This beautiful park is the most important forest reserve in South America and the seventh worldwide, so it is also visited by students of agronomy, botany and gardening. Inside (almost 200 hectares) it shelters an immense ecological wealth: 370 species of exotic flora and 60 native, in addition to the largest variety of eucalyptus trees in Uruguay (and one of the most relevant world reserves of this species). You can also visit an interactive museum to learn more about the history and importance of the Arboretum.
Heading east by Interbalnearia route, after passing the junction with route 12, one and a half kilometer later appears Antonio Lussich street at the height of km 128. Folding on the left hand side you reach the park about 500 meters later. Just 15 KM from the Punta del Este bowl
Arboretum (or arboretum) means “tree collection”. In 1896 Antonio Lussich acquired land in the area located south of Laguna del Sauce (from the Arroyo del Potrero to the Sierra de la Ballena), which until then were occupied by rocks and dunes. The following year he undertook afforestation, carefully introducing species from the five continents, which he placed in specific areas according to the ecological needs of each specimen.
The task of forestar was carried out over 30 years. The place became known as “El Bosque de Lussich” and covered some 1800 hectares, gaining worldwide renown for having one of the largest collections of plants in South America. Today most of these properties are in private hands; while in 1980 it was left to the state what is now the park.
Lussich Arboretum Park can be explored on foot on many trails. In the visitor center we are provided with a map that is of great help; and you can also do one of the three guided tours there are per day. The land offers undisands since this whole area is located on the Sierra de la Ballena. The trails pass through some abandoned construction and show an amazing natural setting full of varieties of plants and trees, many of them far from their places of origin.
At its highest, at 140 meters high, there is a gazebo where you can rest and admire an incredible panorama of the entire bay, with the view of Cerro Pan de Azúcar, the rest of the mountains. You can also access that point by car.
The walk includes the option to visit the Museum of The Blue (opened on February 7, 1997), which was the former residence of Antonio Lussich. There you can see the collection of ceramics of European origin (500 tiles of the nineteenth century), documents, objects that belonged to Lussich and works of plastic art. There is also a room where didactic videos about the arboretum are displayed.