Having arrived in Buenos Aires on a working holiday scheme and then finding a company prepared to sponsor me with a work visa, I am not so familiar with the 3-monthly migration to Colonia del Sacramento in Uruguay that many foreigners settled here in Buenos Aires on a long-term basis make. I can only imagine that this small quaint city sitting out on a peninsula into the Río de la Plata loses it’s appeal when visited too frequently!
Can’t bear the thought of taking this river ferry one more time? NEWS FLASH: Uruguay has fantastic beaches! Having discovered the East Coast of Uruguay only late last year, I am actually a little envious that I don’t have more excuses to head up this way. With the advent of summer, now is definitely the time to start setting aside long weekends.
Beaches I can personally recommend that you shouldn’t miss (and the names will give you a sense of the kind of vibe to expect) are La Paloma, La Pedreda and Cabo Polonio. I also hear that El Punto del Diabo rates highly, but I didn’t get this far North. Most of the ferries sell a ticket that includes the boat and a bus transfer that goes direct up to the coast towards beachful bliss.
My personal favourite is Cabo Polonio – a small hippy community with a scattering of small colourful shacks and a long white sand beach running parallel to massive sand dunes. The lack of electricity and access which is limited to massive sand-mobiles necessary to cross over the dunes, allows for peaceful and unpolluted beach-time and bright starlit nights. Apparently you can camp out at a high-point between Cabo Polonio and the neighbouring town; a beautiful experience by full moon. A small warning, be very organized if you don’t want to stay the night. As were many others, I had been relying on late afternoon public transport back to La Paloma, but being low season the buses just didn’t come.
If you find yourself fed up with sand, sunshine and waves (is that possible?), I spent a really nice day on the way back through in Montevideo wandering through the city, museums and around the harbour. And if hippy colonies and city wandering are not your cup of tea and what you are really interested in is drinking healthy quantities of fine wine, I met a guy, Ryan, who runs wine tours in Colonia and Montevideo that look like a nice day out.
By Sarah Wattie. Sarah works for The Argentine Experience.