Isla Gorriti: an unmissable boat ride.
The island welcomes its visitors with an embrace of rocks and pine trees. After a few first steps (vehicles cannot enter, so the walk is always on foot), the first sign appears indicating where the beach and the picnic area are. Behind, is the house of the island caretakers, at the moment without guests.
"We are in the process of changing because the man who lived here retired and his wife retires in September, so we are going to bring a new couple," explained Fernando Servetto, director of Urban Cleaning of the Maldonado Municipality.
In addition to the caregivers, there are staff who work in the island maintenance and who also lives in the place, but in another house. There are eight people who are there throughout the year, but the eight are not always there because they rotate their days off.
Outside of them, no one can stay to sleep on the island. Yes, you can go to the beach, eat at the hostel, have picnics, walk among nature and discover the historical heritage. And many people do it: "More than a thousand people are passing by every day, including people from Maldonado who don't know the island," Servetto said. In fact, he was born in Maldonado and came to the place for the first time when he was 45 years old.
On the beach, several families and groups of friends enjoy sunbathing, bathing and rowing. As the afternoon approaches, more and more yachts arrive, anchoring close to the shore. From above, the sun leaves the sand super hot, and many take refuge in the hostel, where you can have lunch, have a cool drink or toast. Umbrellas and beach chairs are also for rent.
The parador is only open in summer, but you can go to the island throughout the year.
The forest is another great attraction. A pleasant air runs through the trees and silence makes itself felt with its presence. Many walk alone, others accompanied, always calm and unhurried.
Andrés Castro, one of the officials, said that there are people who arrive with great expectations, asking about the stores or other attractions, and sometimes they are disappointed when they see that the island is not that. In the same way, there are people who are amazed: "Here it is about appreciating nature and historical points," he said.
Currently, Gorriti Island is a nature reserve declared a national historical heritage, for this reason the construction of any type of building is not allowed. It is 1,7 km long and has 21 hectares.
Gorriti Island has two beaches, Puerto Jardín, on the north side, and Playa Honda on the west side. There you can take long walks along marked paths and visit the ruins considered national historical heritage.
In high season you can cross to Gorriti Island daily from 9:00 every 30 minutes from the Port of Punta del Este. (the rides are conditioned to the state of the weather). From the month of April and throughout the year the boats leave every 1 hour.
The time of the last return depends on the weather and the number of people who have gone to the island. the last return times are given in such a way that hassles and delays at the dock are avoided. the duration of the trip is 15 minutes.
The cost of the ticket is $350 (three hundred and fifty pesos) per person roundtrip (10usd). Children from 3 to 9 years old pay 250 pesos and children under 3 years old do not pay. If you come with a large group you can get discounts on the ticket price.
We recommend bringing chairs and an umbrella to spend the day. In high season there is a parador with all the services, although you can also bring your food and drink.
Departures to Gorriti Island are from the Port of Punta del Este every half hour. The Calypso company provides more information through the number 094 443 600 or Instagram @calypso.uy.
Fuente: El País