Cabo Polonio: a nature reserve between dunes and sea

natural park
Cabo Polonio: a nature reserve between dunes and sea

Leave behind the lights of the city and explore this remote coastal village, which houses one of the world's largest sea lion populations.

A three-hour drive from Montevideo, the national park of CaboPolonio is a narrow strip of land on the east coast of the country. Its name comes from a ship that sank off its shore in 1735. To access it, you have to leave your car at the entrance of the reserve and get into an open truck or go by horse or on foot if you're feeling athletic and pass over the dunes to the village, a distance of seven kilometres.

Huts without electricity and a lonely lighthouse are the only dwellings. The lighthouse stands at the end of the peninsula and has a breath-taking 360° view. On sunny days, you can see sea lions and seals sunbathing on the rugged rocks below the village.

The waters of CaboPolonio are also populated with penguins and it is on a migratory whale route. In the evenings, fogones, giant bonfires on the beach, are lit, and people gather to dance and sing.