Cabo Polonio: The Rustic Coastal Village

We all have those days where nothing seems to go right. Well our trip to Cabo Polonio definitely started off on the wrong foot. Duncan thought he was all well prepared by getting enough cash out for our visit to the town with no electricity. That was great, until I went and spent a bunch of pesos on the hostel stay in Punta del Este.

At that point, we thought we didn’t have much to worry about because surely San Carlos would have an ATM. They had banks but no ATMs. Poor Duncan ran around the town like a mad man while I manned the bags wondering where he had disappeared too! In his mad rush, we realised later that he must have dropped my bank card! Duncan was convinced he had given it to me, so I endured the strip search until he realised he didn’t give it me!

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Cabo Polonio cannot be accessed by cars or buses so the two options are walk for 2 hours or get the sand buggy. I was dreading the 2 hour walk we may of had to do with our 80L of luggage but fortunately the sand buggy was a return ticket and we had enough money! The sand buggy was an experience to say the least. I can imagine that on a summers day this would be quite a fun ride but in the wet and windy weather, I wasn’t too happy! We were concerned about our luggage and electrical.

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As we arrived at our hostel we saw a big group of lads outside with the hostess inside clearly not letting them in. We had no idea what was going on but she once we told her our names she happily let us in. Turns out the lads wanted to stay in the popular colourful roofed hostel but didn’t have a reservation. Our frowns quickly turned upside down when we were offered a cup of coffee in front of a stove fire, in the cosiest place I have ever stayed. We had a wonderful one night stay at Viejo Lobo Hostel. Our highlight was cooking an epic soup for all guests that evening.

Viejo Lobo Hostel

Basic but Beautiful sums up Cabo Polonio. It is a rustic coastal village hat sits on the tip of a peninsula to the Atlantic Ocean. In 2009, the region was declared a National Park under the protection of Uruguay’s SNAP program.

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There are no roads, no vehicles, no electricity or pipelines in Cabo Polonio. It does however have a complete charm about the place with rancho hostels, beaches, lighthouse, solar power and an array of animals.

Lighthouse Cabo Polonia

The main reason we headed to Cabo Polonio was to see the sea lions! The next day we completed our mission when we found them just around the corner from our hostel. This in all honesty wasn’t too difficult as you definitely hear them before you see them. Plus, Cabo has the largest sea lion colony in the whole of South America.

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We visited Cabo Polonio after Punta del Este an returned there for one more night before heading onwards to the Capital, Montevideo. I highly recommend adding Cabo Polonio to your itinerary for a one of a kind experience.

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Go the Distance in Cabo,

Chloe

 

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Punta Del Este: To Do and To Stay

Punta Del Este is known as South Americas most glamourous resort with its A-List celebrity beaches and yacht harbour.

Often people go on a day trip from Montevideo as it is only 2 hours away. However, I feel Punta Del Este deserves a 2 night stay.

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As we stepped off the overnight bus at 6am (after a surprisingly good nights sleep) we immediately saw the prestigious ‘Hand in the Sand’ in the distance! This was the perfect opportunity to see sunrise and get some ‘tourist-free’ pictures! Also known as La Mano, the hand is on Brava Beach, which is also known for its strong surf.

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This is the first place we noticed we arrived in low season. It felt like a ghost town but that’s not always a bad thing. Yes in the day it was quiet, but we got some fantastic pictures and after 4pm the beaches became alive with locals until sunset and beyond.
That day we not only saw the sunrise but also the sunset… it was a long but rewarding day! We visited the Lighthouse, the Catholic Church (Nuestra Senora de la Candelaria), Brava Beach, Emir Beach as well as a walk to the yacht harbour where we saw our first glimpse of the Sea-Lions!

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Where we Stayed

We spent two evenings at Trip Hostel and then we were kindly invited to Del Barcito Hostel. They kindly hosted us in a private bedroom with a private bathroom. I have to say this is the comfiest nights sleep I have had all month. A proper mattress that doesn’t make you feel like a cripple the next day… bonus points! After a day of rain, we definitely were in need of a hot shower and Del Barcito have HOT showers! It sounds daft but little things please travellers, like hooks and shelves. It makes our lives so much easier and Del Barcito have thought of everything for you.

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Del Barcito Hostel is a restored barn and has accommodation in two wings; the private rooms and the dorms. The hostel offers fantastic communal areas such as; a cinema room, two cosy seating areas and games area in the communal kitchen space. There is ample space to have some time to yourself, watch a film or have a ‘friendly’ game of table tennis! This was Duncan’s favourite thing about the hostel. I didn’t realise he loved ping-pong so much but apparently ‘who doesn’t like a game of ping-pong?’ It’s a good question haha!

The kitchen offers everything you need to make a proper meal. There were ample pots, pans and utensils. We made a lemon chicken, rice and vegetable dish, using many more pans than we usually would and it was divine! In the morning, they served bread, ham, cheese with jams and my favourite, Dolce de Leite. We were also made a banana smoothie, this was a first for us and we really appreciated the effort the staff made.

Throughout the hostel you will see beautiful art work in keeping with the street art we have previously seen around South America. This adds to the ambience of the property. The staff speak good English and were more than happy for us to join them with some popcorn and a film. As we mentioned, it was quiet due to low season but I can imagine this place comes alive in high season!

Del Barcito Hostel offers dorm rooms from 50 BR and private rooms from 149 BR (price may vary in high season). To book your stay Click Here!

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Go the Distance in Punta Del Este,

Chloe.