Uruguay’s Rocha province hopes nature, food will draw tourists

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The eastern Uruguayan province of Rocha is touting its broad gastronomical and nature offerings, its five protected areas and numerous beaches and lakes, with the aim of attracting domestic and foreign tourists during the Southern Hemisphere’s summer.

Rocha Gov. Anibal Pereyra discussed the province’s plans during the Saturday event launching the local tourist season held at a hotel in the seaside resort town of La Coronilla, one of the province’s coastal jewels along with Cerro Verde, which offers views of the coastline from granite rock outcroppings and wind-sculpted rock formations.

“Today, once again, we’re opening our doors, our hearts, so that Rocha remains a strong (tourism) candidate ... Some of its greatest strengths are its natural offerings, ... and year to year we’re emphasizing improving (tourism) services,” Pereyra said.


He said that one of the province’s key challenges is to maintain the balance between the local natural “beauty” and catering to tourists and providing them with an enjoyable spot to relax.

Rocha also offers “youth, family, historic and shopping tourism, which is the border with Brazil,” Pereyra said, adding that all these activities should be harmonized into a single effort, namely seeking to make the province a tourist destination throughout the year.

Provincial tourism director Ana Caram told EFE that the Islas Corolinas and Cerro Verde were selected as the site to kick off the tourist season because it’s a tourist area that remains to be “discovered,” and she emphasized that the culinary delights in the region including fish and other seafood, along with rice and “butia” fruit from local palm trees, which is used in preparing assorted dishes and drinks.

About 60 percent of the tourists who visit Rocha are Uruguayans, but Caram said that Argentines and Brazilians also constitute an important portion of the visitors.