The name of Minas is derived from its former meaning as a mining town. What is left is a large concrete production plant and mine to the west of the city.
Buses are available from Montevideo as well as from various cities in eastern Uruguay.
In the city
- 1 Casa de la Cultura, Juan Antonio Lavalleja 572, corner of José Enrique Rodó, ☎ . Location of several museums. This was the original home of Juan Antonio Lavalleja, who participated in the Uruguayan war of independence against the Empire of Brazil. Also includes exhibits on the musicians Eduardo Fabini and Juan José Morosoli, on the first inhabitants of the city in the 18th and 19th centuries, and on gauchos (South American cowboys, an important part of Uruguayan national identity), among others.
- 2 Catedral de la Inmaculada Concepción de Minas, José Enrique Rodó esquina Callejón Alfredo Vidal y Fuentes. The headquarters of the Diocese of Minas. The current neoclassical building opened in 1892. It was preceded by two others, the first opened in the late 1700s and the other in 1845. It is located on a wide street, across from the main plaza.
- 3 Museo de Réplicas en Miniaturas, Carabajal 320, Minas, ☎ , . A miniature museum of a local artist with even a miniature model of the local museum building (and its tower) at Juan Farina street.
- 4 Plaza Libertad, between Roosevelt, 25 de Mayo, Treinta y Tres, and Domingo Pérez. In the middle of the plaza is a monument to General Juan Antonio Lavalleja, a bronze equestrian statue unveiled in 1902.
- 5 Teatro Lavalleja (Lavalleja Theater), Batlle 715, between Sarandí and Florencio Sánchez. Opened in 1909 and built in an eclectic style with a bare brick front by the architect Cayetano Buigas y Monravá. In 1992 it became the location of the Museum of Humor and Comics (Museo del Humor y la Historieta), and since 1995 it has been the venue for the annual Morosoli Prize.
- 6 Cerro Arequita (near Minas). A famous hill with caves. Nearby is the Isla de Ombues which is the largest group of giant Ombu trees in the world. Private Property: U$200.
- 7 Salus Reserve (Parque Salus, Reserva Salus), Ruta 8 km 109,5 (to the east of the city). A nature reserve belonging to the bottled water company Salus. It comprises 1300 hectares of hills, forest, scrubland, and meadows, including the famous Fuente del Puma. Includes numerous wild species of native flora and fauna.
- 8 Valle del Hilo de la Vida. Another nearby attraction with precolumbian tumuli.
- 9 Virgen Del Verdun. 08:00-20:00. A beautiful and very sacred place with an impressive monument at the top of a 325 m high hill. In addition, great views of Minas and the surrounding area. Busiest on April 19th, for the Patron of Uruguay.
The Minas area is famous for alfajores, sandwich cookies with dulce de leche filling. You can find alfajores anywhere in Uruguay, but the ones made around here are said to be the best. They're very very sweet.
- 1 Hostel De La Rivera, 380, Ituzaingó (south of Plaza Rivera), ☎ . Check-in: 14:00, check-out: 12:00. Decent hostel with dorms and doubles, and including breakfast for an unbeatable rate, when reserved directly. Lockers, living area, AC, though no stoves but just a microwave and water heater. Dorm: U$400 walk-in rate incl. breakfast.