minutes scooter ride out from the city center.
Make sure you get a map from Thrifty Rentals when you go, as the way to Playa Ferrando is marked clearly on there,
In addition to other places to visit in and around Colonia. It's the perfect place to lie down and take in a little sun,
if there in summer (and even spring or fall), or go for a nice walk if visiting during winter.
And yes, if you fancy a paddle, the water is safe to enter on this side of the Rio de la Plata.
An interesting thing about Colonia is that its colonial center (Barrio Historico),
offers an idea of what buildings in Buenos Aires might have looked like back in colonial times,
before the city was successively modernized down the years. Colonia was recently made a UNESCO heritage site,
so it should remain a time capsule of the Rio de la Plata's colonial past for many years.
Aeropuerto Internacional de Colonia Laguna de los Patos is located 6 km from the city center for smaller airplanes and helicopters.
From Buenos Aires, by bridges Puentes Zirate-Brazo Largo and Internacional Libertador General San Martin
From Salto, via Puente Concordia to Paysandu and then on
From within Uruguay, by road.
From Buenos Aires, the choice of the Buquebus or Ferry bus
Within the city and the province, taxis and bus service are available
When to Go
Uruguay's pleasant climate makes any season a good time to visit Colonia, one of South America's least visited treasures, but high season during the summer months may make reservations harder to get Check today's weather.
Things to Do and See
- El Faro, the lighthouse, was constructed in 1857 from stones from the ruins of Convento de San Francisco, and is a highlight along the Rio del Plata.
- Museo Portugues on Plaza Mayor is a look at Portuguese architecture, furnishings and military uniforms, standards and other items from the period
- Museo Municipal, also on Plaza Mayor, is a combination of Portuguese and Spanish items with furnishings and other items illustrating colonial life
- Museo Espanol eshibits more of colonial life, with replicas of pottery, clothing, maps and more
- The Plaza de Toros or bull ring, in nearby Real de San Carlos, was built in 1910 and saw only 8 bullfights before bullfighting was prohibited in 1912. The bullring was part of an huge complex inclduding a jai alai court, a hotel and racecourse. Only the racecourse is still functioning.
- Swiss immigrants founded Colonia Suiza which soon became the dairy and wheat providers for the rest of the country
- Boat tours of the Parana river leave from Carmelo, northwest of Colonia
- Iglesia Matriz the oldest church in Uruguay, dating from 1695-99
- Viceroy's House the Casa del Virrey, reconstructed from the original ruins
- Casa de Nacarello an 18th century Portuguese house
- Basilica del Sanctisimo Sacramento the Basilica of the Holy Sacrament, built of stone by the Portuguese in 1808
- Porton de Campo the City Gate and wooden drawbridge
- Bastion del Carmen, today a theater and cultural center, was once a factory and wharf
- Puerta de la Ciudadela, also called Puerta de Campo, is a drawbridge built in 1745 by the Portuguese governor to safeguard the walled city as the only entrance. Restored, it marks the beginning of the historic district, with thick fortified walls and tile and stucco buildings
Termas del Salto
Or in English
Hot Springs Dayman Salto Uruguay,
The springs are located 10 minutes from downtown Salto on Route 3 in the 487 km and 440 km from Buenos Aires, with an infrastructure of hotels, bungalows, cabins, par - hotels and motels, restaurants, paddle and tennis courts, 10 pools of various temperatures, with a maximum of 44C, the highest temperature at hot springs in Uruguay.
Their power comes from the combination therapy of heat and salinity.
It also has Dayman Hydrothermal Complex, a high-level scientific and ethical.
This complex has saunas, hidroyets, jacuzzi, pool ozone, showers Scottish filiform Swedish showers, area of fitness, individual swimming pools, hot springs and group 36 and 41C, with an area of physiotherapy equipment to provide excellent protection to the health of those subjected to stress, there are treatments for rheumatic diseases, trauma, sensitive, skeletal muscle.
I personaly suggest going thier at winter time, since it is nicer to be in the hot water at winter than summer.
Water Dayman possess chemical components such as iodine, iron, calcium, magnesium and fluorine, arsenic remains negative and low in sulfates and nitrates and radioactivity clear and permanent, that is, eligible for the applications crenoterapia.
Mercado del Puerto
If you wannat Try the BEST Meat you will ever eat in Uruguay, even better than Argentina, You
are in the Right place, Mercado del Puerto is a wrought-iron superstructure sheltering a gaggle of restaurants (watch out for the steakhouses - they serve up slabs the size of your head). Saturday lunchtime is a fun time to come - the market is crammed with locals (who use the market to cruise each other) and musicians liven up the area. in 31 of December a lot of young people are gathered there to celebrate the New Year, watch your head at this day since the bottels tend to fly .
Location: Montevideo, The old city center(Ciudad Vieja)
Santa Teresa National Park
One of my favorite camping places in Uruguay, I go there a whole lot in January.
The special thing about Santa Teresa is that not only you have a huge and incredible park,
But when you cross the wonderful trees of the national park you suddenly find a wild and a great beach, just hidden by trees and nature, isn't that great It's great for families who seek for a quiet place away from urban chaos and still exciting for young people who want to have a great time camping in the wilderness, meeting new people and enjoying the Atlantic Ocean's waves.
"Santa Teresa" Fort was started to built by Portuguese on 1762, and completed, years later by Spanish.
There are 60 km of trails to walk between Nature, trees and coloured birds, one mile from oceanic coast with white sand beach and waves.
There are, for example: a "Rosedal" which have more than 330 roses of different spices, and a big greenhouse tempered with steam who have tropical rare plants, a museum, a huge bird cage and a "Carassius" fish hatchery pond.
It also has 1050 acres, forested with native and exotic species from five continents,
as well as their greenhouses and sombriculo.
In summer, thousand of tourists comes to Santa Teresa Park to camping on a very comfortable accommodations (place to fire, showers, bathrooms, laundries, groceries and fruits
Santa Teresa has also two great night clubs, just near the park, when young people can hang out !
Cabo Polonio is a haven of tranquility for its beaches and the subtlety of their buildings.
For years, is one of the most resorts elected by those who want to relax.
Cabo Polonio is not in outer space; it is in Uruguay. It is a small, secluded town in a small, South American country.
In fact, I hesitate to even call Cabo Polonio a town. Instead, it looks and feels like the final outpost on the edge of a rugged frontier. And it is. Cabo Polonio is surrounded by rugged frontiers.
One of its particular features is that most homes have no electricity or running water, so the rhythms and tasks of the inhabitants are marked by sunlight, from sunrise to sunset, you could say.
Cabo Polonio weather is very cold in winter and hot in summer, the station is ideal for the spring meet, because the temperatures are pleasant and not exceed 25C.
Being in Cabo Polonio was like being in a galaxy far, far away. In Cabo Polonio, I was far, far away from any resemblance of my daily life in the United States. There was not a gas station, a Starbucks or a McDonald's in sight. There were no newspaper kiosks. There were no cell phone rings. There were no cafes with Internet access. Plus, for the majority of the day, there were no lights because there was no electricity.
Cabo Polonio sits on the tip of a moon-sliver peninsula that sticks out into the Atlantic Ocean. On the back side, powerful waves relentlessly knock. But on the other side, on the inside of the moon, the water comes calmly to shore. At the top end, a lighthouse stands sure and straight over boulders tumbling into the sea. Two small, rocky islands dot the coast nearby.
While the ocean presses against Cabo Polonio on three sides, sand presses against it from the last. The bottom end of Cabo Polonio's peninsula, the end that connects it to the rest of Uruguay, is covered by dunes of sand.
Sand whips and whirls throughout Cabo Polonio. It slithers across the beach. It gathers in mounds the size of a VW bug. It settles against the walls of buildings. It would block traffic if it could, except there is no traffic in Cabo Polonio. Cars don't drive through Cabo Polonio's streets because cars can't make it past the sand dunes. But monster 4x4 trucks can.
Sand, sand and more sand
The monster truck that carried my husband and me into town from the nearest highway carried in 17 other curious travelers, too. One passenger rode in the cab with the driver, the rest of us, and all of our bags plus three surf boards, were loaded into the flatbed of the truck.
The ride was tipsy and jolting. The truck faltered once or twice. The driver down-shifted, the gears grunted, the tires creaked and the weight of the construction-sized machine lunged through loose, deep dunes. Sand sputtered into the air, misting us all.
Finally, Cabo Polonio came into view across a wide, long, flat beach. The truck picked up speed and barreled towards the outpost, passing several dead bodies of sea lions rotting at the ocean's edge. When we reached Cabo Polonio's center, a dirt-packed clearing surrounded by boarded-up, rickety-looking buildings with corrugated tin roofs, we all hopped out. A few townspeople gathered. One, a roughly bearded man with the nub of a cigarette stuck in his mouth, promised to guide any of us to a room.
I accepted his offer. I didn't have a map, I didn't have the name of a hotel, and from my first glances at the buildings around me, I have to admit, I was a little anxious. My husband was nervous, too. Are you sure we should be here?? he whispered into my ear, grabbing my arm and tugging me close.
The lighthouse at Capo Polonio.
The scruffy-looking man with the nub of a cigarette led us and a handful of the other newly-arrived travelers down a sand-covered path and we soon arrived at Hosteria La Perla, a quaint, clean hotel with a large deck overlooking the beach where the water was just 15 steps away. It was low tide. The next morning, at high tide, the water lapped at the deck's edge. We checked in to a room and immediately sat ourselves at a table on the beach for lunch.
Within 15 minutes of our arrival, Raul, an English-speaking local, was at our table offering his services. Did we want to go horseback riding? Did we want to see the Ombu trees? Did we know there were sea lions sunning just around the corner? What did we want to know about Cabo Polonio?
All is Arranged
We told Raul exactly what we wanted to do. He disappeared. Two hours later, he reported back. We had plans for the following afternoon. A monster truck would pick us up and take us back to the highway. A boat would take us to see the Ombu trees. Horses would bring us all the way back to the hotel. We agreed without haggling on his price: 1,500 Uruguayan pesos in total, about $75 U.S.
The Hosteria La Perla
Our lunch finished, our outing planned for the next afternoon, we had nothing to do. We lounged in the padded chairs at the hotel. We chatted with other travelers lounging in chairs nearby. We sipped coffee. We read. We decided to go exploring.
Raul was right. A colony of sea lions was sunning just around the corner. We could hear them. They yipped and yowled and we followed their cries picking our way along slabs of rock slanted towards turbulent ocean waves. The noisy ones were fighting, waging private wars. They can rip bloody wounds and even kill each other, hence the dead sea lions washed up on the beach. Most of the sea lions, however, were sleeping. If we crouched low and didn't talk, a few of them let us creep close.
Tiring of the sea lions after a while, we wandered the sandy paths of Cabo Polonio. Simple shack cabins dotted the sloping land. Most were shuttered. A few leaned. And all of them seem as if they had been spontaneously plopped where they stood. There was little rhyme or reason to their placement, there were no orderly, squared-off lots. People were scarce. According to Raul, about 80 people call Cabo Polonio home year-round. The crowds, he said with a slight roll of his eyes, come in January.
We hardly spied a person in wandering around the town, but there was no shortage of animals. Horses grazed, dogs snoozed in patches of sun, chickens pecked, ducks waddled and one cow stood forlornly tied to a post. The sun sunk low, we returned to our hotel for dinner and headed to bed where we listened to the ocean swoosh right outside our door.
The Ombu Tree
Viewing the Ombu Trees
The next afternoon, after a morning of coffee, reading and sunning, we headed out on our excursion. Nearby Cabo Polonio is a protected forest of Ombu trees. The Ombu is unique to the pampas of Uruguay and Argentina. Experts cannot agree on whether the Ombu is actually a tree or an overgrown bush.
Part of the controversy stems from the Ombu's wood: it's not hard. The Ombu grows in layers, but its layers aren't dense like an oak; instead, they are flaky like a croissant. Plus, as an Ombu ages, its inner layers wear away, leaving it hollow. This makes it difficult to pinpoint the age of an Ombu, but many of the largest Ombues are estimated to be over 500 years old. However, since they are hollow, they are vulnerable. Strong winds can easily topple an Ombu.
An hour long boat ride up a wide, low river delivered us to two protected Ombu forests near Cabo Polonio. We only entered one forest, the other was closed. As it turns out, Raul pulled strings for us when arranging our Ombu trip. The protected forests don't normally open to the public until January. It was the first week of December, but we were there anyway. A local fisherman showed us in and we ushered us through the still woods. The Ombues grow in funky clumps with wide, creeping trunks. Their branches reach high overhead and offer plentiful shade.
It was quiet among the leaves of the Ombu trees. It was solitary, too, just like the town of Cabo Polonio hidden behind miles and miles of sand and facing the sea.
When to Go
January is Cabo Polonio's busiest month. Much of Uruguay goes on vacation in January and summer is in full swing. The few hotels in town are booked in advance and rental cabins are reserved early. February is also busy, but you'll have more luck finding accommodations if you're arriving spur-of-the-moment. In March, summer weather lingers in Cabo Polonio, yet many Uruguayans have gone back to work, leaving the town quiet during the week.
The rocky shore at Capo Polonio
October and November are whale-watching season. Whales pass by Cabo Polonio, making their way north from Antarctica.
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