Population: 98.900 hab.
Area: 9.370 km2
Population density: 5,4 hab./km2
Rivera is a department of outstanding natural and cultural richness with great heritage and a privileged geographical location. Located at the source of the Cuñapirú river, the city grew around the Cerro del Marco (Marco hill), and is separated from Santa Ana do Livramento by just one street.
The capital is named in tribute to Colonel Bernarbé Rivera, while the department owes its name to Fructuoso Rivera, the first president of Uruguay. In all cases, its history is present in different places, historic sites, squares and museums that you should get to know. A visit to the department of Rivera is a true adventure between past culture and heritage and an outstanding commercial present. In the city, tourists can find a wide range of food, hotels and the best casinos in the region.
Rivera offers tourists modern duty free shops and shopping centers, whose main objective is to provide a comprehensive service, with ongoing promotions from the different international-quality companies based there. If you are looking for entertainment and fun, the excitement of slot machines and table games is another of the great attractions offered by the city. In Rivera, you can also enjoy a great variety of food, ranging from typical country cooking to the finest French cuisine.
Plaza Internacional. (International Square)
Created in 1943 during the Second World War, this is an international monument to world peace and the coexistence of people. The square, designed on a large border area, links the two cities and is visited daily by hundreds of tourists.
For football fans there is something unmissable in the city: the Atilio Paiva Olivera Stadium, one of the venues of the 1995 Copa America and important matches in the American Copa Libertadores.
Motorsport fans should pay attention to the agenda of the Municipal Autodrome near the Parque Gran Bretaña (Great Britain Park), in which important automobile activities and motorbike races take place.
Rivera offers tourists modern duty free shops and shopping centers, whose main objective is to provide a comprehensive service, with ongoing promotions from the different international-quality companies based there.
Enjoy the nightlife.
If you are looking for entertainment and fun, the excitement of slot machines and table games is another of the great attractions offered by the city.
Try the local food from the border.
Among all the charms of the leisure and tourism you can find in Rivera, you can also enjoy a great variety of food, ranging from typical country cooking and barbeques to the finest French cuisine.
Valle del Lunarejo (The Lunarejo Valley)
The Protected Lunarejo Valley Landscape is located in the extreme northwest of the department of Rivera, very close to Artigas and Salto and the border with Brazil. It is located in the northern part of the Cuchilla de Haedo system, which functions as a biological corridor for subtropical species of flora and fauna to enter Uruguayan territory from Brazil.
It is an area representative of the Quebradas del Norte or the Cuesta Basáltica, a region that is notable for having a landscape of great beauty, with scenic features which are unique in the country, characterized by hills with flat tops which border narrow valleys shaped by the courses of the water known as “quebradas” (Gorges).
The gorges are deep incisions notched into the basaltic rock, with steep slopes and reliefs, where caves, vertical surfaces and waterfalls converge and lush, subtropical jungle-type vegetation forms. The area possesses a great diversity of natural environments, including different types of grasslands, forests (hill, coastal, gorge), shrublands, rivers and creeks that provide shelter and food for many species of native fauna of great interest due to their rarity, distribution and abundance.
In terms of birds, at least 150 species have been recorded, many of which can only be spotted here, including the sharp-tailed grass tyrant, the Buff-necked ibis, the Cliff flycatcher, the Seriema, the Blue-winged macaw and the Broad-winged hawk. Among the amphibians we can highlight two rare species: the Montevideo tree frog and the Rivera Redbelly Toad; among the reptiles the Crotalus durissus —extinct in the south of the country— and among the mammals the Anteater, the Greater naked-tailed armadillo, the Margay, the South American coati, the Brazilian porcupine and the Gray brocket.
A harmonious interaction between nature and culture:
This landscape is the result of years of interaction between human activities –primarily for extensive grazing – and the natural environment; and this value is part of what we want to protect. In addition to the natural attributes, important historical and cultural values are added, closely linked to the characteristics of the territory.
The relief of the area played a strategic role in the Uruguayan and Rio Grande do Sul revolutions. In particular, the area surrounding the town of Masoller was the scene of the battle which marked the end of civil wars in the country in 1904, in which General Aparicio Saravia was mortally wounded. Even today it is possible to see well preserved stone constructions which played a significant role in these conflicts.
The Indian Cave Trail.
Following this path leads to a deep ravine in a private field, which requires authorization prior to entering, in front of the Subida de Pena. You can then make the descent to the Rubio Chico River. The total distance to be covered is 1900 meters, approximately 2 and a half hours of walking, with an average degree of difficulty.
The Boquerón hill trail.
This path, located in the center of the Lunarejo Valley, allows you to get to know the area and offers you an unparalleled view of the region. Located on private property, the up and down walk also has a camp site and bathrooms by the Lunarejo River. The path is around 1300 meters and takes about 1 hour and a half, with a low degree of difficulty.
The Paredones Trail.
Permanent, flowing water, wildlife watching, an area for bathing and panoramic views are some of the pleasures you can enjoy along this trail, on which it is advisable to walk with a nature guide. The path is around 1500 meters and takes around 2 hours, with an average degree of difficulty.
The Balcones de Lunarejo Trail.
A highly recommended trip is to travel to the high area of Lunarejo on horseback. The path also offers the possibility of walking down to a ravine area with a waterfall. The path is around 1400 meters and takes around 2 and a half hours, with an average degree of difficulty.
The De Los Helechos Trail.
From the historical setting of Masoller, walk downhill to the ravine with a natural pool in the headwaters of the Lunarejo River. The path is around 1400 meters and takes around 2 and a half hours, with an average degree of difficulty but with a very large reward: you can see large sized species of fern and a great diversity of birds.
Minas de Corrales (The Corrales Mines)
96 km from the city of Rivera and 60 km from the city of Tacuarembó, Minas de Corrales seduces visitors with its history, nature and some of its own traits.
The traditions of a rural village and its mining characteristics give it a unique identity. Locals on horseback and special vehicles of the mining company offer a picturesque contrast of tradition and modernity.
On the main Dr. Davison Avenue, along the length of the main strip, you can see many traces of mining activity in the area during the nineteenth century.
The beauty of the Miriñaque and Vigilante hills also catch the attention of visitors. At the top it is possible to see varieties of dwarf palm trees, unique to the region.
The San Gregorio Mine, just 5 km from the center of Minas de Corrales, is a must for those interested by the activity. It is the largest gold mining company in the country.
The galleries of old mining operations are found on the banks of the Corrales River. The cool humidity and the darkness of the environment allow you to imagine how hard life must have been for miners in the past.
Minas del Corrales also has the Museum of Gold, a space dedicated to exhibiting the gold extraction process and the history of its founder, Don Tito Pereira.
The Cuñapirú dam ruins.
An unusual endeavor for this country, with construction beginning in 1866 driven by the Spanish engineer Clemente Barrial, who envisioned a large mining industry and believed fervently in the gold rush.
Museum of Gold.
A space dedicated to exhibiting the gold extraction process and the history of its founder, Don Tito Pereira.
The Miriñaque and Vigilante hills.
At the top it is possible to see varieties of dwarf palm trees, unique to the region. The Cuñapirú, Del Medio and Gerónimo hills are also iconic features of the northern Uruguayan landscape.
Source: Ministry of Tourism