La Barra de Maldonado is transforming from an idyllic vacation destination to a year-round retreat.
This upscale seaside town has been a popular second home market with international buyers, especially Argentinians, but now its permanent population is growing.
La Barra de Maldonado is located on the Uruguayan coast, on an estuary in the Atlantic Ocean where there are long sandy beaches for surfing. It began to become a refined place after the arrival of the Leonel Viera “undulating” bridge in the mid-60s. La Barra with the city of Maldonado and is well known locally for its striking architecture that when crossing it makes you feel like surfing the wave.
The area has the golf Club La Barra and four main beaches: La Barra, Los Cangrejos, La Boyita and Playa Montoya, the latter with a surf school.
La Barra It was an old fishing village that became a paradise for fashionable tourism and a place for second homes, located on the outskirts of Punta del Este.
Its outline is drawn by pastel-hued coastal houses and a striking "wavy" bridge. It is known for its trendy venues, its art galleries, its contemporary architecture and its waves. La Barra It is an elegant and relaxed place with breathtaking sunsets.
The Covid19 pandemic brought La Barra a significant increase in its permanent population, when before it was mainly a holiday destination.
More and more people are looking to escape and enjoy what this place offers throughout the year.
In addition to the beautiful landscapes and striking lifestyle with a vibrant and diverse community, Uruguay's new favorable residency tax rules, coupled with social and economic stability compared to many of its neighboring countries, have contributed to an increase in foreign buyers in these resorts.
According to experts, the high-end market has performed incredibly well thanks to the arrival of new wealthy residents, both local and international. Houses with extensive gardens or along the coast, luxury apartments and rural estates are absorbing most of this boom in demand
En La Barra from Maldonado, the most valued apartments or houses are those found along Route 10 and towards the sea. They are the most sought after and the most expensive along with the large farms (or haciendas).
In Uruguay, properties are offered in US dollars. La Barra prices range from 300.000 to 20 million dollars, with the so-called seafront houses having the highest prices that never fall below 3 million dollars. However, luxury beachfront apartments range from $1 million to $3 million.
La Barra It has a variety of villas, houses and apartments, many of them in very secure gated communities. You can see a mix of Mediterranean, classic style and examples of contemporary minimalism, including notable designs by internationally renowned architects.
There are gated communities, with apartments and houses, that offer security and high-level services, such as Laguna Blanca, which has a swimming pool, parks, soccer fields and tennis courts. Among the new developments is the gated community Reserva de Montoya, located around a lake near the coast. It has 10.700 square foot lots and 24 hour security.
One of the most exclusive places in the area is, without a doubt, the complex of hotels and villas opened in 2011 Fasano The Stones, managed by the Brazilian hotel brand of the same name. It is an iconic and trendy place that has a minimalist, concrete architecture, with box-like private houses and bungalows with interiors designed by Brazilian architect Isay Weinfeld. Here, prices start at $500.000 for unbuilt homes and $1,3 million for houses.
Although the resort is characterized by colorful houses and for being one of the most beautiful maritime landscapes in Punta del Este, with a low population density and safe and closed communities, its charm has long been in the nightlife, the great designer shops, street vendors and cultural diversity.
En La Barra and the surrounding towns are not lacking in luxurious and relaxing places to eat, drink, play sports and rest.
Overlooking the grassy plains and the Maldonado River, there are three restaurants at Hotel Fasano Las Piedras, including Restaurante Fasano. In its ranch-style wooden interior and glass walls with unforgettable views, you can savor the best of Italian cuisine combined with all the flavor of Uruguayan cuisine.
It also features a rusty steel clad pool and bar, an 18-hole golf course, polo and equestrian facilities, tennis courts, a private airfield, and a spa and gym, among other facilities.
For its part, the Narbona wine estate, in Manantiales, 3 kilometers away, has a house-hotel and a cozy and refined restaurant with Mediterranean cuisine.
Along the main street of La Barra, the well-known Route 10, there are antique shops, cafes and a variety of places that will make your walk a unique experience.
Among them, a market that offers interesting and affordable items for the home, as well as the contemporary art gallery Galería Sur, which seeks to consolidate the art of the Río de la Plata region and, specifically, of Uruguay.
Café Borneo and many other cafes and small informal restaurants make gastronomy one of the main services of this paradise.
Some of the standouts include Mahalo Bowls, which serves smoothie bowls; the vegetarian restaurant El Popu; the vegan/vegetarian restaurant Sana A Rou, serving vegan frozen yogurt, wraps and salads; and the seafood and vegetarian restaurant Baby Gouda.
Other popular places La Barra they are Chill Out, which serves the local dish chivito (sandwiches stuffed with thinly sliced beef fillet); Crepes creperie and Barbas Kitchen which has a local menu that includes homemade sausages, whiskey and a relaxed atmosphere.
La Barra It has many magical places, such as the nearby town of Manantiales that also offers extraordinary services. Manantiales also has a wide range of healthy and delicious options, in addition to being very close to the renowned La Huella restaurant located on José Ignacio's Brava beach.
But the most important and best-known nearby city in Uruguay is Punta del Este, which you have surely heard of. It is a cosmopolitan place and has several international schools, such as the International College, a relatively new private school for pre-school, primary and secondary students that offers the International Baccalaureate (IB) diploma program, and the Woodside School, a private school mixed for students from kindergarten to high school. In addition to being the largest tourist spot in the department that offers hotel and gastronomy services for all tastes.
Who lives there?
Residents of La Barra they are mostly second homeowners, mainly business people with young families who want to spend some time away from the city and enjoy outdoor activities, mainly surfing.
Around 80% of buyers on the coast of Punta del Este, and specifically from La BarraThey are foreigners, mainly Argentines and Europeans.
The Uruguayan coast is the most popular region within the country among foreign buyers looking for a place to start a new life in a relaxed and safe environment. Many of them come from Argentina, Brazil, Europe and the United States.
In 2020, Uruguay changed its tax regime that provides a temporary income tax exemption to new residents for income from foreign investments. The new policy allows them not to be subject to income tax during the first year of tax residence and the following 10 (previously there were five) or to be subject to a rate of 7% forever on income from foreign capital (previously it was 12%).
(Residency can be obtained with a real estate investment of $ 370.000 or more and 60 days of residence)
If you want to surround yourself with people of the highest level and famous, this is the ideal place.
The area is home to Doña Paola Marzotto, the companion of Italian aristocrat Don Carlo Ferdinando Borromeo, Count of Arona, as well as Argentine supermodel Valeria Mazza, and many wealthy businessmen, politicians and aristocrats.
Argentine businessman and real estate developer Eduardo Costantini has a residence here, as does Uruguayan soccer star Nahitan Nández.
The real estate market in Punta del Este and La Barra is currently experiencing a trend where prices are moving higher due to strong demand, led by foreign investors and people fleeing uncertainty in their countries, and shrinking supply.
But if what you are looking for is an elegant place, with a wide range of services and the tranquility of the ocean, do not hesitate, La Barra it is your destiny.