Punta del Este, Uruguay

Punta del Este


The City of Punta del Este is located on a rocky peninsula that juts into the waters of the Atlantic Ocean from which it takes its name. This tourist city is located in the extreme southeast of Uruguay, in the department of Maldonado. It is one of the most exclusive spas in Latin America, the most important in Uruguay and is a popular destination for the international jet set to spend the summer.
Its wide beaches of white and golden sands, transparent waters, extensive wooded areas with luxurious residences integrated into nature and a refined and calm lifestyle make it a highly valued destination for those who enjoy the good life.
Since its beginnings at the beginning of the 20th century, this city has not stopped growing and expanding its influence to surrounding areas, from Ocean View, in the Bay of Maldonado, to José Ignacio to the east, residential and tourist development has had a sustained growth thanks to the strength of Punta del Este.
Today converted into a modern city thanks to the numerous real estate developments and a developed service infrastructure, hotels, an airport, the yacht and cruise port, roads, communications, bus services and only 130 km from Montevideo, the capital city of Uruguay. Punta del Este is a strategic place for international business and entrepreneurship in the southern cone.
Punta del Este has a population permanently residing in the city of about 15,000 inhabitants, and during the summer season when it receives tourism (from December to March), it is around half a million people.


During his expedition to the Río de la Plata in 1516 the Spanish conqueror Juan Díaz de Solís baptized these coasts as "Nuestra Señora de la Candelaria".
The first constructions in the peninsula were military installations built between 1765 and 1766, the guard room and the powder magazine of the San Fernando battery that guarded the positions.
In 1829 there were already some human settlements, at that time Francisco Aguilar, first mayor of the department of Maldonado baptized the incipient town as "Villa Ituzaingó" in homage to the victory of the forces of the United Provinces of Río de la Plata over the imperial forces Brazilians occurred on February 20, 1927.
Francisco Aguilar also developed the plans for the future city and carried out various infrastructure works such as the construction of numerous schools, churches and institutions that still stand today.
Aguilar also obtained the exclusive right to fish and fish the whales, which visit the peninsula on their journey south, for 10 years in Puerto de Maldonado and the department´s shores. It also had the concession for the slaughter of the sea lions of Isla de Lobos and the department of Rocha.
On June 13, 1843, the peninsula was sold to brothers Samuel and Alejandro Lafone, who bought it for 4,500 pesos, as well as Isla Gorriti, which cost 1,500 pesos. Like Aguilar, the Lafone brothers exploited fishing and saladeros.
In 1889 the first hotel in Punta del Este was built, the Hotel Risso (its owner´s last name). At that time Villa Ituzaingó was already a hamlet, inhabited by seafarers and by customs and lighthouse employees, which gradually increased its population in the summer months, people began to see in Punta del Este a place of rest and enjoyment of the natural beauties that the peninsula offered.
In 1906, Punta del Este had about 500 inhabitants, a hundred houses built, and several hundred more in project and construction. Many of its inhabitants had plans for the future and many others promoted initiatives to make Punta del Este a resort town in the style of the great and sophisticated European spas.
In 1907 the first vacationers arrived aboard the steamer "Golondrina", a group of Argentine and Montevideo families invited by the Board of the "Balneario Punta del Este" Society.
On July 5, 1907, then-President Claudio Williman promulgated Law No. 3186, officially declaring "... with the name of Punta del Este the set of houses located on the peninsula of Punta del Este, Department of Maldonado" thus granting To the peninsula the category of town, Punta del Este already had a definitive division carried out by the surveyor Francisco Surroca.
In 1909 the cornerstone of the Church of Punta del Este was laid and, seven years later, in 1916, the spa was illuminated with the first electrical installation. In 1924 Niceto S. de Loizaga and a group of friends founded the Yacht Club of Punta del Este. The division of the San Rafael neighborhood was carried out by Laureano Alonso Pérez, a Spaniard from Argentina. With Pizzorno and Antonio Lussich they formed the partnership that built the Hotel San Rafael in Punta del Este.
Punta del Este had a formidable real estate development around 1980; apartment towers, condominiums, gated communities, country houses and hotel complexes flourished in the spa. Since then, with ups and downs conditioned by the economic cycles of the country and the region, real estate activity has become another engine of the economy of Punta del Este.
Here is a brief tour of its main areas and characteristics:

The original enclave of Punta del Este, with its Old Quarter that houses the first buildings in the area and that gave rise to the city, the Peninsula is considered the center of Punta del Este. With Avenida Gorlero and Calle 20 as its commercial center, its sports and recreational port, and its emblematic lighthouse that rises to 44 meters of focal height built in 1860, the Punta del Este Peninsula is the cardinal point from where It unfolds wide residential areas where the beauty and extension of its beaches gave it its fame and made this city the most important vacation and investment destination in Latin America. The Punta del Este peninsula offers its visitors a wide variety of cuisines and gastronomic styles. Restos, inns and restaurants, in conjunction with the daily fishing obtained by the fishing boats that moor in the port, make Estena cuisine one more attraction in this exclusive resort.

The Port of Punta del Este, located on the peninsula on the sector that faces Playa Mansa and Isla Gorriti, is the most important international marina in Uruguay and one of the most attractive in the entire region. Its protective breakwater houses the dock, with marinas, wall moorings and terminals, offering all the services of a high-performance tourist and sports port. Important vessels call at this port periodically, being visited by prominent international personalities, who choose these coasts for their summer holidays. Every year new amenities are added to the existing ones, thus responding to the growing demand imposed by its increasingly numerous and demanding visitors. Fishing boats manned by sailors depart daily from this port, continuing long family traditions, on their return provide the numerous stalls with their cargo of fish and seafood, available to visitors a few hours after being captured. The building environment of the Port takes advantage of the unparalleled view it provides, thus low buildings of sophisticated design coexist with houses and residences surrounded by gardens and living fences that recall the origin of the city. In its surrounding streets, numerous pubs and restaurants offer visitors from their exquisite traditional Estena cuisine, to nightlife in a setting of security and tranquility typical of this coastal city.

An area characterized by modern high-rise buildings and advanced towers, La Brava represents the most cosmopolitan aspect of Punta del Este. In a privileged location, bordering the peninsula and its shopping center, a few streets from the port and easily accessible from anywhere in Punta del Este, La Brava offers one of the best real estate alternatives both for your seasonal stay and for your real estate investments in this Atlantic resort. This area, which concentrates the highest real estate growth in the region, is the one that runs from the eastern end of Gorlero Avenue on the peninsula, to stop 20, bordering the traditional San Rafael neighborhood. On the other hand, the extensive beach that gives this area its name ranges from the peninsula to the mouth of the Arroyo Maldonado, thus covering the entire southern contour of Punta del Este. The most notable characteristic of this beach, and for which it receives its name, is the untimely waters, a raging swell over white sands and extensive dunes.

Located in the extension that goes from stop 22 of La Brava to the west, bordering El Golf, and reaching stop 39, where the famous Puente de La Barra is located over the Maldonado stream to the east, is the neighborhood called Rincón del Indio. This neighborhood is one of the newest and fastest growing, Rincón del Indio is among the most sought-after and high-level areas of Punta del Este. Located on the shores of the Atlantic Ocean, with wide beaches of unequaled and rugged beauty, it stretches outlined by modern buildings nestled in the dunes following an architectural and urban line designed to respect its natural environment. This rapidly growing area is also home to traditional residences, forests and manicured gardens. Chosen by personalities from all fields of culture and entertainment to establish their permanent or summer residence here, Rincón del Indio is one of the most conducive areas for real estate investments.

"Barrio Parque Jardín el Golf" such is the official name of this prominent neighborhood of the City of Punta del Este, or "El Gol" in a more common and practical way. This is a purely residential neighborhood, very well priced in terms of real estate, and one of the most distinguished and prestigious areas of this eastern seaside resort. This district gets its name from the Cantegrill Country Club golf course that marks the northern boundary of the neighborhood and which makes its landscaped style its own, with sidewalks covered with grass, old pine trees and small forests. The buildings, the work of leading architects, are mostly spacious European-style chalets with tiled roofs, lots of wood and large evergreen gardens. The grounds are delimited by hedges, hills and dunes, within which the gardens compete in beauty and design. Many of the neighborhood's residences are parked on the golf course's own green. It is an area of ​​exceptional tranquility, with winding streets with little traffic, and an environment of unmatched living nature. The neighborhood is bounded to the south by Rambla Lorenzo Batlle Pacheco, to the north by Avenida Aparicio Saravia, to the east by Calle Federico García Lorca and to the west by Calle Montecarlo, Laureano Alonso Pérez, Pedragosa Sierra, Isabel de Castilla and Avda. Saint Paul.

Located 10 km east of the peninsula is La Barra de Maldonado. Originally a fishing village and with some houses belonging to aristocratic families from San Carlos who were the first to build their summer residences in this area. La Barra is distinguished by a rustic and informal style, where the semi-rugged environment is combined with a very good service structure, characteristics that make it ideal for a relaxed lifestyle away from the rhythm of the city. However, this quiet place communicates with the city of Punta del Este by modern roads, which allow you to reach the city center in a matter of minutes. This short trip is an attraction in itself, as it borders the rugged beaches of the Atlantic Ocean. Another attraction of La Barra in the summer season is its nightlife. Populated with pubs, bars and restaurants, the young scene of Punta del Este has its epicenter here where you can enjoy the top summer spots, along with personalities from the world of fashion and entertainment that spend the summer in La Barra de Maldonado.


Playa Montoya is located on Route 10 at 15 kmts. from the center of Punta del Este and 2 km from the center of La Barra to the east. This resort, which is also made up of Bikini Beach, the adjacent beach, stands out for the young scene during the summer season and is the place chosen by international Jetset figures who spend the summer in Punta del Este, actors, models and athletes find in Montoya the place for your vacations turning these beaches into a VIP area. It is an extensive beach with thick sands and at certain times of the day its waves are stormy with the purest oceanic imprint. This makes it ideal for surfing. Playa Montoya is part of the Uruguayan Surf Circuit and the annual World Surfing Championship. In addition, beach soccer, volleyball and other recreational sports are practiced in its arenas. Regarding the real estate aspect, it is a residential area, with low houses, European-style chalets and some low-rise apartment complexes, with tree-lined areas and unpaved streets, which gives it characteristics of a wild and natural area. In 2012, the journalist Richard Green published in the British newspaper The Sunday Times a list of the ten best beaches in the world, among which was Playa Montoya.


Desembocadura is the sector of La Barra where the Arroyo Maldonado joins the sea. In this area is the undulating bridge "Leonel Viera", which is one of the most iconic postcards of La Barra and Punta del Este. This area of ​​wetlands and brackish waters, product of the mixture of the course of the Arroyo Maldonado with the waters of the ocean, is ideal for the practice of water sports and sport fishing. The banks of the stream are covered by a wide strip of golden sands that form beautiful and serene beaches ideal to enjoy with the family. This sector is bordered by residences whose gardens merge with the beach, traditional houses and modern new constructions share a first line with an exceptional view. The real estate profile of the mouth of the Arroyo Maldonado is expanding with the incorporation of land for residential projects and with the development of infrastructure such as the highway that connects this area with the center of Punta del Este, which is already enabled.

El Chorro spa is located on Route 10, kilometer 166, and belongs to the municipality of San Carlos in the department of Maldonado, Uruguay. El Chorro was the original name of the area known today as Manantiales. Both names are inspired by various natural freshwater springs that spring up in the area. The first people who passed through and inhabited the place were mostly fishermen from neighboring towns, who adopted the more colloquial name, "El Chorro". Erected on a natural stepped hill that forms an amphitheater and that gives it a privileged view of the sea, El Chorro became a highly sought-after neighborhood while being reserved and quiet given its distance from the urban center of Punta del Este. Although it is close to busy spas such as Montoya and Bikini, and a short distance from the center of La Barra, it retains the charm of a secluded hamlet, with colorful houses with non-traditional and relaxed designs by renowned architects. This area has been populated by personalities from the world of art and entertainment, who find a space of intimacy and privacy away from the Esteña scene, but at the same time a few steps from it.

Located at kilometer 164 of Route 10 (Interbalenaria) in the department of Maldonado, Uruguay, there is a small group of houses that make up a small and exclusive place: Punta Piedras, an oasis of tranquility and good living just 15 kmts from Punta del Este and integrated into the wide area that goes from La Barra to José Ignacio, called Manantiales. This coastal strip formed between Route 10 and the sea is delineated by only 4 streets, Los Caracoles that runs along its entire length parallel to the sea and the route, curving at its ends, where it opens the main accesses to Punta Piedras, and Estrella de Mar, Los Mejillones and las Almejas streets, which cross the neighborhood and lead to the beach. Punta Piedras is located on the side of a gentle hill that descends to the sea, for this reason all the houses in this area, whether they are in the first or second line, have a magnificent open view of the sea thanks to this geography. In Punta Piedras no residence is more than 100 meters from the beach. These characteristics make this exclusive resort one of the places with the highest hierarchy and real estate value in Punta del Este, in addition to the fact that the houses that populate Punta Piedras have a special charm, they are not large mansions, but rustic-style houses designed by renowned architects , where stone and wood predominate combined with modern architectural styles where cubism, rationalism and traditional chalets with multi-water roofs predominate. This architectural eclecticism, added to the environment that still retains some of its wild characteristics, with dirt streets and houses with their gardens on the beach, make up a unique and unique style. For years Punta Piedras has been a haven for rest and summer vacations for prominent international personalities. Prince Albert of Monaco, the Rolling Stones, model Naomi Campbell, Eva Herzigova, among many others passed through this spa.

On the west bank of the peninsula lies the Playa Mansa, named for the gentle characteristics of its waters that are contained in the extensive Bay of Maldonado. The coastline of fine golden sands surrounded by dunes covered with vegetation and groves make these beaches one of the most visited by a wide public. In them there are different recreational proposals such as the practice of water sports, windsurfing, kayaks, jet skis, jetskiing , sailing, and on the sand you can enjoy volleyball courts and beach soccer. From a real estate point of view, this area has a wide variety of constructions, from the traditional low-rise buildings to the new towers that draw a rapidly growing horizon. Heading into the inner streets are beautiful neighborhoods of houses and chalets with green gardens and old trees that provide a peaceful setting just a few blocks from downtown.

Punta Ballena, located 18 km. to the west of the city of Punta del Este, it is the first important landmark on route 10 that leads from Montevideo, 115 km west, to the eastern city. This town is located on a rocky hill that juts into the waters of the sea in the great Bay of Maldonado. Punta Ballena is one of the most traditional and ancient towns in the Punta del Este area, and although it does not have its own beaches due to its rocky characteristics, it is adjacent to the wide beaches of Portezuelo and Solanas on its west side, and Las Grutas towards the east, where it has a magnificent view of the Punta del Este peninsula and Gorriti Island. Among its most outstanding attractions is the Lussich Arboretum, a nature reserve created by Antonio Lussich, one of the first settlers in the area, in 1896. There is also the Whaling Club, founded in 1967, which has a boarding pier, fishing, water sports school, a gastronomic establishment and other services that it offers to the community of the area. But undoubtedly the most emblematic place in Punta Ballena, and for which it is recognized throughout the world is Casapueblo. Design by the plastic artist Carlos Paez Vilaró, who began to build his workshop house on the western slope and did not stop until he made his creation a surprising monument for its characteristics and beauty. Currently the main street that runs through the neighborhood from its access to the viewpoint, known as the Panoramic Route of Punta Ballena bears his name. This area is characterized by important houses, all with views of the bay, being one of the most sought-after places in Punta del Este.

Located on the Juan Díaz de Solís route, route 10 kilometer 108,5 just 6 kilometers from the Laguna del Sauce airport, Punta del Este, is this old ranch called La Carolina. This ranch extends for 400 hectares and has a 3200-meter shoreline overlooking the sea, giving its inhabitants an almost exclusive beach and an incredible lagoon that the river forms during the year at its mouth, until it joins the sea during a short time in the spring. Towards the east of the lagoon there is a dense pine forest that reaches the dunes, a few meters from the sea. Today the La Carolina ranch has been divided into 60 farms of approximately 5 hectares, some of them with 140 meters of sea coast within the fraction. The owners of these lands have built some internal roads and a bridge over the river to reach the most inaccessible places. The residents of La Carolina are committed to preserving the environment, without opening public streets or infrastructure that alters the natural landscape. Preserving itself as a wild place, with gravel paths drawn in the green mantle, its natural beaches of incomparable beauty, and the different views that La Carolina offers, make this estancia a unique place in Punta del Este. This project has been going on for several years and has led to the construction of beautiful houses with all the comfort and exquisite taste. Visual artists, architects and filmmakers have chosen and fallen in love with this place where the countryside and the sea come together to form a unique and exclusive place in Punta del Este, a private neighborhood on the sea, La Carolina.

Located 40 kilometers from the Punta del Este Peninsula, kilometer 182 of Route No. 10, on the E. Sainz Martínez road, is the jewel of the Uruguayan Atlantic coast, the José Ignacio spa. A unique place to enjoy nature and tranquility at its best. Despite its small size, the town of José Ignacio offers its inhabitants the same variety of beaches as Punta del Este, a quiet and peaceful beach (La Mansa), and on its other coast, a sea of ​​strong waves that makes you feel the imposing ocean (La Brava). José Ignacio is a town frequented in the summer season by personalities, businessmen and celebrities who seek peace and intimacy on its beaches. Although for a few years it has also been chosen for permanent residence by many lovers of this picturesque town and the lifestyle it offers. The urban layout is located on a peninsula that penetrates the sea about 2,000 meters and is 800 meters wide, on its northernmost side is the iconic Jose Ignacio Lighthouse, built in 1877, which is the one that offers the most classic of your postcards. José Ignacio offers a wide variety of houses for seasonal rentals, and given its layout you will always be a few meters from the beach, although for the most demanding there is also the possibility of renting a residence with its gardens directly connected to the beach. Two lagoons flank the spa, La Laguna Garzón, and Laguna José Ignacio. Numerous properties have been built in the surroundings of the latter and the area is in clear development, being a very conducive place for real estate investments of a very good profile.

Quiet streets, catchy village rhythm, after-meals and naps, horizons that merge into hills and hills covered with crops and country nature as far as the eye can see, Pueblo Garzón is part of the deep interior, preserving the lifestyle and rural culture of Uruguay until today. However, due to its location a few minutes from José Ignacio and its oceanic beaches, and about 100 km. from the city of Punta del Este, this small town has gained relevance from small and large enterprises that, taking advantage of the privileged climate of the region, have revitalized rural production, highlighting the cultivation of vines and olive groves and their associated industries such as the outstanding production of internationally renowned wines that are made in the lands that surround Pueblo Garzón. This area is also a supplier of gray granite extracted from its own quarries, this being one of the traditional productions of the town for a long time. From all the characteristics listed about Pueblo Garzón, in recent years there has been a great interest in adopting this town as a place of residence for many lovers of Uruguay and the wide region that has Punta del Este as its starting point. Thus, Europeans, Brazilians, Argentines and North Americans were settling in and showing interest in having their place and enjoying the lifestyle that this town, which has just a couple of hundred inhabitants, makes possible.

Punta del Este Guide