To visit the official Julius Baer Punta del Este ePrix website click here Characterised as the St Tropez of South America, Punta del Este is famous for its sandy beaches, casinos and yachts with few resorts in South America able to rival its glamour. Punta is actually a reference to several towns on a small peninsula where the Río de la Plata meets the Atlantic Ocean and has quickly become a firm favourite with tourists the world over. It is divided into three main areas; the Peninsula provides the main hub with many bars and restaurants, while La Barra is known for its beach and nightlife and Jose Ignacio, a quieter area famed for its stunning beauty.
Carrasco International Airport (MVD) is the largest airport in Uruguay, situated 115km from Punta del Este, and handles most international flights for the country. From here there is a regular bus transfer to Punta del Este which takes around one and a half hours. Alternatively, the Capitan de Corbeta Carlos A. Curbelo International Airport (PDP) is the closest and easiest access to Punta del Este for tourists or locals. It receives a few international flights, mostly domestic, and is only 20km from the centre of Punta del Este. Upon arrival you’ll find plenty of public transport options to take you to your final destination.
By far the best way to get around is on your own two feet. If you’re staying in Punta del Este itself, the beaches are just a quick walk over either the Rambla Claudio Williman, on the Río de la Plata side, or the Rambla Lorenzo Batlle Pacheco, on the Atlantic side. Alternatively you can hire bikes or use the area’s bus network with the Terminal de Buses Punta del Este, Rambla Artigas and Calle Inzaurraga, easily connecting you to Montevideo, Colonia, and other cities throughout Uruguay.
Where to stay
There’s a wide choice of places to stay in Punta del Este catering for all tastes and budgets. Many of the most popular resorts can be found in the Peninsula area or you can head to La Barra which offers a great choice of hostel and backpacker accommodation for very reasonable rates. To keep it green (and we always recommend you do) then try the eco-friendly hotel Casa Gloria, located five minutes from downtown Punta del Este.
What to do
Tours & attractions – It perhaps comes as little surprise that the best things to do in Punta del Este are outside! Numerous beach activities, horse riding, golf, walking, watersports and sailing are all on your doorstep and a great way to enjoy the sunshine too. There’s also plenty for wildlife fans such as the seal colony on the nearby Isla de los Lobos and both the Parque Municipal Zoologico Medina (zoo) and Zoologico Pan de Azucar (nature reserve) – ideal for families with small children.
Art & culture – For culture fans, you definitely have to go to La Casa Pueblo which is a magnificent resort-come -museum situated just outside Punta del Este. There’s also the Museo Ralli showcasing the best Latin American art or maybe the historical monuments of Catedral San fernando, the Cuartel de Dragones or the Marco de los Reyes in the Plaza Torre del Vigia. Finally, we recommend a visit to the charming Nuestra Señora de la Candelaria Victorian Church.
Shopping – Located in the centre of the Penninsula is Calle Gorlero where you will find everything and anything you could want from souvenirs to design labels. Meanwhile, the largest shopping centre can be found on Av. Roosevelt where once again you’ll be spoilt for choice.
Landscape – The main beach in Punta del Este is Playa de Los Dedos located in La Barra and is widely regarded as ‘the place to be seen’. It’s also really worth enjoying a stroll along the port of Punta del Este and watching the sunset whilst enjoying some fresh seafood.
Eating out / Night life
When it comes to eating out in Punta del Este then it has to be local, fresh seafood with a plethora of great restaurants at your disposal. The area is also famed for its signature steak dishes such as the Chivatos (steak sandwich). One of the most popular eateries is the B Restaurant and Bar which offers delicious regional cuisine along with Lo de Tere Restaurante which serves fantastic Brazilian fare. For after dinner fun, it perhaps comes as no surprise that beach parties are the most popular attraction with plenty of bars offering great cocktails, music and atmosphere. Then for those who want to continue to enjoy the night it’s best to head to the area of La Barra, or alternatively you could try your luck at the luxurious Conrad Resort and Casino.
With sun-soaked summers and cool winters, Punta del Este enjoys beautiful weather virtually all year round with temperatures rarely dropping below 10°C/50°F. December through to January is the best time to visit when the temperatures average around 25°C/77°F.