Parque del Plata, Uruguay
Uruguay’s Costa de Oro
Traveling east from Montevideo, you arrive in the Costa de Oro, Uruguay’s Gold Coast. Three beach towns, Atlántida, Las Toscas and Parque del Plata, comprise the most popular seaside resorts of the region. Meandering 10 minutes from the coastal resort town of Atlántida, the scenery begins to change. Not in an obvious way, but enough to make you notice. You arrive at the home of the Viapark Hotel, the beach resort town Parque del Plata.
A Family Vacation Spot
Welcome to Parque del Plata, whose name alludes to its wooded areas of pine, eucalyptus and acacia, and its location on the Uruguayan coast. Parque del Plata has a distinctly South American feel, which inspires those wishing to find the real Uruguay to step out of their cars and explore. You won’t find any high rises here, and Trump, thank goodness, has no plans to put one of his towers here. Come summer, December through March here in the Southern Hemisphere, this is a family vacation area, a place where Uruguayans can afford to spend their holidays. It also is a great base for exploring the coast of Uruguay, for tourists, budget travelers, and potential expats thinking about moving to Uruguay.
Surf, Swim and Fish
The community of Parque del Plata claims an enticing location between the Ruta Interbalnearia (the Inter-Resort highway) and the estuary of the Rio de la Plata, the River of Silver. A river which here is essentially the South Atlantic, except to oceanographers and geographers who mark the official Atlantic a short way further east at Punta del Este. Our salt-water beach with tides, waves, surfing, fishing, and nothing between you and another continent depending on which way you look out to sea, will have you agreeing that this is a true seashore experience. Solis Chico, an inlet from the Rio Plata, forms Parque del Plata’s eastern boundaries, and is a splendid water-sport and fishing venue. To the west a few minutes away is the slightly larger resort town of Atlántida, with its Casino and hypermarkets, just after the residential community of Las Toscas. Here in scenic Parque del Plata, giant dunes give way to white sandy beaches, creating a dreamy, mystical quality not found at the more over-developed resort towns. Hotel Viapark boasts a coveted location, directly across the street from the dunes.
Some come here for artistic inspiration. Tango composer, Astor Piazolla, had a vacation home in Parque del Plata. In 1968, he and the poet Horracio Ferrer spent the summer collaborating on a tango opera called Maria de Buenos Aires. Others arrive with cameras or paint boxes, eager to capture the glorious sunsets that characterize the area. A short drive or bus ride to Atlántida brings you to the one-time seaside home and love-nest of renowned Chilean author and poet Pablo Neruda, and the fascinating architecture of Atlántida’s La Planeta cruise ship-shaped hotel (now an apartment building), and El Aguila, the beachside home and studio shaped like an eagle’s beak.
Local Events and Businesses
Many people compare Uruguay to the United States during the Eisenhower era, and they mean it in a good way. Occasionally, you might spot someone driving by in a well-maintained vintage automobile. A few blocks from the Hotel Viapark sits an old-fashioned bowling alley, and a small fitness center. Twice a week, locals gather at the feria, the local market where they buy fresh fruits, vegetables, cheeses, clothing, jewelry, shoes and household items, all sold at reasonable prices. The main streets in town, only a block or two from the hotel, feature bakeries, restaurants, surf and watersports supplies, crafts, and more. A supermarket is a short stroll further, at the corner where the local and express buses go to Montevideo regularly day and night.
Are you a new immigrant to Uruguay, or considering Uruguay expat life? Meet other English-speaking residents, bilingual Uruguayans enjoying conversation in English, and people exploring Uruguay. On the first and third Thursday of every month, the Viapark Hotel hosts the Atlántida area English-speaking expat gathering. The event starts at 1:00pm, and the kitchen serves fast food made to order. At these gatherings, often with special menu items featuring local wines, meats, and home-made dishes. If you are thinking of moving to Uruguay, this is an excellent way to meet other expats, ask questions, and learn about the local lifestyle. If you find yourself craving the good old US cinema, Sunday evenings is movie night at the Viapark Hotel. The Hotel Viapark often hosts other mid-week recreational events for English speaking residents, guests, and expats.
Parque del Plata and the Viapark Hotel is the right spot for you
Whether Parque del Plata is your final destination, or just a stop along your travels east towards the larger resort cities of Piriápolis, Punta del Este, or further up the Uruguay coast to the Rocha seaside northeast towards Brazil, the Viapark Hotel is an ideal place to learn about life in Uruguay.