There are many people in the world with whom I share my vision that Uruguay is arguably the best place to be right now. That is much more true in the summer than during any other season. Uruguay blooms in the summer. It is the time of pleasure, nature, love, sunshine, and beauty. This summer in particular has been especially beautiful, with scarce clouds and generally agreeable temperatures.
My summer is not over yet, fortunately. I plan to stretch it as long as I can. Because I start teaching soon, I will only be able to take weekends off till Easter. Luckily, Uruguay is small, and there is many a paradise at only a couple of hours drive from Montevideo. This means that a lot of summery beauty and relaxation still awaits.
The places I have touched so far are Cabo Polonio, Valizas, Las Toscas, Atlántida, and Punta del Este with Portezuelo and La Barra. Among my top ten Uruguayan beaches, I am perhaps missing Punta del Diablo, but that is a place I only want to see after the summer´s over and the tourists are gone, because it is utter bliss in December and March.
Uruguayan beaches are almost never really crowded. Perhaps during the first two weeks of January there are three or four beaches with a sizable amount of people lounging about, but in most cases, one only needs to walk for a quarter of a mile to be completely alone. Another thing everyone loves about them is that they stretch for miles and miles, with endless horizons and white sands. This makes sunsets quite spectacular in most of them. That is the reason when I spent a few weeks in Miami recently, I couldn´t believe this town had become a popular summer destination, when you cannot really see the sun going down over the sea anywhere, because of its geographic orientation. The only thing one can criticize about these beaches is that up till the Maldonado area, the water is ocean water mixed with river water, and thus, not always as crystal clear as one might wish.
Around the beaches, one can usually find great scenic restaurants, live music venues, and open air markets. Some of the greatest musicians from Uruguay, Argentina, and even Brazil and beyond, alight on the beaches during January and February to jam with friends at sunset on the sand, hold open air concerts, and play at dance parties.
Great scenery, great music, interesting and friendly people, and great food can make a Uruguayan summer experience utterly fabulous. This year, among the beaches, my favorite was unquestionably Playa Sur in Cabo Polonio. The best wine I drank was a fabulous Atlantico Sur white from Familia Deicas, a recommendation of the also fabulous sommelier at La Perla, also in Cabo Polonio. I also saw the most magical crimson moonrise over the water there.
In terms of food, I revisited an old favorite, Medio y Medio´s Mussels Parmesan in Portezuelo, and rediscovered fabulous homemade maracuja and red plum ice cream at Punto G in Valizas. As for coffee, I have to say the one I make at home with my Nespresso milk frother is still better than many I´ve had on the beaches, though Medio y Medio´s espresso was pretty good.
This is a strange year for me because I will be having a regular schedule as a screenwriting and narrative fiction teacher. Considering I have been freelancing and making films since 2009, it is a big change, and so, I feel like I need to make the summer last longer and longer.
The weather is usually nice in Uruguay in March, so, I am really hopeful for the coming weekends. I am blessed in my homeland, especially when I can enjoy it in a bikini, while watching an unforgettable sunset, in the company of loved ones. Whatever your ailments may be, the Uruguayan summer has a kind of healing beauty, whose spell can convert even the greatest skeptic.