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Fray Marcos is a little Uruguayan town in the department of Florida, in the Central Interior. Home to 2,400 inhabitants (2011), it is well known for its many economic activities and its camping site.



It is in the south-east of the department, by the banks of the Santa Lucía River. It is 56 km away from the capital city of the department (Florida).


The town's origins date back to 1888, with the creation of a railway that connected Montevideo to Nico Pérez, in the lands of Ramón Latorre. This man gave his lands to the train company under the condition that the station had to have his name. The town was known by its inhabitants as Paso de Fray Marcos, a name that honored a churchman who drowned there. The origin of this name is not historically confirmed, since there are no documents to prove it.

The train station's name was changed after Ramon Latorre's death, beginning to be known as Estación Fray Marcos. In 1913 the church and the flour mill were created, which permitted the development of the town, providing many job positions. In 1919 the location was officially declared a village. In 1943 the public school was founded by Dr. Ciro Giambruno, who was the Minister of Public Instruction and Social Welfare. He also donated the lands for the construction of the police station and the state clinic. It is because of all these actions that the main street of the town and the school carry his name. In 1956, Fray Marcos was declared a town. A tornado hit the town in 1970, killing eleven people. It was considered one of the biggest tornadoes of the country.

Nowadays, the town is economically important, full of different businesses and activities. There is a wool processing factory, a candy factory, plenty of poultry and tomato plantations, etc. An industrial park is on the outskirts of town.


It is necessary to bring a tent in order to camp. Also, sunblock and insect repellent are essential items to achieve a full enjoyment of the place.

Get in[edit]

There is only one practical way to get to Fray Marcos, and it is by bus. There are different bus companies that leave from Montevideo and go to the town, so timetables are not a problem. Since it is not so far from the capital department, prices are not expensive, and the town can be approached in approximately an hour and a half.

Get around[edit]

Being a very small town, Fray Marcos does not have any kind of public transportation, but you can easily get anywhere on foot. All the important stores are on the main street, the same as the square and the school. The church is not near any of these, but it is easy to get there too.


  • River: Surrounded by nature, it is the perfect place for ecotourists who enjoy staying in a natural place instead of a hotel. It is a popular place during summertime, when people from different locations arrive to spend time with their family or friends. It has a bathing zone, which is perfect not only for adults but for children too. During the summer, lifeguards take care of the coast. It is approximately 2 km away from the center of the town, which makes it easy to get there. During summer, a bar operates there, where you can buy food or drinks during the day and go dancing at night, since they throw theme parties. It is the perfect attraction for those who enjoy nature and tranquility.
  • Main Square: Situated on the main street. It is a very nice place, with a picturesque fountain, and plenty of benches and green spots to sit with friends or family.
  • Sports square: The perfect place for children. This square has three different sports areas (for football, basketball, tennis and volleyball) and plenty of games for kids.
  • The Stadium: About 1 km away from the center of the town there is a stadium, which is small but a popular place during championships, when teams of the surrounding cities go to play against the local teams of Fray Marcos.


  • Carnival: If you visit Fray Marcos during carnival, you will be able to watch spectacular parades and performances by the different neighbourhoods of the town. There are also plenty of sports competitions. It is possible to participate in the parades.



  • Casa Vieja: A very nice place with good service and excellent dishes. It is possible to eat either inside or outside.
  • El Parador: located on the route, it is the perfect place for those who are camping, since it is the nearest place to eat.
  • La Fuente: A pizza place, which also works as a bakery. Located on the main street, it is the easiest place to get to when strolling in the center of town.


  • El Comensal: The epitome of nightlife in Fray Marcos, where you can eat or drink. It's popular among teenagers and young adults, being the only place for gathering at night. It offers a variety of dishes and drinks, good music and excellent service.
  • There are also three other bars, where people can go to drink, play pool or cards and watch football.



Located by the river, the campsite of Fray Marcos is the perfect place to stay for tourists who enjoy nature. There are several grills and benches in different spots so you can camp next to them. It is approximately 2 km away from the center of the town.

During summertime, a bar provides food and drinks to people camping there.


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