On the Uruguayan Atlantic coast and on the border between the departments of Rocha and Maldonado is the Laguna Garzón, which forms part of the Area for the management of habitats and / or species, a protected area of Uruguay. The zone, of great richness for its biological diversity, covers 9596 hectares of land surface and 27332 hectares of marine surface. The water mirror, which forms Laguna Garzón, represents 1750 hectares.
Like the Laguna de Rocha, it communicates with the Atlantic Ocean by a sand bar that opens periodically, naturally or artificially by human action. This process favors biological productivity, as it is the breeding site for a significant number of resident and migratory bird species, fish, molluscs and crustaceans. This gives the area of the lagoon a great economic, ecological and landscape value.
A wonderful landscape
The psamofilo forest and shrub
The landscape around the lagoon is formed by hills, hillocks, low plains, the coastal strip and a portion of the coastal platform. In the adjacent area there are other smaller water mirrors that drain their waters to the Laguna Garzón. In the coastal hills there are patches of psamofilo shrub, a woody stage pioneer in the colonization of dunes, which leads to natural fixation and soil formation in the fields of dunes near the beach.
The psamophilo forest is a later, more stable stage that develops in places relatively protected from the prevailing winds.
The area forms an interesting site for bird watching, in fact it has been named as an Important Area for Bird Conservation, due to its ornithological importance. It is possible to observe there the crabeater gull, the cinnamon sandpiper, Olrog´s gull, bud-breasted sandpiper,black-necked swans and southern flamingos. Also, the pampas plover and the white rump sandpiper, Nearctic migratory plovers, species that breed in North America and that regularly migrate to the south during the non-breeding season.
Darwin's toad, reptiles, guazú-birá, mouse-tailed bat, and gill-head turtle also inhabit the area, and Austral Southern whale specimens are sighted during the migration season for reproduction
Laguna Garzón Bridge
In former days, the crossing by the Laguna Garzón, from Rocha to Maldonado and vice versa, was carried out by raft, until December 2015, when the Laguna Garzón Bridge was inaugurated, a conciliatory and totally novel architectural wonder. Ring-shaped structure supported by a series of columns, allows the free flow of changes in the lagoon and also the use of boats, a typical element of the place.
How to get there?
Through Rocha: taking route 9, at the height of km 188, the road to reach the Laguna Garzón is indicated. You must drive for 40 minutes until you reach the crossroad with Route 10, there turning to the right until you reach the Laguna Garzón Bridge. You can also access by El Caracol, Costa Bonita and El Bonete resorts.
- Take your camera and binoculars.
- Respect the area, it is forbidden to perform water sports with motor, cut the native bush, camping, hunting, setting fire and driving vehicles through the dunes.
- Sport fishing is allowed, but it is not advisable to do it on the bar area (near the ocean).