Pan De Azúcar hill

  • Get to know it in 4 hours
4 kilometers away from the center of Piriapolis this hill can be found. It has 423 meters high, being the third highest point in Uruguay. In a territorial recognition of Captain Juan Hidalgo in 1717 its name can be referred to first. Since 1890 Francisco Piria extracts granite rocks on its slopes whose majority would be used in the construction of the Rambla de Piriapolis, the hotel with the same name and port. It once numbered 400 regular workers at the quarry. Today on the hillside where the quarry was the wildlife reserve works. The course is fairly faithful to the path that the Piria locomotive followed to enter the slope.


In 1980 he began operating reserve of flora and fauna of the Sugar Loaf Mountain. The property has 86 acres and currently has more than 250 live animals of 53 different species of he Uruguayan wildlife. In the journey there can be found specimens of species such as the jaguar, puma, bobcat, armadillo, tamandua, guazubirá, screamer, ostrich and alligator, to name a few. There are mammals as birds and reptiles. It is open to general public from Monday to Sunday, form 8 to 18 hours.


It is located on the highest point of the road reserve. From this point you can see the size of the site and get an idea of ​​the magnitude of the quarries of Piria 100 years ago.

Tunnel in the Swiss Valley

This tunnel is still preserved. Stone was exited with wagons on the railways. This passage is narrow and passes between the perforated stone. It culminates in a maze bird whose function was that they do not escape from the aviary once worked in this passage.


At this point it may be found part of the machinery used for the extraction of stone from the quarry and some artifacts already considered obsolete years ago form the Argentino Hotel brought here on 1980. Be careful with the presence of Aruera (plant causes allergic reactions in some people).

Stairs of death

In one of the stones of the slope can be seen, if it you put enough attention, a ladder composed of hundreds of iron fixed steps on it. It was built under the orders of Francisco Piria to accelerate the rise of the workers to the top.

Cave paintings - National Heritage

In one of the stones of the path of the reservation (and without much further instructions) cave paintings can be found in it. They were discovered by the times in which the quarry still ran even after Francisco Piria ordered a burning for an unknown reason that almost ruined them (signs of it can be seen close to the paintings).


The climb to the top requires a total of at least 2 and a half ( 1 ½ hours to go up, 1 hour down), plus the time you want to stay on top for both children and adults. It requires no special equipment, but recommended clothes ready to stain with mud, especially after rainy days. The official upgrade path is on the south side and is clearly marked.


The creation of the cross was promoted by Jesuit priest in 1933 Engelbert Vauters. Who designed it was the architect Guillermo Armas O'Shanahan and Company Ísola and Armas responsible for its construction, which was completed in 1938. Its opening was a by the priest Juan Carlos Zorrilla de San Martin, son of the writer with the same name and the brother of sculptor José Luis. It was built on cement, sand and great sacrifice of men and mules that transported the material to the top. It is 35 meters high and with a spiral staircase you can climb into his arms. Today is striking the amount of graffiti in it, but especially one dating from 1987 made ​​by someone on the outside of the last installment. To do this he must have climbed onto the roof of one of the arms coming out of one of its windows. A brave anonymous or unconscious for these regards are directed to.

Memorial of the death of Pancho Piria

Unfortunately mining on the hill did not continue after the death of Francisco Piria in 1933 (December 11) and the tragic deaths of Carlos Bonavita (trustee) and Francisco Pancho Piria (eldest son) on January 20, 1934. Pancho was executed by Carlos with two shots after a discussion on the management of a fire in a nearby quarry. That night Carlos Bonavita took his life with the same weapon in a room at Hotel Piriapolis. In front of the reservation and a few meters from the entrance is a cross placed by the widow of Pancho Piria at the site of the tragedy, which was frequently visited by her. It is clear that this property is currently privately owned and visit this place is not encouraged.