Title: Spiritual pilgrimages and UFO tourism in Uruguay: the case of La Aurora's cattle ranch

Authors: Martín Gamboa

Addresses: Department of Tourism, History, and Communication, Universidad de la República, Gral. Fructuoso Rivera Street, 1350, Salto, Uruguay

Abstract: This paper analyses the advent of a type of spiritual tourism that is taking place on livestock farms in northern Uruguay. The spread of stories about sightings of anomalous lights and unidentified flying objects by locals have historically caused these farms to become tourist attractions. This is the case of La Aurora's cattle ranch, where a series of 'events' between 1976 and 1977 changed the history of the area forever. After these supernatural events, which left several marks on the ground, happened, the cattle ranch gained local and international popularity regarding UFO issues. Nowadays tourists, ufologists, new age groups, and religious pilgrims from different countries visit it during the year. The beginning of a type of 'modern secular pilgrimage' at La Aurora cattle ranch is explained in terms of a multi-sited ethnography.

Keywords: tourist attraction; Uruguay; anthropology; UFO sightings; new age; modern secular pilgrimage; multi-sited ethnography; non-human agency.

DOI: 10.1504/IJTA.2021.116093

International Journal of Tourism Anthropology, 2021 Vol.8 No.2, pp.162 - 178

Received: 22 Dec 2020
Accepted: 01 Mar 2021

Published online: 27 Jun 2021 *

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