The are places in the world with a simple yet magnetic charm. They don’t sport popular attractions, instead there is something indefinite and not fully understandable which makes them special. One of these magic places is Cabo Polonio.
A wild land imbued with primordial charm, where time seems to have stopped and everything still flows in a very slow and quite manner. Cabo Polonio is on the eastern coast of Uruguay, about three and a half hours by car from Montevideo.
It stretches over the sandy dunes overlooking the coastline and to get here you will need a 4X4 vehicle or you can opt to get ride from the trucks connecting the village with the main road. There are less than one hundred inhabitants, a few dozens buildings and a wide colony of sea lions who use to spend their sleepy days around the lighthouse, which also serves as landmark and divides the two beaches commonly referred to as Norte and Sur.
There is no electricity in Cabo Polonio, and there aren’t any cars on the street, or noise but those coming from the wind and the Atlantic Ocean. In summer there are a few tourists, mostly Argentinian and Brazilian, taking accommodation in the rare and costly posadas or finding refuge in their own houses on the ocean. The atmosphere is relaxed and somehow decadent, everyone looks really careful to preserve the magic charm of this place.
What brings those few visitors here is the opportunity to cut from everything. Long promenades among the sandy dunes along the coastline, a tasty chivito in one of the few restaurants in the village, a look from the lighthouse over the endless beauty of this corner of paradise, a walk among the sea lions. The days flow away in complete relaxation and continuous amazement. How can a place lacking every modern comfort be so charming and empowering for body and spirit?
And if you happen to find a rainy and windy day – as I did – Cabo Polonio will seem as an unreal place, moon-like, a strange mix of nordic atmospheres and tropical landscapes. The thin rain and the constant wind cover even more any noise, all the colours are out of focus, the only thing left to do is to sit on a dune and observe the slow pace of this remote world. A small corner of land, far away from all and everything, with a distinct energy and a soul able to charm even the most skeptic traveller.