Parque del Plata is a small, classic beach resort (“balneario”) town less than an hour from the excitement and bustle of Uruguay’s capital, Montevideo. Traveling east from Montevideo will take you to the Costa de Oro, Uruguay’s Gold Coast. Three adjoining beach towns, Atlántida, Las Toscas and Parque del Plata, comprise the most popular seaside destinations of this region. Closest to Montevideo is Atlantida, next you’ll hit Las Toscas, and furthest east is Parque del Plata, home to el Nido Beach Hotel.
Parque del Plata’s name alludes to its wooded areas of pine, eucalyptus and acacia, and its location on the Uruguayan coast. Parque del Plata has a distinctly South American feel, one capable of inspiring those wishing to find the “real” Uruguay to step out of their cars and explore. You won’t find any high-rises in Parque del Plata; instead, it offers a relaxed, casual, beach-town vibe, full of natural beauty and tranquility. Come summer, December through March, Uruguay’s Costa de Oro is truly a family vacation destination – the place where Uruguayans prefer to spend their holidays. It is also a great base for tourists, budget travelers and potential expats who are looking to explore the coast of Uruguay.
Local Events and Businesses
Many compare modern-day Uruguay to the United States of the 1950s and 60s. It is not uncommon to see someone driving by in a well-maintained vintage automobile, and here in Parque del Plata, we enjoy a great relationship with the friendly, pro-business mayor. A few blocks from el Nido Beach Hotel are an old-fashioned bowling alley and a small fitness center. Twice a week, locals gather at “the feria,” or local market, to buy fresh fruits, vegetables, cheeses, clothing, jewelry, shoes and household items, all sold at reasonable prices (and without the 22% sales tax collected by regular stores). The main streets in town, only a block or two from the hotel, feature bakeries, restaurants, surf and watersport supplies, crafts, and more. A supermarket is just a short stroll further, situated at the corner where local and express buses stop on the way in and out of Montevideo regularly day and night.
Surf, Swim and Fish
The community of Parque del Plata enjoys an enticing location between the Ruta Interbalnearia (the Inter-Resort highway) and the estuary of the Rio de la Plata, the River of Silver (considered here to be the South Atlantic, except to oceanographers and geographers, who mark the official Atlantic a bit further east, at Punta del Este). Our saltwater beach with tides, waves, surfing, and fishing offers a beautiful seashore experience. Rio Solis Chico, an inlet from the Rio Plata, forms Parque del Plata’s eastern boundaries, and is a splendid watersport and fishing venue. A few minutes away to the west is the slightly larger resort town of Atlántida, with its casino and hypermarkets, just past the residential community of Las Toscas. Here in scenic Parque del Plata, giant dunes give way to white sandy beaches, creating a dreamy, mystical quality lacking in more developed resort towns. El Nido Beach Hotel boasts a coveted location, directly across the street from the dunes, one of few on-beach locations on the entire Costa de Oro (many other areas offer cliff views only).
Parque del Plata and el Nido Beach Hotel Is the Right Spot for You
Whether Parque del Plata is your final destination or just a stop along your way, el Nido Beach Hotel is an ideal place to learn about life in Uruguay.
Throughout history, many have traveled to the area for artistic inspiration. Tango composer, Astor Piazolla, had a vacation home in Parque del Plata, and in 1968, he and poet Horracio Ferrer spent the summer collaborating on the tango opera Maria de Buenos Aires. A short drive or bus ride to Atlántida brings you to the one-time seaside home/love nest of renowned Chilean author and poet Pablo Neruda.This drive also offers a glimpse at the fascinating architecture of Atlántida’s La Planeta, a cruise ship-shaped hotel (now an apartment building), and at El Aguila, the famous cliff-top studio shaped like an eagle’s beak. It is common to see beach-bound visitors arrive with cameras or paint boxes in hand, eager to capture the glorious sunsets that characterize the area.
Are you a new immigrant to Uruguay or considering Uruguay expat life? Meet other English-speaking residents, bilingual Uruguayans enjoying conversation in English and people exploring Uruguay. On the first and third Thursday of every month, Atlántida-area English-speaking expats gather for lunch (ask the owner of el Nido Beach Hotel for location information). If you are thinking of moving to Uruguay, this is an excellent way to meet other expats, ask questions and learn about the local lifestyle. As busy season gets underway (December through March), el Nido Beach Hotel will be hosting a variety of recreational events, so please check back and visit our events calendar to learn more.