Punta del Este - Photos : Pablo Etchevers
he City of Punta del Este, which is part of the Department of Maldonado, is located on the Southeast end of Uruguay on a long peninsula of sand, woodlands and rocks from which it has taken its name. This is one of the most important and popular tourist destinations in the country, chosen by thousands of visitors of all ages and nationalities. It is a synonym for international jet set, good life and good taste. Punta del Este is one of those places in the world where everybody wants to return, maybe because its beautiful beaches are the perfect destination for those who are in search of sunshine, white sand, woodlands, clear waters and much glamour.
Featuring a mild climate, with temperatures ranging from 25º to 32º C in the summer and with cold temperatures which never go below 0º C in the winter, Punta del Este meets all expectations regarding the weather to enjoy both hot and cold days.
Located only 130 kilometers away from Montevideo, this seaside resort is joined to the rest of the country by a modern transportation system which includes airports, a yacht marina, buses, taxis and chauffer driven cars. All this enables visitors to move about the city in a matter of minutes.
Punta del Este is divided into two parts. Though they are totally contrasting, they are part of the same place: Playa Mansa (Quiet beach) and Playa Brava (Rough Beach).
As it lies on the Río de la Plata side, La Mansa has quiet waters and is protected from the oceanic winds that create rough waves on the shores of La Brava. The famous sculpture known as “The Hand on the Sand”, made in 1982, may be seen on this beach. Sophisticated and natural, Punta del Este features a promenade, sumptuous houses, modern buildings, the most luxurious brands, top celebrities, the best restaurants and top-of-the-line hotels.
Its best-known main avenue is called ”la Gorlero” and it turns into a glamorous catwalk along which thousands of visitors parade without missing any detail, both during the day and at night.
At Artigas Square, another emblematic site for afternoon gatherings, numerous stands display beautiful handicrafts made with rock, glass, wood and other materials.
The surroundings of Southern Punta del Este contain very nice places such as Portezuelo, Solanas and Punta Ballena (Whale Point), where “Casapueblo”, a majestic masterpiece made by Uruguayan sculpture Carlos Páez Vilaró may be appreciated. Apart from housing a hotel, this venue is a museum and atelier where paintings, ceramics and sculptures are presented in numerous shows.
Another site to visit, this time towards the North, is Isla de Lobos (Sea-lions Island), located off the shores of Playa Brava. In addition to a big lighthouse, the largest colony of sea lions in South America may be observed right on this spot.
Punta del Este has everything. No wonder it has come to be known as “the Pearl of Uruguay”, a well-deserved nickname. The city becomes more and more delightful every day.