Punta del Este is the most popular tourist center in Uruguay. Its iconic urban landscape, its glamorous parties and its incredible beaches attract visitors from all over the world. If you are traveling through South America, you cannot miss the coastal city that has it all. Here are more than 10 reasons why Punta del Este is a must-see destination. What to do in this seductive city? LuxuryPunta tells you:
- Find some of the best art museums in Uruguay
There are numerous museums and galleries in Punta del Este, each with its own appeal. You can visit the old art workshop converted into a museum and hotel, townhouse, to admire its unique architecture and enjoy one of the best views of the Atlantic. But you also have Ralli Museum with exquisite pieces of modern and contemporary Latin American art or the outdoor sculpture park of the Atchugarry Foundation. But if you walk through the streets of Punta del Este, you will surely come across other small but interesting galleries.
- Enjoy the wide range of luxury and boutique hotels
Punta del Este has an incredible offer of luxurious wellness retreats, five-star hotels with spas and casinos, luxury apartments for rent and art boutique hotels. The city is the most important center of international investment for luxury developments in Uruguay. Whether you prefer to stay in a famous casino hotel, in a golf complex, in the countryside or surrounded by works of art, Punta del Este offers it to you.
- Wide variety of beautiful beaches
The most famous beaches of Punta del Este, Playa Mansa and Playa Brava, are located on both sides of the peninsula. Both have seafront promenades where you can often see people exercising, riding bikes or skating at all hours. Playa Mansa's sea is calm and flat as its name suggests and is perfect for families and swimming. Playa Brava, however, is famous for surfing and is very popular with young people. You also have a gay and nudist beach called Chihuahua Beach.
- Take advantage of a vibrant and busy nightlife
The nightlife in Punta del Este is like no other and you can find something for all tastes. Getting invited to at least one of the frequent VIP parties held during peak season can be your summer goal. There are also very busy nightclubs in different parts of the city that stay open beyond 8am, or lively bars that offer good music, perfectly mixed cocktails, cold beers and delicious food to accompany.
- Spot whales and other marine animals that inhabit the Atlantic Ocean
Punta del Este is the perfect combination of natural and urban environments. You will be able to check it when you visit the port and see packs of fur seals from a nearby island waiting to get a bite from the people cleaning their freshly caught fish. You can book a boat tour to visit them. And if you are lucky, you will also be able to see the southern right whales that visit the coast of Punta del Este every winter.
- Visit some of the best restaurants in Latin America
The best thing about eating in Punta del Este is the variety of options. As a cosmopolitan city, Punta del Este benefits from having excellent restaurants with dishes from all over the world. You can find many seafood restaurants that serve fish directly from the port, classic grills that offer the best cuts of meat in Uruguay, but there are also Peruvian, Japanese, French or Italian restaurants, and delicious local foods such as the world famous chivito, which happens to be the Anthony Bourdain's favorite sandwich.
- Browse the fashion boutiques
In the outskirts of Punta del Este you can find designer boutiques that have come directly from the Montevideo, Buenos Aires and São Paulo Fashion Weeks, especially in La Barra y José Ignacio. They are ideal if you are looking for unique items with quality materials and fabrics. In the center of the city of Punta del Este, in the heart of the peninsula, you have to look for the best international luxury brands on Calle 20. Since it is advisable not to sunbathe between 11 am and 16 pm to take care of your health, take advantage of that time to go shopping.
- Practice all kinds of sportss
If you look at the horizon, you will always find people practicing some kind of water sport in Punta del Este. Playa Mansa is ideal for swimming because there are hardly any waves or strong currents. Its promenade is frequented by people jogging, cycling or rollerblading. On windy days, you can practice windsurfing, kitesurfing and paraglider. The beaches of Playa Brava, La Barra and Manantiales are popular for surfing and paddle boarding. There are also areas with public exercise equipment, which are free to use and come with instructions on how to use them correctly.
- Buy in the markets
At the end of Calle Gorlero there is a huge artisan market that is highly acclaimed. It's perfect for souvenir hunting because you'll find carved wood and stone ornaments, paintings and drawings, jewelry, toys, leather goods, and other small trinkets. Kids love it too, because they can get temporary tattoos and hair braids. There is also an organic food market once a month, with the best produce from surrounding local farms. The daily fish market in the port is also exceptional.
- watch fireworks
The high season in Punta del Este runs from the last two weeks of December to the first two weeks of January. In Uruguay, everyone can buy and light fireworks legally without the need for a license, so at parties you can witness a unique light show on the entire coast of Punta del Este. Each year the celebrations seem to get bigger and brighter and continue throughout the season, so it's not uncommon to see a sudden fireworks display while dining.
- Enjoy regional and international music festivals
Punta del Este hosts several music festivals during the summer. There is music for all tastes: electronic music, rock, cumbia and jazz, among others. The best known is the International Jazz Festival, as it features highly talented musicians from all over the world. Electronic music festivals are the most common and popular, with one practically every week in high season.
- Delight in impressive and diverse landscapes around every corner
When people think of Punta del Este, they usually think of the fusion of beach and city landscapes. While this is true, there is more than meets the eye. Right next to the city is a vast countryside with lakes, farms and hills where one can lose oneself and completely forget where one is. There is a remarkably impressive view from Punta Ballena, a large cliff from which to see the best sunsets and sunrises in Uruguay.
- Eat delicious desserts and ice cream
As a general rule, food is sublime in Punta del Este and desserts are no exception. Try unique fusion recipes like the dulce de leche volcano, which tastes exactly what it sounds like: explosively sweet. There are also exquisite crepes, divine waffles and ice cream parlors to die for, with more flavors than even the sweet tooth could taste on vacation.
- Enjoy every season of the year
Punta del Este is more popular during the summer, but many people prefer to go in the winter because it is not half as crowded. Naturally, there are more things to do during the high season, but that can be a plus or a minus, depending on the type of vacation you're looking for. If you are looking for peace and quiet, but want to enjoy a warm beach, the best months are February and March. If you don't mind a bit of winter chill, you can go whale watching from July to October.
- Punta del Este is incredibly safe
Many consider that Punta del Este is synonymous with high quality of life. Uruguay is one of the safest countries in Latin America, and Punta del Este is one of the safest cities in the country. When you go on vacation the last thing you want is to be stressed or scared, but sometimes you can't help being suspicious when walking at night or anxious about falling asleep on the beach. This is not the case in Punta del Este where you can vacation relaxed and calm.
- Stay in a dream house Punta del Este offers vacation rentals in dream homes. You can give yourself a vacation with all the comforts. Rent a luxury home for a special celebration or family vacation. Luxury home rentals are like no other, and when you step into your private pool, sauna, gym or spa you'll feel like royalty. Relaxing with a drink in your own pool overlooking the ocean or soothing tired muscles in your private spa is a truly unforgettable experience. You can contact a real estate Punta del Este to help you choose the property that best suits your needs.
- Spend at least one day in José Ignacio. Jose Ignacio is a coastal town located on the eastern coast of Uruguay, known for its natural beauty and its relaxed and elegant atmosphere. It is a popular destination for tourists and local vacationers looking for white-sand beaches, crystal-clear waters, and a vibrant nightlife. In addition, Jose Ignacio is also a place for art and culture, with art galleries, fashion boutiques, and world-class restaurants. It is a place to relax and enjoy the tranquility of nature, surrounded by stunning landscapes and a vibrant cultural scene. With its unique combination of natural beauty and vibrant nightlife, Jose Ignacio is definitely a place worth visiting.