Saturday, February 25, 2006

Where to go in the Summer (Rocha)

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The most busy days in the summer in Uruguay are the first 15 days of January and this coming week, known as Carnival Week. Every year the selected week is a different one (always in february though) and as many people get Monday and Tuesday off, they usually go somewhere and spend this long weekend at the beach.

One of the most popular departmentos (states) is Rocha (about a three hour drive from Montevideo) and its most popular beaches are in La Paloma, La Pedrera, Punta del Diablo, Valizas and Cabo Polonio.

My favorite is Cabo Polonio, a very small town surrounded by dunes that doesn’t have water or electricity. This is not very comfortable to spend a long vacation but it is certainly worth it for a couple of nights. After sunset everything is so dark that you can see an amazing number of stars. Never forget your flashlight when you pack though, or you won’t be able to get out of the house at night. There’s a beautiful light house there and right next to it is one of the biggest sea lion reserves in the world. They all gather there at around sunset and start making noises until it gets dark. I can show you the picture but I guess you need to go there to listen.

La Paloma, La Pedrera and Punta del Diablo are all very pretty and more conventional, as they have nice houses with all the basic needs. Many people go to their beaches to surf and occasionally surfers are the only ones who can get into the freezing cold water. Sometimes however, it is really hot outside and you don’t mind. There are times when the temperature is decent but you should not count on it, if you only like warm water go to the Caribbean.

Another option in Rocha is Santa Teresa. This is a national park where you can go camping, enjoy the beautiful beaches and see some animals that you don’t get to spot anywhere else. There is also a very old fortress to visit that has a lot of historical objects inside. At around noon, some guys dress as they used to when the fortress worked and they perform a little show.

While you are driving from Montevideo to any of these places the landscape is more or less the same all the time. You see lots and lots of green meadows with cows, sheep and horses. You get to see these white flowers when you are in Rocha and there are palm trees all over as well.

Next posts will be Maldonado and Canelones.


Anonymous said...

Thanks for the information of those places. Could you put some info, pics and views also from Fray Bentos? What kind of city is that one?
Have a nice summertime there!

Tali said...

Hi, I would love to put up some pictures from Fray Bentos but I am not planning to go there any time soon. Whenever I go I promise I'll come back with pictures. Minas and Villa Serrana in Lavalleja, as well as Maldonado and Canelones will be coming soon. Then I'll have to start going further away... said...

Hej, I'm studing in Sweden for a year, an everytime I said I'm from Uruguay comes the questions. Many people does'nt have a clue how Uruguay is, they think is tropical country with jungle, bananas and summer all the year. I have to say others not. Anyway, your are doing a great job here, every time someone ask me about Uruguay I will send the link of your blog. ;)

Anonymous said...

Hi, you have four seasons there in Uruguay? What kind are those? How long the summertime is, when it start/end? It´s so intresting, because I look at the picture here from Scandinavia and it seems to me that you could live in a tropical country..Brasilia is so near you. Isn´t that one tropical anyway? :)

gabouy said...

We are quite far from the tropic actually. Brazil is a continent huge country, so even if its tropic to the north, the south of brazil and the river plate region is not tropic at all. We've four clearly differenced seasons, and in winter temperatures drop to 0 degrees celsuis.

Jackie May said...

Do you know where the best beaches are in Uruguay? My boyfriend and I are thinking of moving there from California. Much Thanks.

Tali said...

The best beaches are in Rocha, for sure, but the nicest town is probably Punta del Este. It is very fancy and crowded in the summer but very quiet and peaceful in teh winter. You might want to come back to the blog and read the Maldonado post, i should be posting it soon.


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