Cabo Polonio, Uruguay is a hidden paradise located on Uruguay’s Atlantic coast in the Department (state) of Rocha. Located about 45 km north of La Paloma and about 40 km south of Punta del Diablo, the location is remote and far away from the ‘real world’. There are many factors that make Cabo Polonio a unique destination; the remoteness, and raw beauty of the location, and its bohemian vibe along with its lack of modern amenities such as electricity and running water. Admittedly Cabo Polonio vacations are not for everyone and generally the more adventurous, hippie or backpacker types are drawn here.
Cabo Polonio sits on the tip of a peninsula that protrudes like a hook into the Atlantic Ocean. At the tip of the peninsula sits a lighthouse; the beach on the backside of the hook bears the brunt of the Atlantic Ocean and has rough waters, while the beach on the inside of the hook offers calm waters ideal for swimming.
How to get to Cabo Polonio
Cabo Polonio travel is not for the faint of heart, as finding and getting to Cabo Polonio is no easy task. Fly into Uruguay’s capital, Montevideo and head north along the coast, past Punta del Este. Busses and that will take you up the coast can be caught at Montevideo and Punta del Este. There are no roads that go directly to Cabo Polonio so you have to sync-up with an oversized 4x4 vehicle at the nearest main road that will drive you back over the dunes. The 4x4 ride to Cabo Polonio takes about 45 minutes and will cost you about $3 US per person.
Arriving in Cabo Polonio you will find a rustic village complete with dirt roads, wondering horses, various wildlife, and about 100 cabana style cabins strewn across the dunes. In the village center, where the 4x4 trucks drop you off, there is an information hut, but don’t expect anyone to be there.
Since there are no phones, internet or electricity, there is a good chance you will have to find accommodation the old fashion way – walk door to door. We recommend you take your time a pick a spot you really like – the further away from the town center the better.
There are restaurants and one general store, but bringing your own food and water is still recommended, particularly during the off season when most of the restaurants close.
Cabo Polonio Photos can be viewed on the Photos Tab of this guide.
Cabo Polonio Videos can be watched on the Video Tab of this guide.
Things to do in
Cabo Polonio Beach
There are two beaches at Cabo Polonio; one on each side of the peninsula. The beach on the outside of the peninsula has powerful waves, and although not particularly ideal for surfing, people do surf there. On opposing beach is calmer and better for swimming. This is where most of the sun worshipers hangout. Both beaches have a restaurant, but there are no beach chairs or umbrellas to rent. This is a 100% natural beach with spectacular white sand.
Cabo Polonio Lighthouse
For a small fee you can climb the steps to the top of the lighthouse and get a birds-eye view of the town – it’s well worth the price.
Restaurants at Cabo Polonio
There are a few restaurants at Cabo Polonio and they all serve fresh, natural food. Stop in during the day and make reservations for the evening during the high season.
Cabo Polonio Nightlife
All things considered, during the high season, Cabo Polonio has a fun nightlife scene. Cool people hang out drink beer and partake in the local herb. A few of the restaurants serve drinks and the sky is full of stars. The only light comes every 20 or so seconds from the oscillating beam of light delivered by the lighthouse which gives the place a magical feel.
Accommodation at Cabo Polonio is rustic with little or no electricity. So making booking in advance is difficult. Below are some hostels and posada that have email addresses and phone numbers. The best way to get a place in Cabo is to walk door to door and ask what is available.
Cabo Polonio Hostel
Hostal del Cabo - email@example.com Tel 099-355-378; 099-307-870
Posada y Parador La Cañada - firstname.lastname@example.org Tel: 099 550595 - 099 972410
Posada Santa Maradona - email@example.com Tel + (598) 94-189 556