Do you ever dream about really getting away from it all? To go somewhere you can truly appreciate nature and escape from modern life? If so Cabo Polonio in Uruguay could be the place for you. Cabo Polonio is a small village with no running water or electricity. Situated in Rocha, on the eastern coast of Uruguay, there are no roads, so in order to travel the 7km from the nearest highway you either have to walk or hop on one of the 4 wheel drives which can make the journey.
Cabo Polonio is home to a number of houses which use wind power while the few small pousadas and local shop use a generator. The lighthouse gets its power from the national grid. Water has to come from nearby water wells or alternatively by collecting rain water.
People go there for the awe-inspiring coastline, the mobile sand dunes and the natural reserve of sea lions. It’s a protected area so is owned by both private individuals and the Uruguayan government. The village is divided by 2 spectacular beaches and is one of the wildest parts of the Uruguayan coast as the huge and moving sand dunes testify. During Uruguay’s winter (May to September) only a few people are to be found there including wildlife enthusiasts, scientists, fishermen and the odd poet drawing inspiration from the inclement weather and majestic surroundings.
About 3 hours drive from Montevideo but only about 60kms from the Brazilian border it is possible to drive there and leave your car in the National Park car park, then jump on one of the converted 4x4 trucks to take you to the village. The journey takes you through the forest, over the sand dunes to the beach. As well as being home to one of the largest sea lion colonies in South America, from the end of September to November you might be able to spot some whales. Plus you may have the chance to swim with dolphins in the shallower waters near the beach.
Cabo Polonio became a national park in 2009 therefore the Ministry of Environment keenly protects the land and the unique ecosystem found there by restricting the number of residents and visiting tourists. However, if you get the chance to visit this charming village with it’s stunning natural beauty, it should not be missed.
Uruguay is home to many wonderful estancias where you can participate in the everyday working life. Alternatively you can just relax among the beautiful surroundings while eating lots of delicious home cooked food and drinking local wine. For inspiration on places to stay, have a look at Historic Haciendas.
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