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Piriápolis: a seaside resort of the late nineteenth century

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The town of Piriápolis is an important seaside resort on the Uruguay coast. Located along the Rio della Plata about 50 km east of Montevideo, it is located between the cities of Atlántida and Punta del Este. Piriápolis is a recently founded town, it was in fact founded in 1890 by Francesco Piria who called it by the name of El Balneario del Porvenir.


In the first years after its foundation, some hotels and a small port were built there. For most of the buildings, the founder took inspiration from the most famous seaside resorts of Italy and France. The town grew slowly as a seaside resort. Summer colonies and other hotels were built there. Today this town has a wide choice of accommodation for all budgets. They range from the most elegant and expensive hotels, to the simple and inexpensive ones, to apartments to finish with campsites and summer camps.

The trendiest street in Piriápolis and the beating heart of the town is the Rambla del los Argentinos, a promenade that runs alongside the Playa de Piriápolis. The main hotels and casinos are concentrated here, there are shops and restaurants and it is the center of Piriápolis nightlife. The small port of the town is located at the eastern end of the Rambla de los Argentinos. While on the opposite side, towards the west, right on the sea is the Plaza Armenia, a sort of terrace along the beach. The Jose Gervasio Artigas Avenue intersects the Rambla de los Argentinos and leads to the most important park of Piriápolis: the Parque la Cascada.


Along the coast in the direction of Atlántida and Montevideo, small seaside settlements follow one another including Playa Grande, Playa Hermosa, Playa Verde, Las Flores, Bella Vista up to Solis. On the opposite side, the one that goes to Punta del Este, beyond the port is the village of San Francisco with the Playa Parador Movistar. You then reach Punta Colorada, and then there is a long beach where there are the seaside resorts of Punta Negra, Sauce de Portezuelo, Ocean Park, Chihuahua and Solanas Green Park which reaches Punta Ballena near Punta del Este.

Among the excursions to do around Piriápolis there is the one to the Capilla de San Antonio which is located on a hill overlooking the city from which we have beautiful views of the beach and the sea. Another interesting excursion to do is the one that leads to visit the Trilogía de las Fuentes: a series of three elaborate fountains (Fuente de Venus, Fuente del Toro and Fuente de Stella Maris or Gruta de los Patos) built in 1920 and which recall the fountains historic buildings in many Italian and French villas and palaces.

Nature lovers can visit the Pan de Azúcar Reserva de Flora y Fauna which is located about 6 km north of Piriápolis. The Cerro Pan de Azúcar which reaches 389 meters in height is the third highest “peak” in Uruguay. Castillo de Piria is also located near the Pan de Azúcar. This building was the residence of the founder of Piriápolis and is now a museum (Museo Parque Municipal Castillo Francisco Piria).


Piriápolis is served by bus connections with Montevideo and Punta del Este. But to move freely it is much more convenient to use a rental car. It is usually cheaper to book your rental car online before departure and pick it up at Montevideo airport upon arrival.



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