A couple of hours’ drive east of Montevideo lies Punta del Este, Uruguay’s (and possibly South America’s) most glamorous beach resort.
A long stretch of white sandy beach with glitzy bars, restaurants and yacht clubs where people go to see and be seen, the town’s pine-fringed beaches are split between those at the mouth of the River Plate and those that are lapped by the Atlantic.
Busiest during the summer months from December to February, visitors are drawn to Punta del Este’s exclusive outdoor lifestyle and cosmopolitan atmosphere. It also makes a great base from which to head out and explore the sleepy fishing village of San José and the sand dunes of Cabo Polonio or a great beach break at the end of a trip in either Uruguay itself or Argentina.
If you prefer a quieter beach stay then you might prefer the little town of José Ignacio, just a 20-minute drive east of Punta del Este.