Punta del Este is a sophisticated and fashionable beach resort reminiscent of the French Riviera. Impressive mansions line the coast and wealthy tourists come from all over South America to enjoy the beaches and nightlife.
How to Get to Punta del Este
Once your cruise ship docks, you will be taken ashore by tenders. The city center is about 10 blocks from the pier. Taxis may be hard to come by, so you may need to be prepared to walk into town if your ship doesn’t offer transportation.
One Day in Punta del Este
Without a doubt, the main attraction in Punta del Este are the outstanding beaches. Mansa Beach, Brava Beach and Gorriti Island are some of the most popular and many visitors simply spend their time in Punta del Este enjoying the surf and sun. Brava Beach is ideal for surfing, while Gorriti Island is great for windsurfing and diving. Bikini Beach is the place to go if you’re trying to spot a celebrity or two.
If you are looking for cultural attractions, start by visiting the Casa Pueblo, a museum-residence just outside of town that somewhat resembles a giant sculpture. Then head back into town to visit your pick of the Museo del Mar (Marine Museum), the Uriburu Museum of Contemporary Art, the Museum Ralli, which also showcases contemporary Latin American art, or Maam, a museum featuring the private art and archaeology collection of Uruguayan artist Paez-Vilaro. You might also stop at the Candelaria Church, the most important Catholic church in the city.
Regardless of how you spend the earlier part of your day, don’t forget to do a little shopping before you leave. The main shopping area centers around Avenida Gorlero, with shops specializing in leather goods and jewelry. If you are looking for art, pay a visit to the Plaza Artigas, where you will find a variety of arts and crafts, or head to La Barra to check out its galleries.
The local currency is the Uruguayan peso. Credit cards are widely accepted, but ATM's may reject foreign cards. Spanish is the official language, but you may find a few English speakers within the city.