La Paloma & La Pedrera – Uruguay
La Paloma blossoms in summer from a quiet fishermen’s town into a bustling beach destination. Playa Bahía is a sheltered beach for swimming, and Playa La Balconada is an exquisite sunset spot. Playa Anaconda and La Aguada are internationally famous surf beaches, while Playa Los Botes is the perfect place to take a stroll.
Declared as a national historic monument in 1976, Cabo Santa María with the lighthouse is also worth a visit. The city boasts a fine pine tree forest where you can keep cool and biking and horseback riding are popular activities. Boats arriving at the port are escorted by sea lions and the occasional penguin, claiming their meal. La Paloma has little shops and boutiques that offer handicrafts which are ideal for souvenirs.
La Pedrera, 12km northeast, is a small and exclusive resort with a great nightlife and fine white sand beaches good for surfing and windsurfing. Playa Desplayado at the northeast side of the village hasn’t got a big swell and is safer to swim. At the southwest side, Playa del Barco (Boat Beach) is a great surf and bodyboard beach to get your adrenaline pumping. This beach owes its name to the remains of the “Cathay”, the boat that shipwrecked here in 1971. In the main street of La Pedrera you will find picturesque crafts stands and a variety of small shops and restaurants.
The coastal waters of La Paloma and La Pedrera are good for scuba diving and world class sports fishing. Whale watching season goes from July till October, when these magnificent creatures migrate close to the shores.
Laguna de Rocha, a protected area nearby, is a vast wetland with populations of black-necked swans, storks, spoonbills and other waterfowl – this is simply a birdwatcher’s paradise!