Cabo Polonio has become popular with a hippie community who embrace a life with no electricity or running water, except for a few generators and the sea.
Uruguay – Been There

Uruguay's idyllic hippie village is frequented by whales and tourists

Photo by Francesco Pistilli

Uruguay – Been There Uruguay's idyllic hippie village is frequented by whales and tourists

A horse carries me across the three miles of sand dunes that separate Cabo Polonio from the main road. The hippie colony is beautifully positioned on a tip of land, reaching far into the Atlantic Ocean.

Teo Butturini
Teo Butturini Travel Writer

Uruguay is booming, but the big money that is coming on from Argentina, Brazil and North America is leaving many of its people feeling they are being by-passed. On the coast some 150 miles from the capital, Montevideo, is Cabo Polonio - a "hippie village" if ever there was one - where some are exploring an alternative lifestyle.

There is no electricity, no running water, just the sea and some generators to remind me of civilization. The atmosphere is very laid back, with just a few tourists hanging out on the beach or relaxing in hammocks hung from palm trees, drinking mate and smoking dope. Other visitors include the whales from Antarctica who's warmer breeding grounds or just off the coast at Cabo Polonio.

Ever present is the sand, that whips into the air and piles against the walls of buildings or any other solid object. The tin-roofed houses of the hamlet look as if they could fall over at any moment if not for the support.

I meet an old lady, who tells me she has lived here since the mid-1970s, says that almost everybody goes away during the winter and that only a small number of locals stay all year round.

At night, the darkness is broken only by the lighthouse, whose beam sweeps the dark Atlantic Ocean, catching the foam of breaking waves. Back in the dunes, the light comes from millions of twinkling stars.

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Fishermen still sell their catch in Barra de Valizas, a village on the Atlantic coast about eight kilometers north of Cabo Polonio, which is now a popular eco-tourism resort. Valizas is also noted for its hippie fair selling handmade crafts and its large sand dunes. Photo by Francesco Pistilli / Transterra

Francesco Pistilli

Francesco Pistilli

Nikon D800

Agency
Transterra
Aperture
ƒ/2.5
Exposure
1/5000
ISO
100
Focal
28 mm

Fishermen still sell their catch in Barra de Valizas, a village on the Atlantic coast about eight kilometers north of Cabo Polonio, which is now a popular eco-tourism resort. Valizas is also noted for its hippie fair selling handmade crafts and its large sand dunes.

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