Punta del Este
Punta del Este
Punta del Este’s elitist reputation only tells part of its story.
Although the peninsula does regularly attract South America’s rich and famous, this destination is also friendly and approachable.
In a broad sense, Punta del Este is symbolic of Uruguay’s role as regional mediator; balancing Argentina’s aristocratic tendencies with Brazil’s egalitarian spirit.
Punta del Este Restaurants
Restaurants and nightclubs become more exclusive, and prices reflect the increased demand. Nevertheless, dance floors and beaches serve as efficacious equalizers.
During the May to September off season, crowds thin, some restaurants and nightclubs are shuttered, and the climate mellows to a relaxed Uruguayan pace.
The peninsula’s two coasts—Mansa on the Rio de la Plata side and Brava on the Atlantic—are both reflective of Punta’s split personality.
Surfing Playa Brava
On either side, the sand stretches for miles.
Imagine catching sunrise surf at Playa Brava, renting a bike during the day, and watching the sun set from the Rambla Artigas as the day winds down.
Dinner begins around 10PM. Nightclubs and casinos stay open until dawn.
Here, a high-rise hotel zone extends east from the harbor. The tip of the peninsula is primarily residential, anchored by a 19th century lighthouse.
For an enjoyable change of pace, pay a visit to the charming church of Nuestra Senora de la Candelaria.
If you’re traveling with children, you could visit one of the area’s two pocket-sized natural reserves or the Museo del Mar—found six miles to the northeast near La Barra.
This barn-sized museum houses a quirky collection of shells, preserved sea creatures and pirate artifacts.
Pleasure cruises to nearby islands depart from the Punta del Este harbor. Notably, Isla de Lobos is home to a huge colony of sea lions and South America’s tallest lighthouse.
Getting to Punta del Este
Punta can be reached by road from Montevideo (90 miles or 1.5 hours) and by air.
Punta’s airport receives direct flights (55 minutes) from the domestic airport in Buenos Aires.
Punta del Este Climate
During the December through February high season, temperatures reach into the mid 80s, with lows near 60° F. In the winter months (June – August) temperatures range from the low 60s to the mid 40s.
Sunny skies are likely year-round, although May and October are often partly cloudy.
“The voice of the sea speaks to the soul. The touch of the sea is sensuous, enfolding the body in its soft, close embrace.”