In general, roads in Uruguay are in good shape and most of them paved. Our trip was from Montevideo to Santa Teresa, and Santa Teresa to Piriápolis.
Within the city of Montevideo you can take several avenues to cross it. As the day was really windy we decided to take Av. Italia and then Av. Giannattasio that turns to Interbalneria highway. If the weather is nice, that means without wind, you can ride the avenue next to the beach and enjoy the river.
The highway is new (2016), asphalt is delicious and the shoulder is pretty wide to ride safe. In general people are very nice while driving. Lot of honking to support us within the steep hills, that are many by the way. Every few kilometers you can find little baths and neighborhoods to get some food and water.
Once you cross the toll of Arroyo Solis you can take Route 10, the one that borders the coast. We continued in the highway as there was less wind, but more steep hills. Near Piriápolis the mountains start and it is a lovely landscape, but too many slopes.
After Piriápolis you can take Route 10 or the highway again. Route 10 is beautiful. We took this route in the round trip. You cross Punta Negra and Punta Colorada. Eventually Route 10 connects with the highway.
The highway ends in Punta del Este. We didn’t want to stay in that city so we continued to La Barra. In this case you can take Av. Aparicio Saravia to avoid entering the peninsula. Route 10 reappears in the city and borders the peninsula to continue later in La Barra.
We did this journey in March and that’s why the traffic was not that bad. Nevertheless, from Punta del Este to Jose Ignacio you need to be careful with drivers as there are not so nice as in another parts of the country. Remember that after Punta del Este you ride Route 10. It has a shoulder, but it is not in a good shape, but at least is useful to get off the route when trucks appear. After Jose Ignacio there are not too many options to buy food, so it is recommendable to buy before.
In Laguna Garzón there is no need to take ferries anymore as they built a huge bridge to cross it. This detail doesn’t appear in the old maps.
After the bridge you need to do 30km within gravel route. This area is really nice, but it is not possible to enter the beach as all the lands are private. They were starting to pave the route so probably you will enjoy a paved route. Drivers in this area were unfriendly without lowering the speed while passing right next to us.
Before Laguna Rocha there is a private country club called Las Garzas. It is a useful place to refill water. From the country club you have 10 km till the lagoon. Usually you can cross walking through the sand that divides the lagoon and the sea. If the sea is high and there is no sand you can try the depth, and see if it’s walkable. Other option is to contact the people that live next to the lagoon to cross it by raft. Close to the lagoon it is forbidden to camp, there are guards that control the area.
We could walk through the sand, closer to the lagoon as the sand was wet and hard. It is a heavy stretch but for us was the most beautiful part of the trip. On the other side, Route 10 continues with strong hills till La Paloma.
After La Paloma the route continues without shoulder and new pavement. Then the route decays but is lighter as most of the cars take Route 9. Within the Route 10 you pass La Pedrera, Cabo Polonio, Valizas and ends in Aguas Dulces. Route 16 begins just for a few kilometers with steep hills. Route 9 appears with shoulder till Chuy, passing Punta del Diablo and Santa Teresa too. In the case you want to go to Brazil you need to continue through Route 9.