According to travelationary, Punta del Este is the most prestigious and popular seaside resort in Uruguay. Only in 1916, the first water supply system appeared here and the first hotel was built, and today lovers of elite beach holidays from all over the South American continent come here. This resort is sometimes compared to the Spanish Marbella – everything is expensive and luxurious there too. In Punta del Este, the best hotels and restaurants on the coast and the prices are corresponding – higher than the national average.
There are few historical and cultural attractions in Punta del Este. People come here, first of all, for beaches and surfing – almost the entire coast has excellent waves all year round, and for beginners there are surf schools and equipment rentals.
How to get to Punta del Este
According to transporthint, the resort has its own small airport Laguna del Sauce. It is located to the west of Punta del Este and receives mainly flights from Montevideo, as well as Argentina, Brazil and other countries of the continent. It is considered international, but you still have to fly to Montevideo: there are few flights from Europe here, and convenient connections are a rarity.
The cheapest way to get to the resort from Carrasco Airport in Montevideo is by bus. They leave from the Tres Cruces bus station every 30-45 minutes (sometimes more often), the first leaves at 4:45, the last at 23:30. Travel time is about 2.5 hours, the fare is from 300 UYU.
Flying from Montevideo to Punta del Este is fast, but expensive: 20 minutes and from 250 USD one way in the high season, and there are not many flights every day.
There is a ferry service between the capital and the resorts. The ferry ride from Montevideo will take about 2.5 hours and will cost from 1500 UYU, you can also sail from Buenos Aires (with a stop in Montevideo or Colonia del Sacramento) in 5 hours, the trip will cost from 2750 UYU one way.
Within the city you can travel by buses and taxis, almost all buses go towards the beach. Taxi prices in Punta del Este are above the national average.
Weather in Punta del Este
Punta del Este has a temperate subtropical climate. The swimming season lasts from November to March, at this time of the year it is about +23… +27 ° С. The hottest weather is in January, and the New Year and Christmas holidays are the hottest time in every sense: there are a lot of tourists and the highest prices for hotel accommodation. In February, the velvet season begins, and in March the rains already begin, prices drop sharply, but the water in the ocean is usually warm until the end of April.
Winter in Punta del Este is cloudy, rainy, but relatively warm: up to + 10… + 12 ° С, and most of the precipitation falls on the period from April to September.
Punta del Este Hotels
The resort of Punta del Este has many expensive hotels, and in general, prices for tourist accommodation here are higher than the national average. Many hotels are built on the seashore, mostly 4-5 * hotels, prices for accommodation there range from 200 to 500 USD per day for a double room. Almost everyone has a private beach, their own spa, parking and good restaurants.
Three-star hotels are usually located on the second line from the beach or further. Some have a swimming pool and a small patio, but usually only a minimal set of services: furniture (modern and often new), air conditioning and sometimes breakfast, which is already included in the price. Prices start from 70 USD per night for a double room.
Since there have been many young people in the resort in recent years, there are also budget options for tourist accommodation – hostels and guest houses. A room in a guest house (usually a converted apartment for 3-5 rooms with one or two bathrooms for all) will cost from 40 USD per day, and a bed in a hostel – from 25 USD per person.
Tourists are reluctant to rent houses and apartments for rent, but if you are traveling for a long time, a one-room apartment with an ocean view can be rented from 500 USD per month, and a house on the coast – from 4000 USD.
The beaches of Punta del Este
The beaches of Punta del Este are the main attraction of the resort. Despite the fact that this is a fashionable resort and there are many expensive hotels and restaurants on the coast, all the beaches here are public and free, except for those that belong to hotels (there are not many of them). Umbrellas and sun loungers on public beaches can be borrowed from nearby cafes and bars for a small fee or by ordering something. All beaches are equipped with changing cabins, showers, toilets and other amenities.
The resort has two large beaches:
- Mansa Beach is considered one of the quietest in the city and is suitable for families with children. There are no high waves here, as the bay protects the beach from storms. The water here has a characteristic yellowish color due to the clay in the ground.
- Brava Beach is known for its waves almost all year round, so it is very popular with surfers. There are board rentals on the shore, instructors work, but you can safely swim here only in the most calm.
There are several small beaches in the center of Punta del Este, Montoya, El Tesoro and Bikini Beach are especially popular among tourists. There are many beach restaurants and discos, there are a lot of people around the clock. Swimming here is quite safe, and only at the confluence of the Rio de la Plata river into the ocean are there constant high waves – you should refrain from swimming there.
Shopping in Punta del Este
The resort has one large shopping center – Punta, where you can find more than a hundred stores of clothing, shoes, accessories, jewelry and other goods. As elsewhere in Uruguay, it is worth paying attention to genuine leather products here: despite the fact that prices in Punta del Este are higher than the average for the country, shoes and bags will cost significantly less than in Europe, and even more so in Russia. Most of the presented brands are American and Brazilian, many of them do not reach our country. In addition to shops, the mall has a food court, beauty salons, a cinema, and currency exchange offices.
In the resort of Punta del Este, you can buy very high quality yarn and fine wool products – there is a branch of the Manos del Uruguay enterprise.
Luxury brand boutiques are concentrated on Gorlero and Calle 20 streets, where Valentino, Louis Vuitton, Ralph Lauren, Hermes and other stores are located. Handicrafts of local artisans are sold at the Feria de los Artesanos fair, which is open on the main square. Particular attention should be paid to leather bags and shoes, woolen clothes and accessories, jewelry, jewelry and souvenirs.
In the shopping center and large stores, you can pay with a bank card; for trips to souvenir and craft shops, it is better to stock up on cash.
Cuisine and restaurants
Punta del Este’s restaurants serve, first of all, traditional Uruguayan cuisine: meat cooked on fire (asado), steaks, sausages – and all this with a side dish of vegetables, fresh or grilled. National cuisine restaurants are called parilla, they can be found both on the coast and closer to the center of the resort.
Steaks in local restaurants are served medium rare by default. If you like well-done, ask for bien cocido.
There is a large selection of fish restaurants on the coast, where fish and seafood are excellently prepared. Like meat, fish is cooked here on the grill, cod fillet is especially popular. Fish plates are served in the same way as meat plates: a large mountain of various seafood delicacies with a side dish of vegetables.
- The most popular Uruguayan restaurant in Punta del Este is El Tonel, which has both meat and fish menus, baked pork and assorted seafood are especially popular.
- Guappa is one of the most expensive and elegant restaurants in the resort. It is located right on the beach, has a terrace with panoramic windows, and from the menu, guests most appreciated grilled salmon and risotto (especially with seafood). The average check is about UYU 1,000per person, excluding drinks, and a New Year’s Eve dinner with a chef’s menu and wine will cost UYU 4,500 per person.
- The Lo de Tere restaurant is less pretentious, but from its terrace you can also see the sea, and the specialty is risotto with shrimp and orange juice.
- View Point Gourmet is renowned for its pastries, and the chef’s specialties include lobsters in orange sauce and carpaccio.
There are many Italians in Punta del Este, so Italian restaurants are also plentiful here. There are inexpensive pizzerias (tasty everywhere), and for high Italian cuisine, go to Il Baretto, where the best lasagna and pizza are.