1. Isla Gorriti, 2. Isla de Lobos, 3. Isla de Flores. Uruguay, which is bordered by Argentina and Brazil, is frequently overlooked by visitors travelling to its larger neighbors. If you cross its borders, you'll be rewarded with many joys, from the beautiful coast and stunning islands to the ranch-peppered inland, where wild lands, gaucho culture, and local folklore thrive. Here are the top three most beautiful islands in Uruguay, places to visit on your next trip.
Gorriti Island is a small island off the coast of Uruguay’s Punta del Este. The island, together with Isla de Lobos, has been designated as a National Heritage Site, bringing thousands of visitors to its beaches each year. It is always on the top of the most beautiful islands in Uruguay. Southern right whales, southern elephant seals, and orcas chasing tunas, as well as South American sea lions and South American fur seals, breed in the surrounding waters both year-round and seasonally.
Boats leave every half hour or so from Punta del Este’s yacht harbor for the 15-minute trip to this nearby island, which has excellent sandy beaches, a couple of restaurants, and the ruins of Bateras de Santa Ana, an 18th-century fortification (daily from December through Carnaval, weekends the rest of the year).
You can buy food, and beverages for a picnic on the beach under the shade of a tree. The views from Gorriti Island are very nice. There are lots of trees and some trails.
Location: Maldonado, Uruguay.
Isla de Lobos
Isla de Lobos is a small island in the Atlantic Ocean, about 8 kilometers southeast of Punta del Este, which is Uruguay’s southernmost emerging point. Administratively, it is part of the Maldonado department.
It is now a Nature Reserve that includes the National Park of Coastal Islands, which is managed by Uruguay’s Ministry of Livestock, Agriculture, and Fisheries’ General Directorate of Renewable Natural Resources and National Directorate of Aquatic Resources.
Location: Punta del Este, Uruguay
Isla de Flores
Isla de Flores is a small Uruguayan island in the Rio de la Plata, located 34 kilometers (21 miles) south of Punta Carretas in Montevideo. On February 26, 2018, the island and two nautical miles of ocean surrounding it were designated as a national park.
Sailors came to the island every now and again. George Pegler, a British-born American preacher, recalls a brief visit with the rest of the crew of the British Navy ship Horatio in 1811 or 1812. Because of the large amount of South American fur seals, the sailors christened it Seal Island. To hunt the seals, groups of 100 or more sailors would dock on the island.
The ancient lighthouse on Isla de Flores was the subject of an 1819 treaty that saw Uruguay lose the Misiones Orientales. This lighthouse, which was built in Portugal, first went into service in 1828. It was termed “the most expensive lighthouse in the world.” The Uruguayan Navy presently has jurisdiction over the lighthouse. It stands 37 meters (121 feet) tall and flashes every ten seconds.
Location: Monte Video, Uruguay