When someone from abroad relocates to Uruguay, or if just on tourism, there's one question that locals will always make "have you visited Cabo Polonio?". For Uruguayans, it's a must in every traveler's itinerary.
Geographically located 264kms distance from our capital, Montevideo, along the famous shorelines of beaches located upon the Atlantic Ocean, Cabo Polonio (a small cape named after a ship that wrecked off its shores), appeals to those who are looking for solace rather than noise and crammed beaches.
Due to the fact that this village is a protected area, no vehicles are allowed to drive into this isolated gem, there is no electricity either, nor television, nor water - except the one that comes from the wells. The only way to access Cabo Polonio, is by taking a 30-minutre drive on a special safari truck, by horse or walking, these are the only ways to reach Cabo Polonio in order to protect the virtues of nature. It is approximately inhabited by 100 people, whom are committed to maintaining the environment and keeping a lifestyle with nature as their only companion.
During the 30-minute drive, travelers will leave civilization behind and inserted in forest and bushes first, then come the sand dunes into view reaching up to 30 meters high. One will actually believe they're in the middle of the desert and will wonder where the village fits into this scenario. Suddenly, out of nowhere, the spectator will be left speechless with the most amazing view of the thin, white sand beach that stretches out, the sound of the ocean deep blue waters washing ashore, a big lighthouse, the few houses with white-painted roofs scattered here and there, no streets not marked paths, just vastness of mother nature.
At this point, Cabo Polonio's magic appears: the traveler will be able to completely disconnect from civilization and will connect with nature. Only a camera will evidence the connection from where one is coming from.
A few places serve food, there are hostels if one would like to stay overnight, during high-peak season of summer a few bars open with views to the beach, the lighthouse has guided tours with panoramic sights of the lengthy shoreline, surfer's paradise, and last but not least, a guided boat tour towards the Island of the Sea Lions, where one can see them sunbathing and some curious little guys might even swim up close to your boat so you can take a good picture back home.
All in all, a place you can one day visit, but that you'll never forget and remember for the rest of your life.
Written by Jennifer Sprigings
LARM Uruguay Country Director