The really good news is that the nasty-cold part of what passes for winter here appears to be giving its last gasp. We will get a few chilly days early next week, after that it’s high 50s into the 70s+ for the duration. At last!!
El Nido Beach Hotel is in Parque del Plata, centrally located on the Costa del Oro – Uruguay’s Gold Coast. This is the string of charming little beachfront villages that extend along the Atlantic Ocean east from Montevideo some 150 kilometers to the world-famous jet set destination of Punta del Este. By most standards, the climate here is mild; we might get a dozen mornings per year where early risers wake to frost-covered grass, but the white stuff typically leaves as soon as the sun hits. Prevailing winter winds from the south, however (next landfall off the beach that direction is Antarctica), bring plenty of humidity, which in turn yields a perceived temperature a good deal below what one might expect. It’s a small price to pay for the pleasure of experiencing this grand little country, but nevertheless, few tears are shed as Invierno (winter) slides into Primavera (spring).
There are, however, opportunities for relief from the chill, even during the coldest weeks. About a six hour drive to the northwest, for example, near Salto, we find wonderful hot springs (termas) at Arapey and at Dayman. An overnight bus from the Tres Cruces terminal in Montevideo is a bit slower, but is certainly a more low key way to get there. Did a few days of run-away a couple weeks back, and had a great time at the Arapey termas. Beautiful new hotel, excellent food, lots of indoor and outdoor bathing options- all in all, a homerun! That one was pretty pricey, but there are a wide range of offerings available, from simple tent camping all the way up to 5 star resorts. Any budget will find a fun place to stay.
There are many other destinations in the region worthy of exploration; think of the wine regions around Mendoza or Cordoba, Argentina, perhaps something historic in Machu Pichu, Bolivia, glorious scenery at the Iguazu Falls shared by Brazil, Paraguay, and Argentina… Lots of exciting opportunities!!!