Last weekend I headed to Rescate Fauna Marina Uruguay – a marine life rescue centre, here in Uruguay.
SOS Marine Wildlife Rescue (Rescate Fauna Marina Uruguay) is a non-profit organization dedicated to the rescue, rehabilitation, and reintegration of marine wildlife.
I don’t allow my kids to go to zoos or aquariums. However I’m all for efforts to help animals, and I was very happy to take them to Rescate Fauna Marina Uruguay.
My middle kid complained he was bored at one point. The animals weren’t forced to do tricks. Humans weren’t allowed to touch the animals. Just as it should be!
But the kids did get to feed a recovering turtle which made their day. They learned the difference between sea turtles and river turtles (freshwater turtles have toes, seawater turtles have flippers).
One seal decided to show off with some tricks anyway. And another told us who was boss.
The tour was in Spanish and I struggled to understand everything, but I learned a lot. Penguins live in colonies, and this fella would only be released into the wild when he had enough feathers on his back and enough friends by his side.
It was heart-warming to see how much the founder loved the animals, and even more touching to see how much they loved him.
After our tour, we headed to the adjacent beach for a little paddle. Like so much of Uruguay, the beaches are spectacular and worth a trip in their own right.
We spent a great hour or so at Rescate Fauna Marina Uruguay. The tour is short, it’s fun and educational, and I’d definitely recommend it.
Need to know:
Rescate Fauna Marina Uruguay is located about 1 hour 40 minutes from Montevideo, and 40 minutes from Punta del Este. There is a small car park just over the road from the rescue centre.
There is a minimum fee of $300 Uruguayan pesos per person (same price for kids). This is a suggested minimum – feel free to donate more if you can. It’s a small place, so take cash.
Visitor numbers are tightly controlled (you need to reserve beforehand). Visitors need to stay back from the animals at all times, unless the staff say it’s OK to approach them. This is not a zoo or a circus – don’t expect a show!
You can reserve via WhatsApp +598 (0) 94330795 or if there are any issues, send a direct message on Facebook. Tours take place daily at limited hours of the day only.
Tours take about 45 minutes.
Our tour was in Spanish. I think you’d still get a lot out of the tour even if you didn’t understand the language. You might want to ask in advance if it would be possible to have some level of English translation, if you need it.
Address: Rescate Fauna Marina Uruguay. Rbla. Costanera, 20200 Punta Colorada, Maldonado district, Uruguay.
To book a tour: Rescate Fauna Marina Uruguay Facebook. WhatsApp +598 (0) 94330795