Population: 63.000 hab.
Area: 10.148 km2
Population density: 6,1 hab./km2
The city of Minas, the departmental capital of Lavalleja, is located between the hills of Minas and Carapé. The area is characterized by a landscape of rolling hills, which together with the green vegetation, rich flora and fauna comprise an idyllic environment for physical and spiritual enjoyment. Fishing, hunting, hang gliding, rafting and sailing down the rivers and lagoons are part of the diverse tourist range of activities in this unique area in South America.
The city, with 40,000 inhabitants today, was designed strictly following the Laws of the Indies, and its construction was possible thanks to the work of crown officials and the help of the Tapes Indians, who provided their unique charm. The main wealth of the department of Lavalleja is agriculture, in addition to a significant exploitation of minerals such as dolomite, lime, marble, copper, stone laja and limestone. Mineral water, product of its various natural springs, and wood, from the great areas of land dedicated to forestry, also play a major role in the department.
Located between Penitente and Marmarajá creeks, this Vila is a magic place, not only for its location but also for its particular urbanization.
Little stone streets around the hills, coming up and down between wood cabins and houses built with native materials, inviting to walk around, ride on bikes or horses discovering the place’s charm.
Projected and built in 1945 by the architect Julio Vilamajó as a place for rest in an european way, it looks like a picture covered with the green of it vegetation, the orange of its roads and the funny colours of its houses.
You can visit the lake (ideal for fishing) and the “Ventorrillo de la Buena Vista” restaurant, a true symbol of the area.
You can find accommodation in houses for rent, hotels and camping sites, as well as nice gastronomic proposals.
There are two main roads to access from Route 8, on the km. 139,5 and the km. 145 (reccommended).
Parque Salus (Park)
Located at kilometer 109,500 of route 8, 10 kilometers from Minas, comprises a forest full of coronillas (scutia buxifolia), myrtles and pine trees that provide an ideal shade for hiking. The ferns and rose bushes also play a major role on the road.
Cerro Arequita (Arequita’s Hill)
This hill of granite of volcanic origin, 230 meters high constitutes a site you cannot miss. It has a spacious cave, the Colon Cave, surrounded by an indigenous forest that arouses the interest of tourists from all over the world.
Salto del Penitente (Penitent’s Waterfall)
Located 25 kilometers from the city of Minas, this more than 20-meter-high waterfall offers an ideal environment to hold a picnic amidst a beautiful natural landscape.
Source: Ministry of Tourism