The Laguna Merín (Merín Lagoon) is linked by the San Gonzalo River to the Laguna de los Patos (Brazil) through which it has access to the sea. Its basin is about 62,250 km2, 33,000 belonging to Uruguay; its banks are generally low and its waters are used to flood rice crops nearby.
Although its name means "small", derived from the Tupi-Guarani word "MI'RI", it is a mirror of water of approximately 4,500 km2, with more than 120 km of coasts only in Uruguay. With a total length of approximately 200 km and an average width of 35 km, Laguna Merín is one of the largest freshwater reserves in the world and an ecological treasure that we should all know and care for.
Tourism, sports and beach
The Laguna Merín has an enormous tourist and sports potential. Almost its entire coastline is made up of clean, shallow, sandy beaches, which create the ideal conditions for family enjoyment during the summer months. Sports fishing lovers will find a great variety of fish of good size, of which the pejerreyes/greater silver stand out in winter, los pintados in large schools from September, the wolf fish in summer and several types of catfish throughout the year.
The extensive beaches, added to the natural forest and hundreds of square kilometers of impenetrable marshes and wetlands that surround it, create the environment leading to the life of many wild animals and where hundreds of types of birds coexist, feature that would delight any ornithologist, or amateur ecotourism.
The lagoon is extremely favorable for water sports, especially those related to sailing, since the wind is constant almost every day of the year.