When to travel?
Rocha offers plenty of possibilities to explore the coast. There are different beach towns to visit which all have their own atmosphere. The closest and most famous beach town is Cabo Polonio. Cabo Polonio is getting more famous each year, so if you want to visit the pristinity of the beach, you should go there. It is even better and the atmosphere is nicer when you visit it just before (november and december) or after high season (march and april). This also counts for Punta del Diablo and La Pedrera. Both offer you magnificent beaches, good restaurants, nice hostels and houses to rent and options to surf and hike.
A very nice activity as well is to explore the coast by horse. In Valizas Senderos Valiceros or Discover Rocha can offer you trips. Contact us for possibilities to book trips, we know the local companies and we can offer you a nice package. If the language is a problem for you, we are willing to help you!
During high season, busses can get cramped and full. It's good to book your trip at least one day in advance. If you need some help to book your ticket, contact us and we make a reservation for you. The main bus station where busses leave in Montevideo is Tres Cruces. You can consult the prices and timetables on their website. The bus trip takes about 4 to 5 hours from Montevideo. The fastest connection is with the bus company COT. Hop off in Castillos and take a taxi from there to Valizas (330 pesos). It's a bit more expensive but it saves you a lot of time.
From Barra de Valizas there are bus services to Cabo Polonio (15 minutes), La Pedrera (40 minutes), La Paloma (50 minutes) and Rocha (1hr). There are also busses running to Punta del Diablo (50 minutes) and Chuy (1hr).
There are no ATM's in Valizas so when you come, make sure you bring enough money. The supermarket in Valizas does change dollars, euro's and argentinan pesos without commision. When you need to cash money, you will have to take the bus to Castillos.
Valizas offers you a lot of restaurants and bars during high season. The main dishes consist of freshly caught fish. From december untill march shrimps are being caught in the lagoon. During low season you will be able to buy some fresh fish from the local fishermen at the beach. You will have to wait at the beach to see the fisherboats coming in. Your patience will be rewarded, you can pick your own fishes from the boat.
Meat is the most important part of the Uruguayan dish. Most restaurants will offer you hamburgers (not the artificial ones but home made) and chivitos (a thin slice of beef) or milanesas, a thin slice of beef coated in breadcrumps. Every 29th of the month it's the day of the Noquis. Try them at the restaurants!
At the local tourist information centre in Valizas home made ice creams, cakes and cookies are sold. All the ingredients come from local farmers, so be sure to try the ice creams made of palm fruit, orange and ginger or Mburucaya: the local passion fruit.
Uruguayans love to sip a 'maté'. A tea made from a herb called yerba. You should just try it when someone offers it to you. Besides maté, there are Uruguayan brands of beer, usually served in 1 litre bottles. Uruguay is famous for it's Tannat wines. Try the Don Pascual for example.