Durazno is a city in the Central Interior region of Uruguay. Founded in 1821, it is the capital of Durazno Department and has a population of about 35,000. The center of Durazno feels like the small city that it is, with shops, restaurants, and historic buildings—but you don't have to walk far to feel like you're out in the country, with chickens squabbling and horses walking over to say hello.
Durazno started as a river crossing, located where Uruguay Route 5 crosses the Yí River (pronounced like "she"). The city's name, which means "peach" in Spanish, is said to come from a peach tree that was once located at the crossing.
The first president of Uruguay Fructuoso Rivera intended to move the capital of the country from Montevideo to this city. His house at the center of town is now a museum.
There are buses between Durazno and Montevideo with departures all day long. Expect to pay U$300–400 each way. The trip takes about two and a half hours each way.
Intercity bus service is provided by Nossar, Núñez, Turismar, and Agencia Central. Nossar in particular offers service from a variety of destinations, including international service three times a week from Buenos Aires.
You can just walk around, it's a small city. There are taxis waiting at the bus terminal though. You can also call a taxi at ☏or ☏ .
The central Plaza Independencia, between Oribe, Rivera, Batlle, and Piriz, is an important landmark.
- 1 Museo Histórico (Casa de Rivera), Manuel Oribe 775 (next to the Plaza Independencia). Tu–F 09:00–19:00, Sa Su 09:00–15:00. The regional museum with rooms about Uruguayan archaeology (including prehistoric artifacts), local history and Gaucho art, located in a historic building. Free.
- 2 Museo de Arte (Casa de la Cultura), Penza 719. Art museum in a historic building.
- Sports museum, Gral. Manuel Oribe, near the plaza. Only if you are very interested, it's far from a spectacular museum.
- 3 Iglesia San Pedro de Durazno, next to the Plaza Independencia. A church by famous architect Eladio Diesde. Nothing to make a special trip for, but the brick interior is architecturally interesting.
- 4 Playa El Sauzal (Easier to get to by car than on foot; go north on Dr. E. Penza). Sandy beach on the River Yí.
- 5 Monument to Christopher Columbus, Plaza Independencia. A 14-meter column unveiled in 1892 for the 400th anniversary of Columbus's voyage. On top of it is a spherical time capsule which was filled in 1892 and opened 100 years later, in 1992. Then the city's inhabitants replaced its contents with new messages, to be read in 2092!
- 6 Monumento al Tamboril, corner of Larrañaga and Morquio. A monument to the tabor (tamboril), a type of drum—the only such monument in the world!
For most of the year, there's not all that much to do in Durazno. The exception is when there's a large event in town.
- Pop music festival, (annually in January).
- Mes de Durazno (Durazno Month). Celebrated every October to commemorate the founding of the city. Come to the parks and plazas, including 7 Parque de la Hispanidad, to see celebrations and folklore.
- Durazno Rock, Parque de la Hispanidad. A big rock festival held in October. The first one, years ago, was like the Woodstock of Uruguay—so unexpectedly big that people were renting out their backyards for concertgoers to camp in. Free.
Durazno's tortas fritas are known for being the largest in Uruguay.
There are various restaurants on Gral. Manuel Oribe and around the various plazas.
- 1 Pan y Vino, in the same building as the bus terminal, ☏ . A popular place.
- 2 La Farola, 18 de Julio 412, ☏ . Pizza and other typical Uruguayan food, with nostalgic decorations. Stays open later than most restaurants in town—usually until sometime around midnight, give or take, depending on how much traffic they're getting.
Two bars in Gral. Manuel Oribe, near the bus terminal. Gets crowded around 01:00-02:00 Fridays and Saturdays.
- 1 Sorocabana, 18 de Julio 452, ☏ . 10:00–03:00. A quiet café that still has the original chairs and marble-topped tables dating back to its establishment in 1942. Formerly part of a chain, the Durazno location is the only one in the country that's still open.
- 1 Camping "33 Orientales" (Go north on Dr. E. Penza and turn left under the big sign with the campground's name). A nice, quiet campground in the woods, next to Playa El Sauzal by the River Yí.
- 2 Hotel Central, Manuel Oribe 699 esq. Monseñor Arrospide, ☏ , ✉ email@example.com. Check-in: 11:00, check-out: 10:00. Singles for U$1200, doubles for U$1880, and triples for U$2450.
- 3 Hotel Santa Cristina, Ruta 5 km 178, ☏ , ✉ firstname.lastname@example.org. Beautiful, if a bit far from the main part of the city.
Free public wifi is available at the Plaza Independencia. Look for the network "Ceibal".
- Gruta del Palacio