Punta Del Este

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Punta del Este, Uruguay

Punta del Este is a beach resort town on the Atlantic Coast in the
Maldonado Department of southeastern Uruguay, complete with casinos,
beaches, yachts and lots of tourists, sometimes called "The Monaco of
South America".

It is located on the intersection of Route 10 with Route 39, directly
southeast of the department capital Maldonado and about 140 kilometres
(87 mi) east of Montevideo.

Although the city has a year-round population of about 7,300, the
summer tourist boom often boosts the population by an extra 150,000.
Many of these tourists come from the other side of the Rio de la Plata
from Argentina to enjoy the endless beaches, beautiful seaside
mansions, tree-lined streets, chic boutiques, and stylish people.

Punta del Este has a mild oceanic climate with pleasant summers and
cool winters. The precipitation is evenly distributed throughout the
year, with an average of 1,010 mm (39,76 in). The hottest month,
January, has an average temperature of 21.7 °C (71 °F), and the
coldest month, July, has an average of 11.5 °C (52.7 °F). The average
yearly temperature is 16.6 °C (61.88 °F).

Regular buses come back and forth from Montevideo, making Punta del
Este a convenient day trip (two hours by bus). If you accidentally get
off the bus at Maldonado Terminal which is a few kilometers north of
Punta del Este you can easily catch a local bus(marked "Punta del
Este" in top front) at the stop just behind the bus terminal.

From Buenos Aires, you can take a short direct flight (less than 1
hour) to Punta del Este. Alternatively, you can take the ferry (about
3 hours) from Buenos Aires to Montevideo. Montevideo is approximately
one hour (by car) away from the Peninsula of Punta del Este.

Because Punta del Este lies on a
peninsula, you have two coastlines, one of them quiet and calm
(called "mansa"), and the other one windy, with some surf spots
(called "brava").

Visit "La playa de los Dedos" (The finger beach"), which is near the
main street in Punta del Este, close to a surf spot. It has a giant
hand emerging from the sand.

In La Barra the Bikini Beach is famous
because of the models and famous people that go there.

Casa-Pueblo is a beautiful resort-museum near Punta del Este. It was
created by Uruguayan artist Paez-Vilaró in a kind of mediterranean
surrealistic architecture, making the whole place look like a giant

La Barra or Jose Ignacio are other beautiful spots that are not too
far away from Punta del Este itself. Renting a car is the best way to visit  places such as La Barra o José Ignacio, since buses are not very frequent and public transport like
taxis are very expensive compared to standards of the rest of Uruguay.

Hitchhiking is common especially for young people. Remember that Punta
del Este is very safe, but normal precautions should always be taken.
You can rent a moped (scooter) for US$10/hour or US$45/day at several

Things to see and do:

    Museo del Mar marine museum

    Museo Ralli: large collection of contemporary Latin American art

    Maam: a museum based on the private art and archaeology collection of the Uruguayan artist Vilaro (architect of Casapueblo).

    Isla de los Lobo: the largest seal colony in the southern
hemisphere. Tours leave at the port.

    Arboretum Lussich: One of the most important botanic gardens
worldwide, displaying mainly exotic species.

    Uriburu Museum of Contemporary Art: Argentine and Uruguayan
artists on display.

    Reserva de Fauna Autoctona-Pan de Azucar: A zoo of indigenous
animals on Uruguay's highest hill.

    Candelaria Church, or Saint Mary of Candelaria Parish Church, 
the most important catholic temple in Punta del Este. The building is
located in the Lighthouse square.

While Punta del Este is one of the more expensive places in Uruguay, one can also live there on the cheap. Homes just a few blocks from the beach can be found for less than $200,000, and it is even possible to live on one's social security check, making this beach oasis a potentially wonderful place for retirees.

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