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Off Grid Tiny House in Uruguay: Living Simply on the Beach

I thought you’d enjoy this off grid tiny house that’s right on the beach.

It sort of has that classic Spanish style which I like.

And it’s in an area that’s completely off the grid (surrounded by dunes).

Improvements were made by a team of builders and architect Alejandro Gonzalez.

Since there’s no electric it’s lit by candles and lanterns.

To get here you have to use a 4×4 vehicle to get through the dunes.

About eight blocks away, though, you can find a store with supplies and food.

Off Grid Tiny House on the Beach


Espacio Living

I encourage you to enjoy the rest of this fascinating tiny oceanside cottage below:

Outside Deck with Hammock


Entrance: Kitchen, Living Area and Sleeping Loft

tiny-house-on-the-beach-in-uruguay-003 tiny-house-on-the-beach-in-uruguay-004

Kitchen and Loft


Sleeping Loft (Bedroom)


Bathroom and Living Area


Outside Deck


Espacio Living

Images: Espacio Living

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Alex is a contributor and editor for TinyHouseTalk.com and the always free Tiny House Newsletter. He has a passion for exploring and sharing tiny homes (from yurts and RVs to tiny cabins and cottages) and inspiring simple living stories. We invite you to send in your story and tiny home photos too so we can re-share and inspire others towards a simple life too. Thank you!
{ 24 comments… add one }
  • jerryd
    February 18, 2014, 1:53 pm

    This is a fairly normal local’s home in many central, south American countries and in the islands I’ve been to. Though looks like poured concrete or stucco ?

    Some of the nicest, happiest people I’ve ever met lived in homes like this in the islands while sailing them for fun and profit on my own and delivering other’s sailboats from the US.

    This one is either a summer cottage or in a warm/tropical climate by how it’s set up, won’t handle cold well because of the tin roof. Great where it’s hot though if good ventilation .

    Solar is even cheaper than candles now, a lot cheaper than kero lamps or a diesel generator. You can buy a solar panel, LED light, battery, cell ph charger kit for $20-30 in many places like this. Many buy these then sell cell ph charges to pay them off, make money or both.

    • Alex Pino
      February 18, 2014, 4:53 pm

      Thanks Jerry great observations. I believe they only use it in the summers because as you said won’t handle cold well.

  • Otessa Regina Compton
    February 18, 2014, 3:39 pm

    I think it is absolutely splendid. I love the design, structure, and one thing for sure it does have personality.

    • Alex Pino
      February 18, 2014, 4:54 pm

      Thanks Otessa glad you liked it too 🙂

  • Zackem
    February 18, 2014, 4:50 pm

    Absolutely breath taking…! I could live out my days there with a fishing pole in hand .. And a six pack on ice….

    • Alex Pino
      February 18, 2014, 4:53 pm

      The good life!

  • Michael
    February 18, 2014, 5:40 pm

    I like it too. Solar in South America isn’t that cheap like jerryd stated however going green has been starting there already although much later than over here.

  • barry
    February 18, 2014, 6:07 pm


  • Sally S.
    February 18, 2014, 7:08 pm

    Wow! This is awesome. I would love to have a pad like this on the beach somewhere in SoCal, but the real estate prices are just too rich for my blood. I still can dream, though…..

    The only thing that I don’t like is the ladder to the loft. That’s a major bugaboo for me. Other than that, what a refreshing oasis!

  • Comet
    February 18, 2014, 11:14 pm

    Wait—altho I am in love with this place–where did the “architect” part come in??? My wood shed is most likely bigger and we did that in a weekend— where does the water for the sink come from? Where does the septic/sewage go to?

    Wish I had more info!

  • bling
    February 19, 2014, 7:32 am

    hey everybody…i hate to be the one to clue you all in on this info…..but if you live in California….these tinny houses ,yurts and mud houses are in most county’s not legal….i have been looking at the tinny houses for 2 years now and research every avenue on how i can sneak one on my 6 acres but with the property long and narrow the next door neighbor can see me and i think they wants my property because his brother lives on the other side of me and i am in the middle between them. i live in a rural area and you would think that anything gos….not so….someone keeps complaining to the county about what ever….and been reg tag twice now…..love the tinny houses also but can’t get one….the county is big on red tagging every body for having containers down to driveways ,,,and everything in between……now i am thinking of selling and maybe move to Portland where tinny houses maybe legal…..who knows what the future hold?????so to everybody that reads my comments….understand this…CHECK WITH YOUR COUNTY FIRST ON THEIR RULES AND CODES.. don’t do what i did and don’t think for a moment that your land property is yours to do what the hell you want…i thought that and now i am out thousands of dollars of my retirement money that i had…so there you are…take it from someone that knows….. thanks ………if anyone has a answer for me on what to do next or even where to live where tinny houses are legal…please e-mail me at [email protected]……….thanks again Bling

    • Alex Pino
      February 19, 2014, 9:29 am

      Hey Bling so sorry to hear about your challenges. Did you end up building a tiny house already? It’s true that they’re not allowed in most areas. In your case since you have 6 acres it sounds like you should at least be allowed to store the home there (like you would an RV) and maybe even be able to camp in it occasionally? Did you check? Anyway, best wishes.

    • Paul
      June 19, 2014, 10:04 pm

      Ha ha, in New Zealand a tinny house (as opposed to a tiny house) is where marijuana is sold… illegally of course.

      • Noah
        June 20, 2014, 5:28 pm

        Ha ha! Well then you could find quite a few tiny tinny houses in Hawaii. Love it!
        You Kiwis…

  • mim
    February 19, 2014, 2:01 pm

    this is cano polonio….a small fishing village in northern uruguay…..a bit of a hippie colony…..
    5-1/2 hours by bus from montevideo then a half hour by truck to go over the dunes…..it would be a magical place if the people there valued it…..electricity is solar and water is delivered by a local water guy in a tank that comes from a spring among the dunes….he uses a generator to transfer the water from his tank to yours…..most people dont drink this water they buy 6 liter bottles…..
    some boil the water and drink it….septic is not regulated….everybody has a septic tank under their toilet and eventually it seeps into the ground….and into the ocean…..some like la perla the hotel dump straight into the ocean…..this makes it a yuck place…..on some days the shoreline is full of crud from all the dumping…..also some people own generators and without any consideration to people around them (houses very close to each other) use it late into the night….it is noisy and stinky…..its the reason i sold my shack on the ocean there….the fisherman behind me ran an old stinky generator until 12 or 1 in the morning and the fumes came into the house……i begged him not to run it at night to no avail….so not as idyllic as i hoped it to be…..
    also people on the north beach live on government property illegally and there are huge problems there now…government is demanding taxes and people there dont want to pay up which is really stupid on their part….as soon as they start paying the back taxes and it is not huge it becomes legal…..but they rather pay lawyers to fight the government….nothing moves quickly in uruguay and even slower in cabo polonio so it might be awhile before anything happens…..so much potential but humans destroy it…..

    • Thaimlord
      June 19, 2014, 10:35 pm

      “You call someplace paradise, kiss it good bye”
      The Last Resort – by Don Henley and Glenn Frey

  • Greg Burns
    June 21, 2014, 11:57 am

    As far as “legality” goes, well, here in Connecticut, they DON’T allow “log homes/cabins” in Litchfield County, which is mostly considered “the Northwest Hills”, and heavily wooded! HUH?! And down here, nearer the coast (i.e. Long Island Sound…) the city of Milford, a middle-class burb of about 50,000, DOESN’T allow RV’s of ANY KIND to be parked on your own property for extended periods of time. In other words, JUST long enough to load & unload them before or after an excursion! HUH?! Unless you have some kind of “pop-up/fold-down” camper, which can be hidden in a garage or covered with a tarp, you MUST pay to park your RV in one of those “storage rental center” yards elsewhere in town! Funny, they STILL charge you annual “property taxes” though! DUH! >:-/

  • September 18, 2014, 8:04 pm

    My husband and I did missionary work in Spain (1967 – 1977) and while visiting Granada, beautiful place, we learned of Gypsy that lived in caves and these were tourist attractions. They welcomed tourist and did some great flamenco dancing. So as others have said previously, small living is not new, it has just been forgotten. The media has done a good job especially in the USA.

  • Glen
    September 19, 2014, 8:32 am

    Forget the legality of placing such a dwelling on a beach or anywhere else in the USA for that matter and enjoy it for what it is. Perfectly simple living, in an idyllic environment.

    • Alex
      September 19, 2014, 3:47 pm

      Thanks Glen!

  • carrie
    March 10, 2015, 11:04 pm

    Very relaxing…….

  • MisterMike
    May 25, 2015, 12:31 pm

    OMG. This place is – AWESOME. I dont think I would ever, EVER leave. I lived in Argentina for a number of years, but I can see I didnt spent nearly enough time in Uruguay. What a sweet spot.

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