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5 Days in Punta del Este

Punta del Este is quite possibly South America’s most glamorous and exclusive beach resort town. Punta del Este, referred to as “Punta,” sits on a peninsula that divides the Río de la Plata from the Atlantic Ocean. The population is around 21,000 year-round, but during high season from December – February, this jumps to nearly 160,000 people.  Tourists from Argentina, Brazil, Uruguay and around the world all come to enjoy the beach.  The town has two separate grids: north of the constricted isthmus, just east of the yacht harbor, is the highrise hotel zone; the southern area is mostly residential. Check out our list of the Top 5 Things to do in Punta del Este and start planning your Uruguayan adventure today.


Day 1: Go to the Beach!
Things to do in Punta del Este

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Punta del Este is famous for having beautiful beaches and depending on what you’re looking for will determine which beach you should visit. For a mix of surfing, delicious foods, outdoor art and a young crowd, visit Playa Brava. There are more waves at this beach and some days can be a bit windy, but this area is great for people watching. Bikini Beach is another good beach nearby; there you will find celebrities and socialites. If you like something more relaxed, you should check out Playa Manda, this is better for families.  The sea is calmer, with almost no waves.


Day 2: Spend the Day Island Hopping
Things to do in Punta del Este

things-to-do-in-Punta-del-EsteIsla Gorriti and Isla de los Lobos are two fun islands nearby.  These are just a short boat ride from Punta del Este. Isla Gorriti is perfect for travelers that would like to go on a relaxing island stroll. If you are interested in seeing more wildlife, visit Isla de los Lobos. This has the largest seal colony in the southern hemisphere.


Day 3: Visit Casapueblo
Things to do in Punta del Este

things-to-do-in-punta-del-esteIf you have ever googled “Punta del Este,” chances are, you’ve seen a photo of Casapueblo. This charming all white, nine-story villa sits atop Punta Ballena and overlooks the sea, just 15 km west of Punta del Este. Casapueblo was previously Uruguayan artist, Carlos Páez Vilaró’s villa, but now it is an art gallery and hotel.  Enjoy a meal at the cafe or spend the night at the hotel. Sit on your balcony, take in stunning ocean views and enjoy watching the sunset with a glass of wine or a champagne toast. This is one of Punta del Este’s landmarks and a must-see place for all visitors.

Day 4: Take a Picture at “La Mano” and Visit the Port
Things to do in Punta del Este


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One of the iconic symbols of Punta del Este is the massive concrete sculpture of a hand reaching out of the sand along the Brava side of the beach. Chilean artist Mario Irarrázabal designed this famous statue in 1982; it commemorates the lives of drowned local sailors. Stop by La Mano and strike a pose.  Continue to the port, the Punta del Este harbor is Uruguay’s largest recreational yachting facility and a perfect place to find fresh mariscos (shellfish).


Day 5: Visit La Barra and San Ignacio
Things to do in Punta del Este


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The La Barra hamlet is artistic and trendy, with an array of boutiques, restaurants, and nightlife spots. The local’s favorite beach sits here, where the Río Maldonado spills into the ocean. La Barra has been growing as Punta del Este’s most sought after gastronomy area, so here you will find some of the town’s best and most visited restaurants.
Visit José Ignacio, a small fishing village that has become popular for jet-setters because of the seclusion.  This stylish vacation hot spot has the José Ignacio Lighthouse, another popular landmark in town.  Spend some time visiting the other attractions like José Garzon Lagoon and the Sea Museum. San Ignacio is a short drive from town, but you will enjoy beautiful views of the Atlantic Ocean during the drive.

Uruguay is easy to combine with a tour to Argentina or Brazil. To start planning your trip to Punta del Este today, contact us at 1-800-747-4540 or visit us online at WWW.SOUTHAMERICA.TRAVEL

things to do in Punta del Este

Clara Tort

My name is Clara and I was born and raised in Buenos Aires, Argentina, the city I love and wish everybody could visit! I graduated with a degree in Tourism Administration in Argentina, after which I decided to move to England to work on my English and continue my learning with a Postgraduate course at the University of Birmingham. UK. After traveling Europe and getting used to fish and chips for lunch instead of the traditional Argentinean “asado,” I came back to my home country in 2008 and started working in the Tourism industry, as a Travel consultant in SouthAmerica.travel. Being a travel enthusiast, I can’t stop touring my home continent, from the breathtaking Galapagos Islands, to the powerful Iguazu Falls, and to my favorite, the Argentinean and Chilean Patagonia. You can contact her at our Buenos Aires sales office or by email at Clara(at)SouthAmerica(dot)travel.
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