Spending the holidays in Punta del Este and Montevideo Uruguay is amazing, because the sun is shining and you are on the beautiful beaches of South America. There are many things to do in Punta del Este during the holidays. Some of the wealthiest and best looking people of South-America gather together on this tiny coastal town of Uruguay.
I took the ferry over from Buenos Aires to Colonia in Uruguay. If you want to read more about the ferry ride, read about the journey here.
Colonia is a small town, a UNESCO World Heritage Site. It was raining when I got there. By the time I got there, I was soaking wet. I walked around the old town, took photos of it and went back to the bus station. I saw the whole place within about an hour or two. It had cobbled stone streets and Spanish colonial architecture. The architecture was interesting and colorful, but the whole town was rather small. I also went out to the playa (beach). I was not very inspired by the beach or the town, so I headed back to the bus station to reach my next destination.
Check out this one-week Uruguay itinerary if you are planning a trip there.
In Montevideo, I was staying on Playa Pocito. I loved this place. It was beautiful. It reminded me of Nice or Miami. I had a view of the beach from my hotel and I could see the palm trees and the people jogging along the beach. It was a lovely to place to stay.
On the first morning, I asked the receptionist where I should go sightseeing and she suggested me to visit the nearby shopping mall. Not sure, why she thought I needed to see the shopping mall… Anyway, I went to the shopping mall, I ran into Santa and then I realized I didnt come to Uruguay to hang out in a shopping mall, so I escaped the mall and continued my discovery to the city center. I walked along the beach to the main shopping street of Montevideo. The street was busy. It had all the funky shops of South-America. Soon, I reached Plaza de las Armas, the main square. There was a big statue of the middle of the square of a man on a horse. One side of the square was beautiful, but the other side had some ugly ran down buildings.
From there, I walked up to the historical district, which was an absolute disappointment. It was ran down and a bit sketchy. I walked all the way to the port, checked out the souvenir shops and walked back. On the way back, I visited the National Theatre. It s called Teatro Solis.
There was a free tour that introduced the visitors to the theatre inside and its history. It was a beautiful theatre with a fascinating history. Montevideo was a very pleasant city. It was certainly the most developed city I have visited in South-America. It is the kind of city, where I could even live for a while.
Things to Do in Punta del Este
Next morning it was Christmas and I hopped on a bus to go to Punta del Este, which is also known as the Monaco of South-America, because of all the beautiful beaches and yachts that come here every year. The town was full of Brazilian tourists. I enjoyed the city, because it was small and modern. It reminded me of Miami. There were so many new skyscrapers and some really beautiful hotels along the beach. First day I visited the fingers (dados). These are the symbol of Punta del Este. They are located on Playa Brava and symbolise a man whose fingers are sticking out of the sea fighting for help.
Playa Brava is a very windy beach with lots of waves. They also call it the angry beach. The other side of the peninsula is called Playa Mansa.
This side is calm and better for bathing. It is also more frequented by tourists. Every morning, when I woke up, I spent the first two hours walking along the beach to the Conrad Hotel. It is the most beautiful hotel in town. Lots of people stay here to gamble.
I enjoyed watching the yachts and the people exercising along the beach. In the late afternoon I usually went to the beach with local friends. The water was cold, but it was nice to sit in the sand and watch the sunset. People here applaud on the beach when the sun sets.
In the evenings, I would have dinner in the port with friends. There are very beautiful restaurants that serve very good seafood. On my last day, we drove to visit the nearby beach towns, Maldonado and Jose Ignacio.
These are beautiful small towns with funky stores, great restaurants. The towns have a little bit of a hippy vibe. Lots of good looking young people come here to enjoy the South-American Summer. I loved Punta del Este and I am sure to be back soon.
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