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Uruguay, Santa Teresa National Park and Old Fortress

Published: 8.10.2018
There are all kinds of attractions in the Santa Teresa National Park. Historic landmarks such as old fortress, sandy beaches, trails, palm groves and exotic animals are waiting for us.

Fort Fortaleza de Santa Teresa comes from 1762, when the Portuguese predicted a conflict with the Spaniards and began to build this fortified point, then called Castillos Chicos. The walls of the fort were double and interconnected. The space between the walls was filled with soil and debris, creating paths along the walls, and at the same time the walls resisted the vibration from fire by enemy cannons. After 1825, the fort remained long forgotten and forgotten until the historian Horacio Arredondo discovered it, which began with its renovation in 1928.pevnost

The interior of a building with a living space of about 300 men was preserved in the same condition as in the eighteenth century. Inside the fort you can see the old chapel, the forge, the gunpowder and the headquarters building. There is also a museum of weapons, models and reconstruction of the hospital and kitchen of soldiers, which are restored as they were in the then colonial times.

vstup do pevnosti   hradby pevnosti

kaple   sklad střelného prachu

Reconstruction of the fort in the 20th century included the reconstruction of the surrounding area, east of the fortress of Santa Teresa is the national park of the same name. On an area of approximately 3000 hectares, of which 1400 ha are covered by forests, there are plenty of exotic plants and trees.

In the park there are more than 60 kilometers of hiking trails. Except for a walk, we go to visit the Refugio Silvestre Animal Rescue Station. The entrance is free, and it's basically such a small zoo where you can see aviaries with birds, mammals and reptiles, strolling along the footpaths between the wetlands and seeing for example capybars, pecari pigs or otters.

vstup do národního parku   prasátka pekari

The park offers an endless number of trips and 12km of local beaches that stretch from Cerro Verde to Punta del Diablo: Playa Grande, Playa del Barco, Playa de las Achiras and Playa de la Moza. the best waves for surfing in Uruguay. And if you choose the right time to visit, you can also watch the whales migrating here from the coast.

Refugio Silvestre

When you are there off-season, beaches will be deserted and the water cold. During the season there is a lot to do, because Santa Teresa camp has a capacity of up to 10,000 people. There are places with established electricity and water. Even though the entrance to the park is free, those who want to stay overnight must register as campers and pay the appropriate price. In addition to camping, there is also possibility of accommodation in bungalows or hostels, but reservation is necessary in advance.

Playa de la Moza

We hitchhiked our way into the park and planned to enjoy nature and sleep in the tent in a quiet place. The weather was inexplicable and the rain and heat alternated. Even though Santa Teresa is a national park, it was more like a camping site. In the morning, a scream of parrots woke us, building a huge nest here.

Santa Teresa is the last place in Uruguay for us, from here we have only a short distance to the border with Brazil. There is no need to wait for the bus, people are willing, so we will soon find ourselves in the border town of Chuy, where we enjoy the Spanish language. Now we have only a tricky Brazilian Portuguese and the last three weeks of traveling.

GPS: 33°58'18.8"S 53°32'56.0"W


Text and photos: Tomáš Novák

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