A small and friendly fishing village, Cabo Polonio is divided by two magnificent beaches. Behind, lies gigantic dunes while at the tip of the peninsula, the iconic lighthouse protects one of the wildest part of Uruguay's coast.


Battered by strong Atlantic winds, Cabo Polono is relatively quiet during the winter months of May to September. During this period, only a few hard-core wildlife lovers, scientists in search of whales and seals, fishermen, and a few poets, cut off from the outside world, are to be found.

Cabo Polonio lies on the north east coast of Uruguay, 60kms from Brazil, and around 3hrs by car from Montevideo, exactly 264km on ‘ruta 10’ that leads out from La Paloma in the direction of Valizas and Aguas Dulces (see Googlemap). Visitors travelling by car should leave their vehicles in the parking lot at the entrance of the National Park. From here, converted trucks and 4x4s ferry tourists to the resort, passing a beautiful forest, sand dunes, and the wild coastline. The journey takes about 20 minutes.

As explained by the photographer Stéphane San Quirce in the preface of his book ‘Cabo Polonio’, ‘the likelihood is that Cabo Polonio’s was named after Captain Joseph Polloni steered his ship, the Cadix, into the rocky shore back in the summer of 1753. A refuge for pirates and French traffickers until the start of the 18th century, inhabited for thousands of years by indigenous tribes, it is a above all a destination that defies comparisons, a lost island between the Atlantic Ocean and a sea of sand dunes’   

Cabo Polonio has one of the largest sea lion colonies in South America. Progressively, the seals have made the two islands to the east and north of the village and the tip of the peninsula their home, making them easy to observe from the top of the lighthouse. It is also common to see whales seeking refuge in the calm waters from the end of September to November. If you are lucky, you might even get the chance to swim with dolphins and toninas (large black dolphins) in the shallow waters on the southern beach. 

Previously ‘a natural reserve’, Cabo Polonio’s reserve was granted the status of National Park in 2009.  The Ministry of Environment is adamant about protecting this land for its geographical location and unique ecosystem, by limiting the quantity of residents and tourists into this out-of-the-world, coastal resort.