Nature

Sierra de las Ánimas (Maldonado)

Sierra de las Ánimas (Maldonado)

The Sierra de las Ánimas is one of those secrets worth discovering. This hill range is found on kilometer 86 of the Interbalnaria Route, in front of the Los Cardos restaurant. There is an entry fee. The best option is to take a guided tour with the Red Animas service (redanimas@gmail.com), which offers diverse kinds of walks. These walks vary according to degrees of difficulty and interests.

Gorriti and Lobos Islands (Maldonado)

Gorriti and Lobos Islands (Maldonado)

Gorriti Island is a few minutes from Punta del Este port and is the perfect trip for a day of beach and picnic. It costs $300 Uruguayan pesos for adults and $200 for children to visit the island. Reservations are made at www.dimartours.com.uy. Lobos Island is a destination for nature lovers. The trip takes 40 minutes, but on arrival you find one of the biggest sea lion reservations in the world. (www.isladelobos.com.uy)

Garzón Lake (Maldonado)

Garzón Lake (Maldonado)

The bridge over this lake brings the departments of Maldonado and Rocha even closer together. A beautiful stretch of water joins the ocean with the lake, giving the place a marvelous landscape and one where you can enjoy bird watching. Walks along the riverside and aquatic sports are very popular in the area. There are several schools dedicated to two favorite sports: kitesurfing and windsurfing. Moreover, you can go horseback riding around the lake.

Paseo de los Cerros (Maldonado)

Paseo de los Cerros (Maldonado)

The Cerro del Toro (Bull Hill) is very accessible for a trip with the family. Following the map that you are given on arrival, the ascent begins by the Fuente del Toro (Bull Fountain), crowned by an impressive life size bronze statue of this animal, from which mineral water springs. Another alternative is Pan de Azúcar Hill, which in addition to being higher, places greater physical demands on the climber. The view is worth the effort.

Valizas Dunes (Rocha)

Valizas Dunes (Rocha)

Valizas is one of the most unique points of the Uruguayan coast. Where its dunes meet the ocean it generates an exotic landscape. The beach is very wide, generating the feeling of space that is amplified by the omnipresence of the sand. Undoubtedly the trip through the dunes is a must. To arrive to these sand hills you must cross the Valizas stream (if the level of water permits it, on foot; if not, you can cross by boat). One there you have the feeling that you are in the desert. The dunes climb high towards the sky: in fact, the highest point is more than 50 meters high, for that reason the view of the town and the coast from this place is special.

Palmares de Rocha (Rocha)

Palmares de Rocha (Rocha)

This collection of palm trees (that covers close to 70 thousand hectares) is unique in the world. These trees produce a fruit called butiá which is edible and tends to be used mainly in drinks such as liqueurs. These palm trees can be over 200 years old and are found to the north of route 9, extending almost to the border with Brazil. Around the city of Castillos you can see one of the largest groups of these palm trees.

Parque Nacional de Santa Teresa (Rocha)

Parque Nacional de Santa Teresa (Rocha)

It is one of the most complete spaces that Rocha has to offer. This national park has a beautiful beach, a fortress from the colonial times has been maintained in perfect conditions and it is possible to visit it. There is a park with an animal reservation, a children’s play area, and a large campsite with all the services. This makes it a perfect place for families to visit, even though it is very popular with the youth in the summer. In additional to all of this, you can visit the Verde hill (a gentle hill located in front of the coast where you can see fossil remains, migratory birds, whales, sea lions and sea turtles). Also, in front of the park is Potrerillo biological station of Santa Teresa, a perfect place for bird watching. The Parque Nacional de Santa Teresa is accessed from kilometer 302 of route 9.