On the coast of the Atlantic Ocean in Rocha, Uruguay, is the Santa Teresa National Park, between the spas of Punta del Diablo and La Coronilla. Its access by route 9 km 302 will take you to an immense park of 3000 hectares of extension, of which 1400 are covered with forest, populated with more than 2 million exotic and native trees. A place where history and nature merge to offer an unforgettable walk.
Through self-guided trails you will discover areas of recreation, picnic, public walks, beaches, camping, bungalows, a semi-natural pool known as "El Chorro", an aviary and multiple services such as supermarket, restaurants, bakery, auto mechanics and a tyre shop, urgent medical and odontological service. In addition, a shaded house and a greenhouse complete a formidable vegetable collection among which stands out the magnificent rose garden, unique in Uruguay for the classification of its more than 300 varieties.
The entrance to the Santa Teresa National Park is free.
During high season (from December to March) the National Park can be visited for the day with free admission from 8 am to 8 pm.
Santa Teresa Fortress
The Fortaleza de Santa Teresa is one of the most visited attractions within the National Park, created for its protection. Construction in 1762 by the Portuguese, witness of numerous battles, invites you to take a trip to the past, going around inside where we can find the Comandancia building, the powder keg, the chapel, the guns in the arrowslits of the wall, a blacksmith shop , the infirmary, the place where the troops were housed ("cuadras"), tunnels that were emergency exits in times of war and the kitchen with replicas of instruments used in the eighteenth and nineteenth centuries. Also a museum with models of the different fortresses of Uruguay, a collection of weapons and blacksmithing.
Greenhouse, shaded house and rose garden
In the fabulous greenhouse, built in 1939, the tropical flora of the five continents predominates, built in granite and glass capsules, with a controlled heating and humidity system. A small aquarium with freshwater and saltwater species. Also two large ponds with multi-colored koi carps and a cacti that recreates a desert environment.
The shaded house, built in the same year, is a green space, full of vegetation, appropriate to encourage the growth and development of exotic tropical species from various parts of the world. The garden ponds give life to a collection of papyrus, water lilies and other aquatic plants. Next to it, the rose garden with its variety in species gives it unique characteristics in our country.
Laguna de Peña (Peña Lagoon)
Crossing some wooden paths, you can access a viewpoint in front of the Laguna de Peña, where the largest reserve of capybaras is found, where you can also see axis deer, guazubirá, otters, apereá among others, as well as a great variety of birds : chajá, white and black herons, redfish, etcetera.
Wild refuge: La Pajarera
The Pajarera, consisting of an aviary and a wildlife reserve, dedicated to the care of birds in danger of extinction, along with other species of mammals and reptiles. There the birds are assisted in their reproduction within the captivity, and then are returned to their natural environment.
In front of the aviary is the wetlands area, which invites you to walk along footbridges and hanging bridges, among waterfalls, playgrounds, seats and tables, where you can observe species in their habitat, in different sectors or free: capybaras, otters , wild boar, yacarés, deer, turtles, ducks, herons, peacocks, lizards, skunks, rheas and partridges among others.
Some animals roam freely among people, including several peacocks.
A stone construction surrounded by a splendid plant environment, which makes good use of the natural slopes to form a pool of natural water where you can take a bath on hot days. Near this area are the main services of the Park (bathrooms, supermarket and restaurant).
The Santa Teresa National Park has twelve kilometers of beaches that extend from Cerro Verde to Punta del Diablo. The extension of the Park offers infinity of paths and trails to go around. The enormous variety of trees and shrubs always presents new landscapes and environments to explore in tours and walks that often end in one of the four beaches: Playa Grande, which borders Punta del Diablo; Playa del Barco, the least crowded; Playa Achiras, very accessible and with good fishing and Playa la Moza, with one of the best waves for surfing in Uruguay.
Accommodation and services
The camping of Santa Teresa has a capacity of 1600 plots that can accommodate up to 10,000 people. There are rough plots or areas with light and water service. Although the entrance to the Park is free, those who wish to stay overnight must register as campers and pay the corresponding price.
Rental houses and carpicabañas (carp cottages)
Santa Teresa also has houses and carpicabañas for rent, some overlooking the sea, barbecue and parking space / garage closed. It is necessary to make reservations in advance. Contact.
The hostel within the Park offers two accommodation options: shared dormitories for ladies and gentlemen or accommodation for 2 people.
- It is not allowed to enter the area with animals or fireguns.
- It is forbidden to feed the animals of the wild refuge.