Punta del Este is the most popular and well known seaside resort in Uruguay, popular destination for Uruguayans, Brazilians and Argentines tourists during the summer in South America. The city – which lies along the coast of the Atlantic Ocean about 130 miles west of Montevideo – looks like a fashionable European seaside resort how can be Benidorm, Marbella or Ibiza in Spain. Punta del Este was founded in 1829 by Don Francisco Aguilar with the name of Villa Ituzaingó, only in 1907 was officially named with its present name.
Punta del Este is located almost in the middle of the long stretch of beach resorts that line the coast of Uruguay, in the point that divides the estuary of the Rio de la Plata by the waters of the Atlantic Ocean. To the west, on the Rio de la Plata, there are the quiet beaches of Mansa including Playa Las Delicias, Playa Pinares and Playa Mansa. The beaches on the Mansa side are usually characterized by coarse sand, golden beaches and all are suitable for bathing also of children. The beaches on the eastern side of Punta del Este are part of the so-called Brava, here are the waters of the Atlantic Ocean that are generally more rugged and rough, suitable for surfers. The beaches on the Brava side are characterized by fine white sand, among them the most popular are Playa Brava, Playa El Emir and Playa Chiverta. Every beach of Punta del Este has public access.
Punta del Este is a paradise for lovers of water sports and nightlife, there are numerous nightclubs and casinos. There you can enjoy a variety of sports including golf, tennis, polo, rugby and football. The most famous monument of Punta del Este is known as “La Mano” or “Los Dedos” a sculpture of Chilean artist Mario Irarrázabal that represents the fingers of one hand partially buried in the sand of Playa Brava. The most known street of Punta del Este is the Avenida Gorlero here you will find restaurants, shops, discos, casinos and many other attractions. The Plaza General Artigas is located at the midpoint of Avenida Gorlero and hosts a popular craft fair. In the waters off Punta del Este there are some islands: between them, in front of Playa Mansa is the Isla Gorriti with the beautiful beaches of Puerto Jardín and Playa Honda and the remains of some colonial fortifications. Another excursion to do is to Isla de Lobos where there is a colony of more than 300,000 sea lions.
HOW TO GET TO PUNTA DEL ESTE: In the vicinity of the city, just 21 km away is the small Laguna del Sauce Airport (Aeroporto Internacional C / C Carlos A. Curbelo) that has some flights to the airports in Buenos Aires-Aeroparque in Argentina and Asuncion in Paraguay. Much better served is the Montevideo International Airport (Aeropuerto Internacional de Carrasco), which is located 20 km from Montevideo and about 140 km from Punta del Este. The Montevideo International Airport is the main gateway to the seaside resorts of Uruguay, flights land here from Argentina, Brazil, Chile, Paraguay, Peru, and other Latin American countries as well as from Europe (Spain and France) and the United States. To get to Punta del Este from Montevideo is convenient to hire a car booked in advance in order to have it ready when you arrive. Punta del Este is also connected to Montevideo by a bus service.