Punta del Este


For eight weeks after Christmas, Punta del Este is a 24/7 parade of parties, real Rolexes and fake boobs. It's a scene fuelled by international designers and superstar DJs, that is shameless, shallow and tremendous fun. But the hippest scene has moved north past the glamorous fishing village of José Ignacio, and up towards the rustic bohemian beach scenes at Cabo Polonia and La Pedrera. During the rest of the year, except holidays, Punta is taken up mainly by people who go for the casinos.

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  1. Pay attention to the season; many restaurants, pubs and nightclubs only open in summer, from December to March.
  2. Plan for long lunches that start at 15.00 and dinners that start at 23.00 or midnight.
  3. Leave behind your Versaces, Cavallis. The style is super chic in an understated kind of way.
  4. Speedos out. Board shorts in. For women, the only accessory needed is a great butt and the right straw fedora.
  5. Remember this is gaucho-land and the gauchos are all gorgeous. Take a horse ride on the beach to take in the local scenery.

Two-hour tour

  • Stroll around the village and beaches of José Ignacio — This enclave has escaped the Miami-style growth that has affected much of the rest of Punta.

  • Lunch at Francis Mallman's hotel and restaurant in the village of Garzon — Twenty miles north of José Ignacio is celebrity chef Mallman’s El Garzon. The drive is beautiful and Finca La Anita is picture-perfect.

  • Montoya Beach at La Barra — Hot surf spot.


  • Independent and easy

    Casa Chic

    Los Teros y Las Calandrias, José Ignacio

    +598 4486 2068

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  • Premium

    La Posada del Faro

    Luis E Schickendantz, José Ignacio

    +598 4486 2110

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  • Ultra luxury in the countryside

    Estancia Vik

    Camino Eugenio Sáiz Martínez, KM8, José Ignacio

    +598 94 605 212

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  • Beach club

    La Caracola

    Camino a la Laguna Garzón, Ruta 10, KM185, José Ignacio

    +598 9422 3015

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  • Al fresco dining


    Camino a la Laguna Garzón, Ruta 10, kKM185, José Ignacio

    +598 4486 2273

  • Sunset cocktail

    La Huella

    Playa Brava, José Ignacio

    +598 42 486 2279

  • Dinner for two

    Sal y Pimienta at Casa Suaya Hotel

    Ruta 10, KM186.5, José Ignacio

    +598 4486 2750

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  • Dinner with friends


    Ruta 10, KM185, José Ignacio

    +598 4486 2526

  • Late drinks

    Buddha Bar

    Bikini Beach, La Barra, Ruta 10, KM160

  • On the tiles


    Calle 11 La Barra

    +598 4277 1922

  • Breakfast

    Café Flo

    Ruta 10, KM161, La Barra

    +598 4277 1481

  • Pinic Spot

    Playa Pescadores in Punta del Diablo

  • Dinner and dancing

    Conrad Punta Del Este Resort and Casino

    Playa Mansa Parada 4

    +598 4249 1111

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  • Bookshop

    Sentido — Hard-to-find titles at Sentido

    Los Cisnes and Las Calandrias (open December to February)

    + 598 48 62 749


  • Lost luggage - where to buy shirts

    El Canuto

    Calles Los Cisnes and Los Horneros, José Ignacio

    +598 4486 2028

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  • Something for the kids

    Mini polo boots from La Martina

    Calle 20 (between 27 and 28), Local 1 and 2

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  • Something for someone you love

    Bajo el Alma — Sweaters from Bajo el Alma

    Las Garzas y las Golon Drinas

    +598 4486 2098

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  • Something for yourself

    A kitesurfing lesson — With local pro Laura Moñino.

    +598 9442 0704

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  • Something you can't get anywhere else

    Maison de Famille

    Ruta 10, KM164, Manantiales

    +598 4277 5871

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  • Pharmacy

    José Ignacio pharmacy

    Sáiz Martínez and Las Garzas

    + 598 48 62 502


  • Free bikes — For use within José Ignacio Chivas, Sáiz Martínez and Los Biguá.

    punta del este



  • Good gym

    Mantra luxury hotel

    Calle 25 Los Arrecifes

    +598 4277 1000

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