History of Punta del Este

In 1516, the Spanish sailor Juan Díaz de Solís called this place Cabo de Santa María (Cape Saint Mary). Later on, more precisely in 1829, the cape where some human settlements already existed was named Villa Ituzaingó by Francisco Aguilar, who developed the maps and shapes of the city through the construction of several buildings.

Aguilar, a very rich man, arrived in Uruguay in 1810. In 1811, he bought lands and devoted his life to agriculture and the manufacture of tiles. It was in Punta del Este where the first tile factory was settled. But the adventurous spirit of this visionary did not stop there. Aguilar was also the first boat assembler in the country and he developed his knowledge of animal husbandry and politics.

In 1829, he received the official title of mayor of the district of Maldonado and in 1834 he was appointed post office manager. In 1840, he was named senator of the Republic. He died in the same year.

As a mayor of the Department of Maldonado, he fostered the construction of numerous schools, churches and institutions that stand still today and represent a reflection of the years of struggle and effort.

In 1843, a group of businessmen bought the peninsula in order to exploit it as a salting house. It was not until 1907 that the place changed its name definitely. It ceased to be Villa Ituzaingó and it became Punta del Este.

In the same year, the peninsula welcomed its first tourists –families from Argentina and Montevideo- who traveled on board the vessel called "Golondrina" (Swallow), invited by the Bathing Society of Punta del Este. This was the first tourist visit to this place and it opened the doors of the city to thousands and thousands of visitors who gather at this paradisiacal Uruguayan swimming resort every year.