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*Piriapolis, like Punta del Este, is a beach resort and active between December and March. Crowds and prices drop dramatically in the low season. If you do not care for the beach there is still plenty to see. The first order of business is to go to the top of "San Antonio", the city's main hill. (
*Another hill, not so prominent but a nice day walk nonetheless, is "Cerro del Toro" (Bull's Hill). It is on the outskirts but still less than 3 miles from the coast to the top. This is mostly a picnic area but a must of local custom. Do not forget to take a picture at the bull's statute, as this will almost certify you as a true local. Trail head behind the Fuenta del Toro (S34.865653,W55.257560)
*Piriapolis was developed by Mr. Francisco Piria (hence the name) and you probably guess that the best house in Piriapolis belongs to the founder. Well, it does. It is called Castillo de Piria (Piria's Castle), whether you look at it as a big house or a small castle, it is still a must-see. Ninety nine percent of the locals have probably never set foot in it but this is a local historical gem, so take route 37 north (the road on the left of the casino) for about 4 miles and it is situated on the right. (S34.828598,W55.251671) Please check with the tourist office (next to the casino/hotel) for opening times (TU-SU 10:00-17:00) and available guided tours.
*If you visited the Castle and the Preserve you (hopefully) noticed the Cerro Pan de Azucar (Sugar Bread Hill) a massive granite formation with a large cross on top of it. The cross has a spiral stairwell in it that you can climb, but first you have to get to the top of the hill. The walk to the top is through a clearly marked trail (yellow arrows) and takes about 2 hours each way. It is not Mount Everest but is is a good idea to take some water, sun screen, rain gear and suitable shoes/boots. Check with the Preserve guards for access times and other conditions. Trail head (S34.815485,W55.255794) - through the Preserve car park and up the hill.
*After these five classic tours you still have to eat and drink. Try the brick oven pizza, chivitos (thinly sliced meat sandwiches) and local beer available at any of the seaside restaurants. You can try your luck at the casino or just stay up all night at one of the local discos. By the way, the discos open at around 11 pm but nobody would dream of showing up that early - 1 am would be just about right. If you are not the disco type, just prepare some mate and walk around town and enjoy the crowds and the South Atlantic breeze.
*Take the cable car to the top of San Antonio hill (the old name was hill of the English)...wow what views. (