Punta Del Este, Uruguay Travel Guide: What to Do, See, and Eat 2 PuntaDelEste2CUruguayTravelGuide3AWhattoDo2CSee2CandEatformat2500w

Punta Del Este, Uruguay Travel Guide: What to Do, See, and Eat

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Is Punta del Este worth visiting? Yes! If you’re looking for a breathtaking vacation destination, look no further than Punta Del Este, Uruguay. This stunning seaside city is home to some of the most beautiful beaches in South America, as well as world-class restaurants and nightlife. In this travel guide, we will give you all the information you need to know about what to do, see, and eat in Punta Del Este!

Punta Del Este, Uruguay Travel Guide: What to Do, See, and Eat

Uruguay, a small country neighbored by Brazil and Argentina, is South America’s best-kept secret.  A handful of Argentines, Brazilians, Chileans and non–South Americans in the know popping in to enjoy the pristine beaches, the atmospheric cities, the huge steaks and the happening nightlife.

When the Uruguayan peso crashed, this place has become a whole lot more affordable and Americans got curious. They came, loved it and went back home to tell their friends. Who came, loved it and went back home to tell their friends.

For us, Uruguay was an escape from manic Buenos Aires. An escape from the hustle and bustle, a beach holiday. Not knowing much about Uruguay…not even knowing exactly how to get there. Do you take a bus? A boat? Where do you go? Montevideo or Punta del Este?

We opted to visit Punta del Este, a beach resort town with a beautiful, sophisticated majestic sight. Many call it the Monaco of South America.

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How to get to Punta Del Este

The best way to get to Punta del Este from Buenos Aires is via boat-to-bus. Like many visitors, you can take a boat from Buenos Aires to Montevideo and a bus from Montevideo to Punta del Este. In total, it is about a 3-3.5 hour trip.

How many days do you need in Punta del Este?

3-4 days (preferably over a weekend) is a great amount of time.

When to visit Punta Del Este

Punta del Este is most popular during the summer, but many people prefer it in winter because it’s no less beautiful but not half as crowded. Finding a hotel was very simple since we visited towards the end of their summer season (mid-April).

How to get around

It is good to know that Punta del Este is a very small town that sits on the very tip of the most eastern point of Uruguay on a peninsula. It is easy to get around on foot, so no cars are really necessary. You may opt for a bicycle, but everything is walkable.

Instagram-able Hotels: Where to Stay in Punta Del Este

Punta Del Este is a popular tourist destination known for its stunning beaches, vibrant nightlife, and world-class dining. As a result, the city offers a wide range of hotel options to suit the needs and preferences of any traveler, including plenty of vacation rentals. From luxurious and high-end resorts, like Fasano Las Piedras and Golden Beach Resort and Spa, to charming and intimate boutique hotels, like Casa Suaya and Petit Château Hotel Boutique, there is something for everyone. For those seeking a more laid-back and relaxed experience, there are incredible experience hotels and guesthouses, while those looking for a unique and memorable stay may choose to stay at a vineyard hotel like Luz Culinary Wine Lodge. Overall, Punta Del Este has a diverse range of hotels, offering something for every traveler, whether you’re looking for luxury, romance, or relaxation. Here are some of the best instagramable hotels:

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Image Source: Luz Culinary Wine Lodge

Golden Beach Resort and Spa

During my time in Punta del Este, I stayed at the Golden Beach Resort & Spa. This hotel is situated right on the beach, offering guests stunning views of the ocean and easy access to various water-based activities. Each room is spacious and elegantly furnished, with a private balcony or terrace offering breathtaking views of the surrounding landscape. The resort features a state-of-the-art spa and wellness center, a large outdoor pool, and several gourmet dining options, providing guests with various activities and services to enjoy during their stay. With its prime location, luxurious facilities, and high-end amenities, Golden Beach Resort and Spa is the perfect choice for anyone looking for a stylish and indulgent beach vacation in Punta Del Este. (Golden Beach Resort & Spa, $197)

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Live Hotel Boutique

Live Hotel Boutique offers adult-only accommodations in Punta del Este. An excellent little hotel in a wealthy residential area. The rooms are modern with baths in the bedrooms (at least our room had that), the pool is nice and the hotel is very calm and quiet. The breakfast was good, although I would love to see the hotel add some more vegan options. (Live Hotel Boutique, $550/night)

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Photo Credit: Casa Suaya

Casa Suaya

Casa Suaya is a chic and contemporary boutique hotel in Punta Del Este, Uruguay, that is known for its stunning architecture and beautiful decor. This hotel features a minimalist design aesthetic, with clean lines and an earthy color palette, creating a warm and inviting atmosphere. Each room is spacious and luxurious, with floor-to-ceiling windows that offer breathtaking views of the surrounding landscape. Casa Suaya offers guests a peaceful escape from the hustle and bustle of the city, with a prime location in the heart of a nature reserve. Guests can enjoy a variety of activities, including horseback riding, kayaking, and yoga, or relax in the hotel’s peaceful surroundings. With its stylish design and beautiful surroundings, Casa Suaya is the perfect choice for anyone looking for a unique and luxurious escape in Punta Del Este. (Casa Suaya, $400/night)

Punta Del Este, Uruguay Travel Guide: What to Do, See, and Eat luz culinary wine lodge

Luz Culinary Wine Lodge

Luz Culinary Wine Lodge is a luxurious and intimate boutique hotel in Punta Del Este, Uruguay, that offers a truly unique experience for guests. This hotel is situated in a stunning vineyard and offers a rare combination of top-notch hospitality, gourmet cuisine, and stunning scenery. Each room is spacious and elegantly furnished, offering guests a luxurious and comfortable stay. The hotel’s restaurant serves up delicious meals using locally-sourced ingredients, and the wine cellar offers a wide selection of fine wines from the surrounding vineyards. LUZ Culinary Wine Lodge is an ideal choice for anyone looking for a sophisticated and indulgent getaway, with a focus on food, wine, and relaxation. Whether you’re looking to explore the local area, unwind in the hotel’s beautiful surroundings, or simply enjoy the delicious cuisine and fine wines, Luz Culinary Wine Lodge is a perfect choice for foodies. (LUZ Culinary Wine Lodge, $550/night)

 

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Fasano Las Piedras

Fasano Las Piedras is a luxurious and contemporary resort in Punta Del Este, Uruguay that offers guests a truly memorable and indulgent experience. This hotel features stunning architecture, beautiful landscaping, and luxurious amenities, making it an ideal choice for those looking for a high-end and stylish vacation. Each room is spacious and elegantly furnished, with a private balcony or terrace offering breathtaking views of the surrounding landscape. Fasano Las Piedras offers guests a variety of activities, including a state-of-the-art spa, a stylish pool, and a top-notch restaurant serving up delicious gourmet cuisine. Whether you’re looking to relax in the hotel’s luxurious surroundings or explore the local area, Fasano Las Piedras is the perfect choice for a truly unforgettable stay in Punta Del Este. (Hotel Fasano Punta del Este, $770/night)

Petit Château Hotel Boutique

Petit Château Hotel Boutique is a charming and elegant hotel in Punta Del Este, Uruguay that offers guests a unique and memorable experience. This hotel features a beautiful and romantic design with a strong focus on comfort and luxury. Each room is spacious and elegantly furnished, with a private balcony or terrace offering breathtaking views of the surrounding landscape. Petit Château Hotel Boutique offers guests various services and amenities, including a top-notch restaurant serving delicious gourmet cuisine, a beautiful outdoor pool, and a well-appointed spa and wellness center. Whether you’re looking for a romantic getaway, a peaceful escape from the hustle and bustle of the city, or simply a chance to relax in luxury, Petit Château Hotel Boutique is a perfect choice. (Petit Château Hotel Boutique, $170/night)

 

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Where to eat healthy*

No trip to Punta Del Este would be complete without trying some of the local cuisines. The city is renowned for its seafood, and you’ll find some of the best restaurants in Uruguay here. Be sure to try dishes like chivito (a steak sandwich) as well as pastel de choclo (a corn and chicken pie). And, of course, you can’t leave Punta Del Este without indulging in some of the delicious ice creams.

Oli Healthy Food Vegan restaurant offers healthy breakfast, brunch, and lunch options. Although they do have a small menu, everything is gluten-free!

Health food market and cafe Mercado Verde offers a menu featuring raw as well-cooked vegan items, from salads, vegan alfajores (a Uruguayan treat), and sandwiches made with cashew cheese and vegetable mashes to sweet energy balls. If you are vegan, keep in mind these do contain honey.

Punta Del Este, Uruguay Travel Guide: What to Do, See, and Eat

Mar de Verdes is a local favorite because of its beautiful location and classic dishes. It gets busy as soon it opens, but if you’re looking for healthy food with natural ingredients, this place will be perfect! You can get fresh juices or lemonade to go along with your meal; there are also plenty more options, including avocado toast topped off by an egg dish (or scrambled eggs) paired perfectly with salmon fillets leave any appetite satisfied.

At Dieta Viandas offers a large selection of hard-to-find items such as sesame paste, coconut oil, gluten-free items, vegetable milks, cereals, chocolates, nuts, bars, dressings, etc. Sells ready-made food such as cakes, salads, sandwiches, soups, pizzas, acai, lemonades, and juices. Offers food services and plans with the prior request, supervised by a nutritionist.

Tea for Three boasts a bright and lively atmosphere, with long wooden tables and a lovely outdoor area. You can enjoy amazing fresh juices and a great variety of salads, pies, and quiches for brunch. They also do amazing hot and cold sandwiches, and all of their baked goods are homemade. Don’t miss their amazing cinnamon rolls!

Startup Cowork Cafe is the perfect combination of a Co-Work Space with a Chic and Cousy Gourmet Resto. This coworking cafe combines a young and motivated environment full of inspiration and creativity with plenty of espresso drinks, healthy food offerings, and plenty of seating.

 

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Punta Del Este, Uruguay Travel Guide: What to Do, See, and Eat

What to do in Punta Del Este

One of the best things to do in Punta Del Este is to spend a day at one of the city’s many beaches. Whether you’re looking to relax on the sand or take part in some watersports, there’s a beach for you. For those who want to catch some waves, Playa Brava is the place to be. This surfers’ paradise is home to some of the best waves in South America. For a more relaxed beach experience, check out Playa Mansa. This beach is perfect for swimming, sunbathing, and simply taking in stunning views.

Famous beaches include La playa de los Dedos (The finger beach), near the main street in Punta del Este, close to a surf spot, and a giant hand emerging from the sand. In La Barra the Bikini Beach is famous because of the models and famous people that go there. The endless beaches, beautiful seaside mansions, tree-lined streets, chic boutiques, and stylish people.

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Casapueblo is a beautiful resort museum near Punta del Este in the small town of Punta Ballena, Uruguay. From Punta del Este bus terminal, ask for a bus to Punta Ballena. Tell the driver that you are getting out at this destination.

This beautiful Gaudi-esque masterpiece was created by Uruguayan artist Carlos Paez-Vilaró in a kind of Mediterranean surrealistic architecture, making the whole place look like a giant sculpture. He is the father of one of the survivors of the infamous plane crash in the Andes.

Visitors can stay here in one of the 12 rooms and 56 apartments with a terrace where you can enjoy a view of the blue sea and magnificent sunset. Rooms start at $150.00 USD–but do reserve ahead of time since they tend to book fast.

You can still access the hotel and art gallery if you aren’t staying here. Admission is $5.00 USD and is open from 9:00 am until sunset.

There are plenty of other great museums to see as well, such as the world-famous Ralli Museum. Here you’ll find Surrealist sculptures by Salvador Dalí, including his melting clock, along with bulbous human figurines by Fernando Botero and the cartoonish paintings of Beryl Cook. Alongside the European Modernist and Postmodernist work is an incredible collection of Latin American art. The Punta del Este Special Art Tour is a great way to view the Ralli Museum and Fundacion Pablo Atchugarry The Museum of the Sea in La Barra is home to 5,000 sea creatures – but not any that are alive. The old bits and bones, including whale skeletons, starfish shells, and urchin exoskeletons, provide a fascinating look into biology and geography along our Atlantic shores!

If you are looking for a more health and wellness experience, practice Yoga in the Vineyards & Brunch or skip yoga all together and enjoy a gourmet picnic at Vina Eden.

Nightlife

After a long day of exploring, you’ll want to head to one of Punta Del Este’s many bars or clubs. The city comes alive at night and there are plenty of places to dance the night away. For a truly unique experience, check out La Feria de Punta del Este. This open-air club is located on a pier and it offers stunning views of the city skyline.

 


 

Whether you’re looking for a relaxing beach vacation or a wild night out, Punta Del Este is the perfect destination for you. So what are you waiting for? Start planning your trip today!

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* We are working on updating the ‘Where To Eat’ position of this travel guide to Punta Del Este with the most updated recommendations.

This article was first published in April 2009 and updated by our editors in August 2022.

Hi, I’m Valerie!

I'm an Integrative Nutrition Health Coach and Registered Yoga Teacher (RYT-200), offering guidance to high achievers in aligning their lifestyle with well-being through daily wellness and self-care routines, promoting balance and harmony. Join me at Wellness Bum for tips on living well, and consider subscribing to my newsletter or booking a coaching session.