Punta del Este is the most famous and well-known seaside resort in Uruguay. Popular destination for Uruguayan, Brazilian and Argentinian tourists during the South American summer. The city – located along the Atlantic Ocean coast about 130 km west of Montevideo – looks like a trendy European seaside resort like Benidorm, Marbella or Ibiza in Spain. Punta del Este was founded in 1829 by Don Francisco Aguilar with the name of Villa Ituzaingó. It was not until 1907 that it was officially named with its present name.
Punta del Este is located almost in the center of the long stretch of seaside resorts that characterize the coast of Uruguay. Just at the point that divides the estuary of the Rio della Plata from the waters of the Atlantic ocean. To the west, on the Rio della Plata, there are the peaceful beaches of Mansa including Playa Las Delicias, Playa Pinares and Playa Mansa. The beaches on the Mansa side are usually characterized by coarse and golden sand and are all beaches suitable for swimming even for children.
While the beaches on the eastern side of Punta del Este are part of the so-called Brava, here the waters are those of the Atlantic Ocean generally more rugged and rough, suitable for surfing enthusiasts. 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. All Punta del Este beaches have public access.
A RICH NIGHT LIFE
Punta del Este is a paradise for lovers of water sports and nightlife. There are numerous discos and casinos. Numerous sports can be practiced there, including golf, tennis, polo, rugby and football.
The most famous monument in the city is the so-called “La Mano” or “Los Dedos” a sculpture by the Chilean artist Mario Irarrázabal that represents the fingers of a hand partially buried in the sand of Playa Brava. The best known street in the city is the Avenida Gorlero where you will find restaurants, shops, discos, casinos and many other attractions. Plaza General Artigas is located in the central point of Avenida Gorlero and houses a famous craft fair. In the waters in front of the city there are some islands. Among these, 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 the Isla de Lobos where there is a colony of over 300,000 sea lions.
HOW TO GET
In the vicinity of the city, just 21 km away is the small Laguna del Sauce airport (Aeroporto Internacional C / C Carlos A. Curbelo) which has some flights with the airports of Buenos Aires-Aeroparque in Argentina and Asuncion in Paraguay.
Much better served is the airport of Montevideo (Aeropuerto Internacional de Carrasco) which is located 20 km from Montevideo and about 140 km from Punta del Este. Montevideo airport is the main gateway to Uruguay’s seaside resorts. Here land flights from Argentina, Brazil, Chile, Paraguay, Peru, and other Latin American countries as well as from Europe (Spain and France) and the United States. To reach Punta del Este from Montevideo airport, it is better to rent a car, booking it in advance in order to have it ready on your arrival. Punta del Este is also connected to Montevideo by a bus service.