Uruguay’s beautiful beaches

by Dave

CNN.com

People who know anything about this small country across the Rio de la Plata from Argentina usually know of a few major spots: the capital, Montevideo, the historic town of Colonia and the ritzy beach town of Punta del Este. I had been to the top three, but this trip I wanted to find out what was along the coast. What we found was spectacular.

Destination uno was Punta del Diablo. The road was well-paved, clearly
marked and empty. Taking us less time than we anticipated, we were in
Punta del Diablo three and a half hours later. We were surprised at how
isolated this former fishing village felt after the relatively short
drive. The beaches were practically empty, extremely beautiful and
stretched on for miles. As we would come to excitedly learn, this is
the norm for coastal Uruguay. Here there are no typical hotels or large
buildings monopolizing the sea view. Wooden cabins and dirt roads
populate this village. Punta del Diablo is postcard perfect.

Destination numero dos was Cabo Polonio. This remote outpost surrounded
by miles of secluded windswept sand dunes was second to none. Getting
to Cabo Polonio was half the fun. We were flagged down along route 10
on the way to Cabo Polonio by one of several businesses that, for a fee
of about $6 per person, provide parking for your vehicle and
transportation to the town.

Our last stop before Montevideo was Piriapolis. Just 20 minutes west of
Punta del Este, this beach community had an old-time feel. My husband
said it reminded him of Asbury Park, a quaint beach town on the Jersey
Shore that was a popular family destination until the 1970s. It was no
surprise when we heard Piriapolis was the pre- Punta del Este vacation
spot of choice. The proximity to Montevideo and the long white beach
makes it an obvious choice for an easy getaway.

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