My second time to Uruguay and I have to say I love this country! It is very similar to Argentina as far as the language and culture, but there are subtle differences that make you really appreciate traveling. My whole goal for traveling here was to get to the coast. (that and a new visa). There are many beach towns in Uruguay and by far the most popular is Punta del Este, however, after spending 3 hours roaming around, I’d have to say it is far from what I consider to be the beach experience. It’s a city with a year-round population of 7,300, tourists bump that population up to 150,000. Sitting on the beach and not being able to hear the ocean…the rich, the famous, the fighting to find a place to layout…not my style.
From Punta del Este, take a bus to La Rocha. Here you have to transfer buses to go to La Paloma.
*Before going to Uruguay to experience the beach, I decided to look at the map, I had always heard great things about Punta del Diablo, but decided that it may be another Punta del Este. La Paloma was selected…fate.
La Paloma gives you the small beach town feel, with everything that you could possibly need in town. Surf, hiking, town fair, etc. However, the best experience was traveling to another beach town that is very hard to find on a map. Its called Cabo Polonio, LO MAS (the best). The small town is located in a protected wilderness area. The only way in is with a heavy-duty truck or hiking in. We got dropped off outside of town and hiked the beach.
In Cabo Polonio I saw dolphins swimming off shore, Sea Lions (lobos), lizards, cows on the beach?, variety of birds, and crabs. I think we saw one other human on our adventure hike, lets just say this is the place for me.
The houses in the town are scattered around and very basic, which was humbling and inspiring. When we finally hiked into town, a huge thunderstorm had just rolled in, changing the climate from hot and sweaty, to wet and warm. The place we went to eat was full of people in the town, but it was more of an outdoor cafeteria than a restaurant. Everyone sat pretty close together to escape the rain, everyone was welcoming.
If you want beach, that includes nature, tranquillity and adventure, than I suggest, Cabo Polonio.