In the winter of 2007, I spent three months living in Buenos Aires. However much I love that city, one of the fondest memories of my South American sojourn was a trip to Cabo Polonio, a magical village on the eastern coast of Uruguay.

I first heard about Cabo from a friend who grew up in Uruguay. As he talked lovingly of this oceanfront village that had no running water or electricity and can only be reached by horse or 4x4 across sand dunes, I was already enchanted. The timing was perfect. My friend Lucia from Slovakia was joining me in Buenos Aires and our plan was to take a side trip to Uruguay.

One morning at the crack of dawn, we boarded a ferry from Buenos Aires to Montevideo, and then hopped on a bus heading to Valizas. About three and a half hours later, the driver left us and a handful of other passengers on the side of the road, claiming we've arrived to Cabo Polonio. To me, it seemed rather like arriving to the middle of nowhere. The sun was going down and I started to wonder if this adventure was a good idea. Then a 4x4 appeared, we jumped on and off we were for a sunset ride along the sands.

During the fifteen minutes it took to reach the village, night descended and stars appeared above in their brightest form. As we approached Cabo Polonio, a surreal sight started to unfold. All around us were flickering candle lights inside little cabins scattered around the dunes, edged by the ocean on both sides.

Cabo Polonio is located on a sliver-thin peninsula with no road access or electricity. The feeling of isolation and seclusion is real here - you are literally disconnected from the rest of the world. The only sources of light are the lighthouse on a slight hill at the top of the cape and a couple of generators that power the lone hotel and two grocery stores. Rain water is collected from various wells that supply the hundred or so cabins.


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About this author

  • Anja Mutic

    I'm a traveler who writes and a writer who travels. I travel to make a living, I write to travel, I live to take the next trip.…

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