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Gay Montevideo

Montevideo Art Museums:

The Montevideo Cabildo, the colonial seat of government during the Viceroyalty of the Río de la Plata and built between 1804 and 1869, is located in Constitution Square, Ciudad Vieja. The Municipal Historic Museum and Archive was inaugurated here in 1958, featuring three permanent city museum exhibitions, temporary art exhibitions, cultural events, seminars, symposiums and forums.

The Palacio Taranco at Plaza Zabala, Ciudad Vieja, built in the early 20th century as the residence of the Ortiz Taranco brothers on the ruins of Montevideo's first theatre (1793) was designed by French architects Charles Louis Girault and Jules Chifflot León (Petit Palais and the Arc de Triomphe, Paris). It passed to the city in 1943, along with its collection of furniture and draperies, and in 1972 became the Museum of Decorative Arts of Montevideo, with collections of European paintings and decorative arts, ancient Greek and Roman art, and 10th-18th century Persian ceramics.

The National Museum of National History with exhibits about Uruguayan history, is located in eight historical houses, five of which are in Ciudad Vieja.

Museo Municipal de Bellas Artes Juan Manuel Blanes, Fine Arts Museum, Argentinian/ Latin American artists, Japanese Garden.

Museo Romantico - Casa de Antonio Montero, permanent exhibition of paintings, clothing and furniture from the romantic period; also national and international archive of newspapers, magazines and microfilms. Built in 1831 by José Toribio, for the merchant Antonio Montero, with neoclassical façade around a large open courtyard.

Museo Historia Del Arte MuHAr in the Palacio Municipal, featuring replicas of ancient monuments, plus artifacts from Egypt, Mesopotamia, Persia, Greece, Rome and Native American cultures.

The Museo Torres García in Ciudad Vieja exhibits unusual portraits by Joaquín Torres García, historical icons and cubist paintings similar to those of Picasso and Braque. Established by Manolita Piña Torres, the widow of the artist, who also set up the García Torres Foundation.

Other important art museums include: The Museo Nacional de Artes Visuales in Parque Rodó, with Uruguay's largest collection of paintings; The Museo Municipal Precolombino y Colonial, in Ciudad Vieja, pre-Columbian art of Latin America, from excavations carried out by archaeologist Antonio Taddei, with 17th and 18th century paintings and sculpture, mostly from Mexico, Peru and Brazil; and the small Espacio De Arte Contemporaneo, with exhibits of modern Uruguayan painting and sculpture.
Montevideo Parks:

Parque Batlle, named in honour of José Batlle y Ordóñez, President of Uruguay 1911-1915, was proposed by an Act of March 1907. French landscape architect, Carlos Thays, began plantings in 1911. In 1918, the park was named Parque de los Aliados, following the victory of the Allies of World War I. In 1930, after significant expansion, it was again renamed as Parque Batlle y Ordóñez, in memory of the president who died in 1929. Covering 60 hectares (150 acres) it is considered the "lungs" of Montevideo city, due to the large number of trees planted here.


Parque Prado in the northern part of the city, established in 1873, is the largest of Montevideo's six main public parks at 1.06 square-kilometres (260 acres). Features include: Miguelete Creek which flows through the park, with several jogging paths; the Rosedal public rose garden with four pergolas, eight domes, and a fountain; The Professor Atilio Lombardo Museum and Botanical Gardens; the Hotel del Prado; and the Rural del Prado cattle and farm animal fairground. The Presidential Residence is located behind the Botanical Gardens and the Juan Manuel Blanes Museum is in the Palladian Villa National Heritage Site. The National Institute of Physical Climatology and Observatory are also in the Prado.


Parque Rodó is mostly in Punta Carretas, not the neighbourhood with the same name. José Enrique Rodó, the Uruguayan writer after whom it is named, has a monument in the south side of the park. Conceived as a French-style city park, Parque Rodó includes the Estadio Luis Franzini amusement park; the Teatro de Verano (summer theatre) and the Lago del Parque Rodó (lake). The National Museum of Visual Arts is on the east side with a popular street market each Sunday. Another lake on the north side features a small castle with a children's library. To the west there are open-air photography exhibitions. Ramirez Beach is across Rambla Presidente Wilson coastal road, west of the park. Also to the west, in Barrio Parque Rodó barrio, the former Parque Hotel, is now the Edifício Mercosur, the headquarters building for the Mercosur group of nations.

Montevideo to Punta del Este Beaches, and Beyond:

Montevideo’s powdery white sand river beaches include: Playa Ramírez at Parque Rodó with amusement parks, shallow waters and the El Morrito fish and chip stand; Playa Pocitos, long and wide with good swimming and food stands; Playa Malvín, wide and flat with kite-surfing and restaurant; Playa de los Ingleses; Punta Gorda with sailing, wind-surfing, boat/ board rentals, and restaurant with terrace; and Carrasco, long with very few people.

An hour further east, the sleepy resort town of Atlantida has wide, white pine tree-lined sands, deserted except in high season - but even then less frenetic than other stretches of this coast, with little night-life apart from a few restaurants. Cottages are typically rented by the week.

Piriapolis, a charming resort town an hour from Montevideo, is home to the Art-Deco Hotel Argentino Casino Resort, South America’s largest/ most glamorous resort during the 1920s. A chairlift goes to the top of San Antonio Hill for panoramic views of the bay. Another 5km brings you to Punta Colorada, with a beautiful beach and powerful Atlantic Ocean surf.

After another half hour drive, Punta del Este, is a popular/ famous resort with two long beaches, the Brava and the Mansa, backed by high-rise hotels and condos, with mostly Argentinian and Brazilian visitors in summer season. Punta Pride takes place here in February - three days of LGBTQ Pride/ summertime fun at the beach, music, food, parties, design and the arts. There were events last year at Club Soho Punta del Este, and OVO Beach Club, La Mansa Beach.

Between Punta Colorado and Punta del Este the gay-popular and naturalist Chihuahua Beach is at the mouth of El Potrero, a beautiful lagoon ecosystem of birds, and trails through forests of pine. The nearby men-only Undarius Hotel has 10 rentals around a clothing-optional pool. The mixed El Refugio nudist hotel has 6 beachside rooms, pool, and cafe. Hotel Playa Chihuahua has 4 rooms and Posada Chihuahua has gay-friendly apartments and cabins on the beach.

Further out, 4 hours from Montevideo, are the wilder beaches at Rocha. Punta del Diablo, 40km from Brazil, is a fishing town of dirt roads, brightly-painted cabins and unspoiled beaches. Once a backpacker/ hippie haven, now home to crafts people who do a summer fair, with seasonal night spots and a wide range of accommodations, it's busiest from Christmas through the month of January. Otherwise the 10 kilometres of coastline beaches are quite deserted. Playa de los Pescadores and Playa de Rivero are closest to town center and fresh fish are sold from stands at the end of main street. Playa de la Viuda and Playa Rivero are popular with surfers. Playa Grande has a whale-watching point at the edge of Santa Teresa national park. Click below for lodgings, restaurants and transit info: