Top 10 things to see in Punta Del Este
Updated: May 10
Punta del Este is the perfect getaway from the city life in Montevideo, Uruguay (about a 2 hour drive). This city is full of gorgeous beaches, plenty of food, and shopping. Punta del Este is about a two hour car ride from Montevideo, the capital and largest city. It is often referred to as the “Monaco of the South” , “the Pearl of the Atlantic”, “the hamptons of South America”, and compared to many gorgeous and trendy beach resort travel destinations. It is pretty cool to visit a place that they compare to the Hamptons since we live right near the Hamptons on Long Island! Here is a list of the top things to do in Punta del Este!
The Peninsula of Punta del Este
1. Visit La Mano (los dedos) de Punta del Este:
this tourist attraction is right on Parada 1 at Brava Beach. It is a very well known spot to take pictures! It is also free to see and walk around the 5 fingers merging out of the sand. It was built in 1982 by Mario Irrazabal, a chilean artist. If you want, there is usually a person who is willing to take drone shots for a few dollars!
2. Sea lions at the fishing port:
We accidentally discovered the sea lions at the fishing port because we went to go pick up some of Sam’s family members from a day fishing trip. The sea lions were so cool to watch and feed. You can buy fish at the market along the port and throw them in to feed the sea lions near the docked boats. There is no way you can miss them… they are HUGE!
3. Climb rocks near the ocean and spot mussels everywhere:
If you walk around, you get beautiful views of the ocean. Also, there are rocks you can climb along the ocean as you explore. There is a tremendous amount of mussels over here! I was shocked to see so many.
4. La Virgen de la Candelaria near the water:
People visit this saint to leave flowers and pray. It is a cool spot because the rocks are out in the ocean so it is pretty majestic. During high tide, the statue is not reachable due to it being surrounded by the ocean water.
Shopping is always an option wherever you are! There is plenty of shopping in Punta del Este. You can find anything from tourist shops to boutiques, and even some luxury brands.
6. Walk to the end of the peninsula
There you’ll find the huge Uruguayan flag. And you’ll also spot some beautiful and very large houses along the way.
We didn’t get to visit the lighthouse, but we saw it off in the distance. If we had more time, we would have most likely visited the lighthouse. The lighthouse has 150 steps to the top! However, it is usually closed. It opens on Dia del Patrimonio, which is a changing date every year in the month of October. The lighthouse is located in Plaza del Faro near the Catholic church.
Not on the Peninsula, but still Amazing!
8. La Barra: (wavy bridge)
La Barra is an area after leaving the Peninsula of Punta del Este. You go over this crazy roller coaster wavy bridge! It is so cool! La Barra is a really cool area. There are more beaches, lots of food, and shopping! I honestly loved La Barra and wish we spent more time over there. We ate at a really cool spot called Chill Out! https://www.tripadvisor.com/Restaurant_Review-g1655686-d6013022-Reviews-Chill_Out-La_Barra_Maldonado_Maldonado_Department.html
Casapueblo is an amazing museum made of interesting shapes painted all white overlooking the water made by the artist, Carlos Páez Vilaró. Today, Casapueblo serves as a museum and a hotel. It provides an amazing experience of beautiful art and stunning views. Casapueblo is about 30 minutes away from the Peninsula in Punta del Este. It is up on a huge hill/mountain! The museum sits on the cliff and open 10 am to sunset. Adult tickets to the museum are $10. For more information, check out https://www.casapueblo.com.uy/en/ .
10. Enjoy the beaches!
Punta del este has endless beaches. I was super sunburnt so I opted out of laying in the sun! I hid under my sun hat as I walked around and explored. There’s beaches on the peninsula and at La Barra. If you’re into watersports there’s even beaches for that too.
For more information and details about the area, check out https://www.puntadeleste.com/en/information/punta_del_este/uruguay .