Adiós Buenos Aires y buenos días Punta del Este! In our previous post about South America we left Buenos Aires and headed back to Uruguay. Actually, before going to the famous mecca of all parties, Punta, we did spend a couple of more days in Montevideo. Getting to Montevideo was something of an adventure – we needed to get a taxi for the ferry (early in the morning). Too bad for us, the whole center was closed for traffic (there was a marathon taking place on that same day), so we had to run to the port. And then we thought we would die on the boat. Or actually Susann thought she would die, Jesper was not so sure about it. Waves, I hate waves.
Back in Montevideo we walked some more and explored the beaches nearby. We were also quite astonished by the fact that there were horses in the city. But this is a story about Punta del Este, so let’s begin, shall we?
Punta del Este
Punta del Este is a city and a resort on the Atlantic coast. It’s located on a peninsula, which makes it quite windy. We visited the city during off-season, meaning that we were quite alone with the few permanent residents. The town was sleepy during our visit. We did not participate in any of the famous nightlife. Getting there from Montevideo was easy, we just hopped on one of the buses. There are several daily buses that leave from the bus station in Montevideo. The journey took approximately an hour and a half. Punta del Este is very different from the capital – here one is greeted by high-rise buildings and a feeling of constant vacation.
The coastline is divided into two main beaches; the fierce Brava and the tame Mansa. When walking around the peninsula, one really notices the difference between these two beaches. They are divided by one of the most famous landmarks in Uruguay – Mano de Punta de Este. The hand is a sculpture made by Chilean artist Mario Irarrázabal and it symbolizes a warning to swimmers about the strong winds. This was where we bumped into a few fellow tourists.
Being a resort town, there honestly is not much to see in Punta del Este. We mostly enjoyed long walks on the beaches. As we lived quite far out on the peninsula, we did spot one other main sight – the lighthouse. The amount of lighthouses we saw in Uruguay was fascinating, and this one was just as interesting as the ones in Montevideo. Other interesting places to visit (that we did not go to) are the Gorriti Island and the Casapueblo hotel (at Punta Ballena, 13 km from Punta del Este).
We did attempt a walk to Punta Ballena to see the whales but we had to admit that the walk was too long for us. It would have been a better idea to rent a bike but we did not think about it at that moment. It was also very difficult to find any local transport, as it turned out, there were no local buses connecting the two resorts.
On our second day we walked to the nearby city of Maldonado. There we mainly strolled around and observed the daily life of people before getting lost. We also tried some local food – we did not dare to try the meat after observing the people who sat next to us. Imagine a huge pile of various types meat and very little lettuce.
The highlight of our trip to Punta del Este was all the walking. And our hotel was really great.