Punta Del Este, Uruguay | Cruise port of call | CruiseBe
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Punta Del Este, Uruguay

Punta del Este is a beach resort town in Uruguay complete with casinos, beaches, yachts and lots of tourists from all over the world. Many of these tourists come from the other side of the Rio de la Plata from Argentina to get some nice fun in the sun on a beach away from the brown waters of the Rio de la Plata. Punta del Este is located in Maldonado Department, adjacent to the departmental capital of Maldonado, on the Atlantic Coast in the south of the country.

Popular tourist spots include La Barra, Punta Ballena, Casa Pueblo, Pan de Azúcar or the island where you can swim with sea lions.

The unspoiled Uruguayan peninsula of Punta del Este is all paradisaical oceanic beaches, exotic sophistication, beautiful people and an ardent night scene. Punta del Este is sometimes called the Monaco of South America. There are many travel sights, including the amazing restaurants. In the last year, there... Read more

Punta Del Este, Uruguay


Punta del Este is a beach resort town in Uruguay complete with casinos, beaches, yachts and lots of tourists from all over the world. Many of these tourists come from the other side of the Rio de la Plata from Argentina to get some nice fun in the sun on a beach away from the brown waters of the Rio de la Plata. Punta del Este is located in Maldonado Department, adjacent to the departmental capital of Maldonado, on the Atlantic Coast in the south of the country.

Popular tourist spots include La Barra, Punta Ballena, Casa Pueblo, Pan de Azúcar or the island where you can swim with sea lions.

The unspoiled Uruguayan peninsula of Punta del Este is all paradisaical oceanic beaches, exotic sophistication, beautiful people and an ardent night scene. Punta del Este is sometimes called the Monaco of South America. There are many travel sights, including the amazing restaurants. In the last year, there have been the shoots of urbanization in the form of high rise building obscuring the sun, however. Tourist season varies wildly from totally deserted in the winter to very very crowded in the summer, unusual for a city this size.

The city is located on the intersection of Route 10 with Route 39, southeast of the department capital Maldonado and about 140 kilometers (87 mi) east of Montevideo.


The first Europeans to set foot in what is now Punta del Este were the Spanish at the beginning of the 16th century. However, the colonization of the area actually began around Maldonado at the end of the 18th century due to Portuguese expansionism. Punta del Este and its surroundings (Maldonado and Punta Ballena) at the end of the 19th century were kilometers of sand and dunes, but in 1896 Antonio Lussichbought 4,447 acres (1,800 ha) of uninhabited land and there he started a botanical garden, Arboretum Lussich, and planted trees and plants from all over the world. Later the trees started to spread on their own, and now the area is full of mostly Pines, Eucalyptus, Acacias and various species of bushes.

On 5 July 1907, it was declared a "Pueblo" (village) by Act of Ley 3.186. Its status was elevated to "Ciudad" (city) on 2 July 1957 by the Act of Ley Nº 12.397.

Punta del Este hosted an American Summit in 1967 attended by U.S. President Lyndon Johnson. In September 1986, Punta del Este played host to the start of the Uruguay Round of international trade negotiations. These negotiations ultimately led to the creation of the World Trade Organization in 1994.


Punta del Este's scenic coastline is divided into two regions: Brava (Spanish for "fierce") and Mansa (Spanish for "tame"). The limit between the two marks the end of the Río de la Plata and the beginning of the Atlantic Ocean and split is signaled by the Mano de Punta del Este, which the sculptor designed to warn swimmers about the danger of rough waves. Beaches on the Mansa side feature thick and golden sand, while on the Brava side the sand is white and fine. Every beach of the peninsula has public access.

La Barra is popular for nautical sports and fishing during the day. At later hours, La Barra becomes a central attraction for the younger generation. Starting from the end of December through to the second week of January, this location becomes a place for the local people as well as tourists to gather at the nightlife festivities. Other areas include the resort of El Tesoro, Montoya beach, Bikini beach, and Manantiales beach. These beaches are a favorite spot for younger people as well as for many celebrities from both Uruguay and Argentina.
Once abundant, southern right whales are re-colonizing in the area, which helped create a whale sanctuary off Latin America, whose establishment had been prevented for near a decade by whaling nations like Japan. Unlike the majority of Uruguayan coasts, appearances of orcas have been documented in the area; most notably around Isla de Lobos.


Punta del Este has a mild oceanic climate (Cfb, according to the Köppen climate classification), with pleasant summers and cool winters. The precipitation is evenly distributed throughout the year, with an average of 1,010 mm (40 in). The hottest month, February, has an average temperature of 21.7 °C (71.1 °F), and the coldest month, July, has an average of 11.5 °C (52.7 °F). The average yearly temperature is 16.4 °C (61.5 °F).

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Punta Del Este, Uruguay: Port Information

Cruise ships anchor offshore, and passengers are transported ashore by tender boats.
The downtown is within walking distance (10 blocks away). Taxis are available. 

Get around Punta Del Este, Uruguay

The bulk of Punta del Este is on a peninsula jutting into the ocean. The perimeter of this peninsula can easily be traversed by foot.

To get to La Barra o José Ignacio you had better have a means of transport like a car (renting a car is always going to be the best way to visit all the places). Buses are not very frequent and public transport like taxis usually has to be called over the phone (very expensive compared to standards of the rest of Uruguay). Hitchhiking is common for young people since nightclubs are far from each other and people may be staying in places far from the clubs. If you have a car, be kind; pick up someone (especially in the morning, after the clubs have closed). Remember that Punta del Este is very safe, but normal precautions should always be taken.

You can rent a moped (scooter).

What to see in Punta Del Este, Uruguay

The beautiful sunsets in the port of Punta del Este, La Barra or Jose Ignacio are other spots not too far away (by car), from Punta del Este itself. Go to the beaches, being a peninsula you have two coastlines, one of them is pretty quiet and calm (called "mansa"), and the other one is windy, with some surf spots (called "brava"). Famous beaches include "La playa de los Dedos" (The finger beach"), which is near the main street in Punta del Este, close to a surf spot, and it has 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, stylish people.

  • Casa-Pueblo (From Punta del Este bus terminal, ask for a bus to Punta Ballena. Tell the driver that you are getting out at this destination.). Casa-Pueblo is a beautiful resort-museum near Punta del Este. It was created by Uruguayan artist Paez-Vilaró in a kind of Mediterranean surrealistic architecture, making the whole place to look like a giant sculpture. He was the father of one of the survivors of the infamous plane crash on the Andes.
  • Museo del Mar, ☎ +598 42771817, e-mail: museodelmar@gmail.com. Marine museum, Sea Museum: A collection of embalmed southern hemisphere seabirds, found dead on the shore after storms. Petrels, albatrosses, gulls, terns, cormorants, oystercatchers, shearwaters, black skimmers, snowy sheathbills, skuas, sandpipers.
  • Museo Ralli. A large collection of contemporary Latin American art
  • Maam. A museum based on the private art and archeology collection of the Uruguayan artist Vilaro (architect of Casapueblo).
  • Port - with the fish market and a lighthouse.
  • Isla de los Lobos - the largest seals colony in the southern hemisphere. Tours leave at the port.
  • Arboretum Lussich - a botanic garden displaying mainly exotic species. It is one of the most important botanic gardens worldwide.
  • Uriburu Museum of Contemporary Art. With Argentine and Uruguayan artists on display.
  • Museo del Indio y Megafauna
  • Reserva de Fauna Autoctona - Pan de Azucar - a zoo of indigenous animals on Uruguay's highest hill.
  • Castillo Pittamiglio
  • Cuartel de Dragones - Historical site

What to do in Punta Del Este, Uruguay

Punta del Este is a very important tourist port. The upper crust has its yachts there and if you want to rent a boat, this is the place to ask.

Tanning is a popular activity on Punta del Este's famous beaches. You can choose from beaches on the calm side of the peninsula where you can rent jet skis or banana boat trips, or on the other, windier side. Punta del Este has some good surfing spots, not as good as La Paloma (150km up to the north of Punta del Este), but it gets pretty decent in good days. You can also rent sea bikes, windsurf and kite-surfing equipment, and surfboards.

Punta del Este has an island nearby, that is called the Isla Gorriti. It is protected because of its nature so there are no great buildings or anything like that. You can take a 20-minute ferry at the port that will drop you off at the island where you can enjoy the fun atmosphere, paradisaical beach, and good food at the restaurant. It is also possible to take private yachts, speedboats, or sailboats to the island and anchor by the shore. Renting a boat is nice in good weather. Isla de Lobos is another island that is also protected because of its sea lion population.

  • Liberty Ranch Kids Camp, ☎ (095) 425 461NOCC. A fun and educational summer camp for children staying in Punta del Este. Kids have the option of horseback riding, organized sports, educational classes, kayaking, arts, and crafts, or several other options. Instruction in English and Spanish.
  • Candelaria Church. Candelaria Church, or Saint Mary of Candelaria Parish Church, is the most important Catholic temple in Punta del Este. The building is located in the Lighthouse square, in which facade impacts the sky blue color and in its interior, it is an image of Candelaria Virgin who was brought from Spain.

What to eat and drink in Punta Del Este, Uruguay


Seafood in Punta del Este is delicious. Chivitos (steak sandwiches) and asado (steak) are the locals' favorite dishes. Aside from that, pretty much any type of food can be found: sushi, Indian, Italian, French cuisine, etc.

  • Fred Restaurante Gourmet, Avda. Francia esq. Lenzina Parada 2 (Punta del Este- Uruguay), ☎ +598 42 499 347. A refined proposal from a Norwegian chef with plates carefully selected on a daily basis with the freshest available ingredients.

Great wine selection and charming environment. A wonderful tasting experience! Pesos.

  •   Hotel L'Auberge, Pda. 19 Brava, Carnoustie y Av. del Agua (Two blocks in from stop 19 of Brava beach), ☎ +598 42 48-8888. 17 - 21. L'Auberge Hotel & Te House: a charming luxury hotel and tea house. Famous for its water tower and its Belgian waffles, served with different sauces. Also, an excellent restaurant for lunch or dinner. Only by reservation.
  • PINK Restaurant YOO, Av Roosevelt y Parada 8, ☎ 42497650....humFORMATNOCC. Normal prices. Unforgettable dinner. Awesome.


Local and imported wines (especially Argentinian and European vineyards). There's a famous drink in all Uruguay called "medio y medio" (half and half) which is a mix of sweet sparkling wine, and dry white wine.

Punta del Este is famous for its clubbing scene. Most parties start very late, between midnight and 3 AM and end around dawn. You cannot name a specific club because it's probably going to change its name or its location the next year. Don't worry, they do good marketing, so you will find out very easily.

Every year the nightlife changes, so you never know which is going to place that will hit the summer in Punta del Este. Most of the clubs are away from the peninsula of Punta del Este, mainly in La Barra. But the fashion places changes, it depends on the year.

You can expect high prices for club entries in late December and early January, and especially on the weekends. After the 15 of January, the prices go down (this includes most of the things), and although there may be still a lot of people in Punta del Este, it is not going to be as crowded. Anyway, expect a lot of movement in the clubs at weekends.

Shopping in Punta Del Este, Uruguay

Clothing, jewelry, sportswear and leather goods, souvenirs, gifts, presents - there are malls, markets, boutiques, lovely stores where you can buy literally everything to take home from Punta del Este.
Popular items to buy include yerba mate gourds, antiques, wool textiles, and leather goods: jackets, purses, wallets, belts, etc. With regard to textiles and leather goods, although the prices may look like great bargains, one must keep in mind that local designs are different to designs elsewhere when it comes to the variable quality of metalworking, which may be a problem since leather goods like purses and belts have metal parts like clasps and buckles.

Safety in Punta Del Este, Uruguay

Historically, Uruguay has enjoyed a very low rate of violent crime compared to its neighbors, with the stress on the word violent. Thus, Argentines and Brazilians traditionally go on vacation in Uruguay (even though Rio de Janeiro has far more beautiful natural scenery) because they love not having to worry about being carjacked, kidnapped, or assaulted while on vacation. Even today, Uruguay is still relatively free of those types of crimes.

However, this does not mean that Uruguay is crime free. The major differences are that most Uruguayan crimes are either non-confrontational or do not involve the gratuitous use of firearms. 

In an emergency, call 911 or 999. For firefighters, call 104.

As in any foreign country, you should exercise the utmost caution to not do anything which could be deemed to be a violation of Uruguayan law. This is particularly important in Uruguay because it is one of the few democracies in the world where criminal suspects can be held indefinitely for years before charges are actually brought.

As a result, Uruguayan prisons are rated among the worst in the world in regards to any respect for human rights. Human rights are "systematically violated" in Uruguayan prisons due to the degrading conditions and overcrowding in which the inmates live, according to the United Nations. Despite being one of the countries in the region with the lowest crime rates, Uruguay has one of the highest rates in the world of people behind bars, according to United Nations figures as published by the Latin American Herald Tribune.

Tap water is safe to drink.

Language spoken in Punta Del Este, Uruguay

Spanish is spoken everywhere. The pronunciation and the use of the vos pronoun instead of tú', ' is common around the Capital, as in many other American countries. The "voceo" means that most verbs are conjugated in the old form of Castillian, or Spanish.

Portuñol (or Brasilero) is a mixture of Portuguese and Spanish used on the Brazilian border.

Amerindian traits can be found everywhere in Uruguayan culture, from cuisine to vocabulary. (there is no former Amerindian population in the present)

Although most Uruguayans have studied English at school, they do not actually speak or use it. However, some Uruguayans have studied English at private institutes, so they can speak it well. Outside Montevideo and Punta del Este, there are few English speakers. You will find English spoken in most tourist spots (shopping centers and in Punta del Este) and some restaurants will probably have English-speaking staff.


8:11 pm
May 27, 2022


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