Cabo Polonio is an unexpected gem, much like Uruguay in general where it is found, and this Cabo Polonio Travel Guide will inspire you to make the journey! Located only a few hours from the countries capital of Montevideo, the road-free, hippie beachside settlement of Cabo Polonio is the perfect break for weary travellers on South Americas notorious gringo trail. Sunsets await you that will leave all others for dust as well as an unspoilt night sky vistas which makes you realise why our ancestors worshipped celestial beings – you would be hard pressed to find a better view of the Milky Way from a hostel hammock at any rate!
The village consists of colourful ramshackle houses with very basic facilities and can only be access by 4x4s [$5 USD return with frequent departures to match incoming and outgoing buses]. We stayed at Cabo Polonio Hostel and spent our days surrounded by friendly dogs, cute kittens and a colony of sea lions.
I would highly recommend staying here as it’s the only hostel to provide breakfast – delicious and served hot every morning, even including mangoes! -, has a great location just behind a sand dune and has a friendly owner who is willing to answer any and all questions. It’s really just like staying at a friends house, if your friend had a beachfront pad with the sound of waves crashing at night!
Cabo Polonio may seen light on activities, but you would be amiss to only allocate a night or two here – the whole joy of this place is ‘life, slow’. No rushing or packed sight seeing agendas – hammocking in the sun interspersed with dips in the blue ocean, daily visits to the sea lions to enjoy their antics, walks on the beach. You can do as little or as much as you want here, so take some time out to recharge your batteries. We visited in low season (outside December – March) and loved the changeable weather, crisp mornings and desolate, end-of-the-earth feel. Only a few stores were open and most of the local pads were locked up, awaiting their owners to return for summer holidays or weekend escapes.
There is no WiFi here, no stable power, no expectations [though the local store will charge your camera for you when the generator is on – USB charging is possible through solar panels at the hostel]. Take that as a positive or a negative, but I personally hope it doesn’t change anytime soon. There are so few places left like this in the world!
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The days blur together and time is measured by the position of the sun not the precision of your watch. No need for an alarm here. The highlight of everyday was the sunsets – which are easily among the best in the world – where we would grab a beer or wine, head down to the beach and have a front row-seat to the fiery red skies, open ocean and windswept coast. Memories like this are seared into your conscience and are not easily forgotten!
Now you're all set and prepared to explore our big wide world, why not sort out everything else out all in one go? If necessary for your travel plans make sure you have brought proper travel insurance, protected your privacy by getting a secure VPN, compared all the top hotel booking sites to find just what you're after, reserved an unbeatable rental car price and - of course - booked the best flight deals!
Many budget travelers (including me) indulge in worldwide airport lounge access, so we can experience luxury while still slumming it in economy. Naturally, we would never leave home without a more general travel guide since we couldn’t possibly cover everything here!
Just add an adventurous attitude and plenty of smiles - they go a long way - and that about covers it all! Now go out, find your own path and don't forget to share your best inspiration stories with me on Facebook, Twitter, and Instagram...I'd love to hear from you!