For decades, Punta Del Este has been a haven for the rich and famous. This glamorous resort-a collection of fabulous beaches,elegant hotels, and stylish restaurants, clubs,and bars – has long been synonymous with champagne, celebrities, and fashion chic, but at the same time has remained firmly grounded, attracting visitors from all walks of life. Unlike Rio de Janeiro ’s Capacabana beach, which these days has few cards to play, Punta del Este manages to combine serious partying and a carefree attitude with plentiful things to see and do. Activities range from sailing and surfing to horse-riding,archery, and volleyball. There’s a casino, a lighthouse, and the iconic Casa Pueblo, an extraordinary house and “living sculpture” built over a 36 – year period by the Uruguayan painter and sculptor Carlos Paez Vilaro. Close by there’s also an aquarium, a zoo, several quaint seaside towns, and picturesque hills that boast fantastic trekking routes. In fact, it’s likely that there are more things to do in and around Punta del Este than any other resorts in Latin America.
But don’t let these sights and activities distract you for too long from the resort’s stunning beaches. It is here, perhaps more than anywhere else, that Punta del Este really shines. There are more than a dozen beaches on this fashionable peninsula, all of which have a very different character. Take your pick from white- and golden-sand beaches, sheltered coves and wave-battered shores, water-sports hubs and sunbathing areas, secluded bays and party beaches. Even the rowdiest beaches are clean and safe, day and night, and all boast excellent facilities. It’s no surprise that savvy Brazilians, Argentinians, North Americans, and Europeans looking for the good life now head to Punta del Este instead of their own resorts, which aren’t exactly second-class spots themselves.
Punta del Este has year-round appeal. In the high season, which runs from December to March, the resort’s classy clubs and popular beaches host endless parties, which rarely begin before midnight, and the atmosphere is electric. There’s no shortage of glitterati types here, drawn by the alluring beach and party lifestyle. The crowd is a mix of the young and beautiful, who frequent the beaches and bars, a wealthy, older generation in their yachts, and energetic types, who spend their time on the water and in the hills. In the off-season, the resort might be quieter, but it remains enticing. Those who long for the wild nights of summer should not despair – there’s still plenty of partying to do at this time just up the coast in Buenos Aires and Montevideo. Whether you’re in search of high time and endless nights, solitude and surf, or anything in between, you can’t do better than Punta del Este.