Capital: San Jose de Mayo.
Surface: 4.992 km2.
Distance from Montevideo: 93 km
Not for being a destination little known inside the traditional circuit of the Tourism in Uruguay a visit stops being interesting for the department of San Jose. The best way of knowing the city of San Jose de Mayo, is to begin for the principal square “33 Orientales”. In the center there is a Historical Monument: the pyramid to the Paz de Abril, inaugurated in the year 1873. The marble base, with 4 staircases and 4 lions supporting 1 shield each one, already turns out to be spent of so many generations of maragatos (this way they are named the native ones to San Jose) that climbed up to them.
Opposite to the principal square there is the Basilica Cathedral of San Jose, a wonderful architectural work of ends of the 19th century, with his biggest spectacular altar (work of the Catalan sculptor Domingo Mora), the impressive columns of marble of Carrara, the fresh air work of the Italian painter Lino Dinetti, the crystal chandeliers of Murano and his least famous Swiss clock put in functioning on August 25, 1900 that still works perfectly. There to are listened from any point of the city the strokes that, from the church, they mark the hours punctually.
On having surrounded the square, you go up to the Theater Macció. It is easy to visit it, since it has a big cultural activity and opens his doors habitually. In the Office of Tourism that is along with the Theater, they inform you in detail about activities, hourly, as well as the necessary information to cover the city.
And up you can to be useful to take you a souvenir, of the permanent sample of craftsmen maragatos who exhibit there his works.
It is not necessary to move away very much, because at the corner of the Church you can to take the pedestrian Assembly. It is a commercial zone, but in the center of the street, to twenty steps of the source, almost as to the oversight there rests a sculpture of scrap of Hugo Nantes (famous local contemporary artist), so strange as interesting, especially for those who do not know his work.
By the way: the workshop of the painter / sculptor Nantes is usually visited to be able to appreciate his paintings and sculptures, but there are still others opencast: in addition to the sculpture of the pedestrian one, there are his work the tiles of the banks of the square “33 Orientales”. In the environment to the square also there is a small quantity of restaurants and pizzerias where to have lunch to the step although if you go with time and with car you can to find good gastronomy going out of San Jose along Route 3.
When you move away from the square you can go per May 25 up to the Fifth one of the Oven, a large old house of typical summer holiday of one of the patrician families of San Jose (family Larriera), of the 19th century.
It is opened for the public and there can be visited free the elegant and elegant gardens and part of the interior of the farm. Then, continuing per May 25 street, you arrive to the Route 3 and you can 2 options: or you turn to the right hand to visit the “Chopped of Varela” in the km 95 of the Route 3, or you can turn to the left side and to know the Park Rodó.
If you prefer the “Chopped of Varela” you are waited by a scenery of mount and beach, on the river San Jose, a place much visited by the families maragatas to flee of the heat city dwellers. During the summer, also, a state-run hotel works with swimming pool. If the day is pleasant, the second option, the Park Rodó is an ideal place to go with children, since there is an elegant and prolix zoo, recreative games for children and ponds with ducks and tents, a perfect place to go of picnic, with area of quinchos and broiler, a romantic walk for lovers, for wooded and solitary footpaths, a place for fanatics of the speed, since there are careers of motorbikes and go-carts in the karting tracks Luis Pedro Serra (capital of the karting of the Mercosur). Sport and life cures, with aerobic footpaths, courts of tennis, padel and football. A place for all where it is possible to happen well a little bit or the whole day.
Inside the city also there are other historical monuments of interest, like the First Monument to Artigas erected in the country (1894), of 14 meters high, on a mass of granite of 7 tons. The design of this monument was entrusted to Juan Luis Blanes who died to a little time leaving the end of the sketches in hands of his father, the painter Juan Manuel Blanes. To come we walk along the pedestrian one and continue 4 more streets.
Surroundings San Jose de Mayo
If you like enjoying the nature, you can not to get lost the mountain range of Mahoma, in the Route 23 km 26. The only place so called sea of stone for the villagers, 20 square km from rural, ideal area for trekking, with rocky capricious formations of appearance (the turtle, the plane, the sphere, etc.). You can visit every day (and the 25 of every month the entry is free). If you like the adventure, forced visit.
And for those who look for sand and sea, the chain of spas on the Rio de la Plata offers you from serene beaches of white sand as Boca del Cufré, where it is possible to enjoy the navigation for the creek Cufré, so much for sports fishing as to practise nautical activities, (101 of Route 1 goes over from the km and there are 17 km and a half from an excellent way of ballast). Also imposing hills with safe puttings of the sun in Kiyú (it is possible to enter the km 61 of Route 1 and cover 14 km for an impeccable way), or places as Beach Penino (scarcely leaving behind the bridge on the river Saint Lucia) where there meet regularly the fans of the observation of birds.
Finally, if you allowed yourself to catch for San Jose, can include in your agend some establishment of agroturism of which we list you here, always reserving in advance. An extensive menu of options wherefrom choosing, at only an hour of Montevideo.
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