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Laguna Negra - Other Activity Punta del Diablo - Uruguay

When you want to get away from everyone and everything, even in the busiest heights of summer, a visit to Laguna Negra (Black Lagoon) is ideal. Only a short bus trip from Punta del Diablo to the entrance, it is perhaps the lack of public transport on the 5 kilometers (3.1 mi) from the entrance to the laguna itself that has resulted in its underuse. Make the most of this while it lasts.

A fresh water lake of 182 square kilometers (70.3 sq mi), never greater than five meters (16 ft) deep and with trees sprouting from the many sporadic rocks in the water, the laguna is a spot that is in equal measures beautiful and peaceful. The area supports plentiful wetland birdlife to fascinate the enthusiast, as well as a handful of venomous (but, thankfully, shy) snakes on the land. The most pleasant thing to do is allow a few hours here, bringing a picnic and your swimsuit, and spend time lounging on the giant rocks, dipping in the clean lake and listening to the sounds of nature in the marshes and bushes. It is also possible to fish or take a stroll through the cow-filled fields. The lake is particularly popular with couples seeking a romantic escape for the afternoon and with young families. Be sure to bring sunscreen as there is no shade, as well as toilet paper and a bag to take it home in; there are no facilities. Camping is not allowed.

If you are visiting between September and May, you can also choose to take a 30-minute boat trip on the lake with a guide who will knowledgeably talk to you about the flora and fauna. To organize this, find the sign for the muelle (port), which is about 4 kilometers(2.5 mi) from the laguna entrance; the trip is a very reasonable $4 per person. The port (a small red hut on boardwalk, staffed by the guide) also has a bar selling a selection of cold drinks and snacks.

Occasional guided tours from Punta del Diablo are available, such as a daytrip held weekly through El Diablo Tranquilo hostel. However, you may find that although these benefit from making the transport simpler, the big groups take away from the peace that you would otherwise experience.

Punta del Diablo, Uruguay

Other Activity Types:
Natural park

Getting There

To get to and from Laguna Negra from Punta del Diablo, take any bus heading to Chuy and get off at the entrance to Parque Nacional de Santa Teresa ($1.75, 10 min); the entrance to the laguna is on the opposite side of the road. It is then a 5-kilometer (3.1-mi) walk to the lagoon, a thought which puts many people off, but it is very easy to hitch-hike in summer. Alternatively, you can drive from Punta del Diablo, take a taxi, or hire a bike or motorbike; it is a straightforward 12-kilometer (7.5-mi) journey.

Relative price: Free

Travel Skills: beginner/easy.

Here are other activities in and around Punta del Diablo that may be of interest: Paseo Del Rivero, Cerro Verde And Karumbe, Santa Teresa National Park and Fortaleza Santa Teresa and The Beaches Of Playa De La Viuda, Playa Del Rivero And Playa De Los Pescadores.

By Emma Jones

Emma Jones, 30, is from London, and recently spent nine months enjoying travelling and writing in South America.�Her favourite...

03 Jan 2012

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