Punta Del Este is one of the richest and the bustling cities in Uruguay. It is set in between two iconic beaches Playa Mansa and Playa Brava, both popular among surfers. Their promenade is home to the wealthier class in the country. Clean streets, impressive skylines and streets lined up with restaurants serving eclectic cuisines, this place is much in contrast with few of its neighbouring towns like Cabo Polonio.
Get to Know:
- Surfing is the most popular sport. Punta Del Este is referred as Surfer’s Paradise in Uruguay.
- Most restaurants do not include a tip in the final bill, however its advisable to tip 10% of the bill if the service was good.
- By law, no shops can sell alcohol between 2200HRS and 0800HRS except bars and restaurants.
- Smoking is strictly prohibited in enclosed areas.
How to get there?
COT and Copsa operate regular bus service between Punta Del Este and the Capital City Montevideo (Trés Cruces). The two hours ride would cost approximately USD 10, its possible to buy the ticket at the bus terminal or online through their website.
The bus terminal in Punta Del Este is located in the centre of the city in the intersection of Bvr.José Artigas and La Angostura.
How long to spend there?
Three days would give enough time to absorb everything this mesmerizing city has to offer.
What to See?
- La Mano: La Mano is an impressive piece of art of human fingers partially emerging from the sand. Its located right opposite the Bus Station in Playa Brava. Mario Irarrazabal a Chilean artist sculpted this stunning piece in 1982 as a warning to swimmers as La Barra beach had tougher waves.
- Faro De Punta Del Este: Faro De Punta Del Este is an impressive 45 meters tall lighthouse built in 1860 using materials from volcanic origin. The Faro (Lighthouse) is located in the heart of the historic centre of Punta Del Este. The street houses some of the oldest summer residences of the country.
- Isla Grotti: This tranquil island is just a mile away from the bustling Punta Del Este. This little island can be explored in just two hours however its recommended to spend a day to immerse in this natural bliss with a panoramic view of the Maldonado Bay or take a stroll through the beautiful pine forests. Boats depart every day from the Punta Del Este bay every 30 minutes during summer and every hour during winter, from 09:00 am. A round trip would cost approximately USD 12 and can ticket can be bought from the Punta Del Este bay.
- Isla De Lobos: Isla De Lobos is 8 km. away from the Punta Del Este Bay on the Atlantic Ocean. Isla De Lobos is one of the largest reserves of Sea Lions in the world. The third tallest lighthouse in the world, 59 meters tall in height was built-in 1906. The balcony of the lighthouse could be accessed by 240 steps. It offers a panoramic view of the island and the coast of Punta Del Este. The two hours tour to the island starts every day (depending on the weather) from Punta Del Este bay at 12 noon and costs USD 50.
- Esquina 4 Mares: Located a block away from Faro De Punta Del Este on the intersection of St. Capitán Miranda and St. El Trinquete, “Esquina 4 Mares” literally translates to Sea in 4 corners. This is a distinctive corner of Punta Del Este would give you a feeling of being surrounded by sea on all 4 sides.
Where to eat & drink?
Mi Sushi Punta: Its a special spot created by local surfers. To have them deliver the food you can call them on 4248 7622. Av. Francia, 20100 Punta del Este.
Crepas Punta: Known for their Crepes and fruit Juices, Crepas Punta is a popular spot among locals. Calle 27 Los Muergos y Gorlero Tel: 4244 9164.
El Miró: El Miró offers a mixed menu of Mediterranean and Oriental cuisine with a view of Playa Brava. Playa El Emir, Calle 26 y 27. Tel:4244 9380.
Capi Bar: Capi Bar brews over a 20 varieties of artisanal beer with a wide range of food options including vegetarian options. Los Muergos 580 (27) y Gorlerro (22).
Where to Sleep?
The Trip Hostel: The Trip Hostel is a top rated hostel in Punta Del Este. Offers dorms for USD 10 per night. Located at: Emilio Sader entre Bvar. Artigas y Avda. Francia.
El Viajero – Brava Beach & Hostel Suites: Offers dorms for USD 10 per night. Located at: Av. Francia y Charrua.
B&B Punta Hostel: Offers dorms for USD 12 per night. Located At: Emilio Sader s/n Esq. Francia.