It’s safe to say that we have over-explored the northern coast of Uruguay. Valizas, Aguas Dulces, La Coronilla, Punta del Diablo, and just about every dirt road that you can turn off on that heads out to the sea.
Punta del Diablo is the one in the guidebooks. I have to assume that 5 or 6 years ago, when the guidebook was researched, this might have been a cool little fishing/surf town. Then, they published the guidebook. It’s not so cool anymore. Now, it’s an over-built over-touristed gringo-landia. Lonely Planet syndrome. Not to say that it isn’t a fine place with fine people, but the term “over-rated” comes to mind. And, it’s the off season. I can’t image what this place is like when the never-ending rows of cabanas and apartments are filled to capacity. There is a big grocery store at the town entrance and it’s currently closed and empty. It’s only open 2 months out of the year – they come in and re-stock the whole thing for 2 months. This is not a sustainable community.
Still, we met some cool folks. Some of the ‘locals’ said they simply leave when the main season hits. Our buddy with the Westy drove down here 5 years ago with his wife and two kids, and they rent their house for the two month season and head out surfing in the Westy at an unmentionable ‘good spot.’
It’s an international crowd, so that has its allure, I suppose. We ate fried seaweed balls. We just had to listen to the too-cool 20-something backpackers try to one-up each other with their “who’s been traveling longer, who has been to more countries, who partied the hardest” tales. It’s not a contest, people.
We gave it a chance. Moving on…