There are many strolls to take around Punta del Este. It has beautiful gardens with flowers brought from different parts of the world that make it a garden city. Its streets and avenues and its fantastic mansions make Punta del Este one of the most beautiful and safest places in South America to go for vacations.
Parks, museums, historic places and a variety of unique landscapes make Punta del Este highly recommended for family vacations, honeymooners or to simply relax and have fun
A) THE PENINSULA:
It is the hub of Punta del Este and there are many activities that can be done there: from taking a walk along the Gorlero Avenue (commercial road that is part of this coastal city’s history), to visiting the different art galleries and the handicraft fair; from enjoying a great moment at the cafes, pizzerias, restaurants and bars next to the port to spending the afternoon at the “glorieta” or the nights at the movies, theatre or the casino. To visit Punta del Este is to visit the peninsula. It covers an extension of 15 by 5 blocks approximately and its streets are different from the rest since they are all identified by numbers, even though each of them have a name related to navigation or marine nature. They go from street 1 to 31. It is a stroll that can be made by car, by bicycle or on foot.
Located right in the Artigas Square, in the middle of the peninsula, the Handicraft Fair has 200 booths where you can purchase from simple souvenirs, woolen clothing and leather items, to valuable jewelry in gold, silver and stone.
B) Gorriti Island:
It is attractive not only for its natural beauty but also for its historical buildings and it has being an important battle ground during the XIX century. It has a surface of 21 hectares that can be visited by the travellers that land on it daily to enjoy a unparalleled nature and its two beautiful beaches: Puerto Jardín and Playa Honda. This last one is located at the opposite side from Punta del Este, facing the ocean and has a little restaurant.
As a natural harbor, it houses the boats that anchor there and is the ideal place to practice water sports.
C) Isla de Lobos (Sea lions Island):
Located in the Atlantic Ocean, 8,5 km away from the shore, it is a rocky surface of 41 hectares inhabited by the largest sea lion colony in South America: it currently has over 180.000 sea lions.
Another species that can be seen on the landing beach are the elephant seals, frequent visitors of the island. Among the great variety of birds, you can see the gaviota cocinera (seagulls). The native flora is represented by two species of cactus and a type of fern called “calaguala”, added to some other plants introduced by man, such as: transparentes, tamarises, cañas, etc.
D) Port of Punta del Este:
Those who love sailing aren’t the only ones that can enjoy the wonderful Port of Punta del Este, inaugurated during the first decade of the twentieth century. A classic activity for the tourists is to walk on its piers looking at the boats that arrive and depart. The port also houses one of the best cuisines of the city.
E) Fashion Road:
Punta’s 20th Street is famous for its luxurious fashion, accessories and design boutiques, situated in an urban walkway that will charm even the most demanding buyers. Brands such as Valentino, Daniel Cassin, Louis Vuitton and Giovanna di Firenze have their boutiques on the Fashion Road, which are located among excellent restaurants.
F) Promenade of the Americas:
In February 1982, the Parada 1 of Playa Brava was the setting of the First International Meeting of Modern Sculpture in the Open Air held in the City of Punta del Este. The esplanade became an extraordinary outdoor workshop where nine artists from various countries gathered and worked for more than a month to give shape to what they had in mind. This place is currently known as Paseo de las Américas and you can contemplate the works of these nine sculptors there.
G) Mailhos Promenade:
This picturesque seaside path begins at La Cigalle Beach and ends in the old Mailhos Pier, an exceptional setting to enjoy the sunset looking at the port. The promenade has a nice wooden walkway (often used for footing and cycling) and many gazebos that become more attractive after the dusk.
H) El Jagüel Park:
Perfect for a natural break between the hectic days at the peninsula, this park is one of the best activities to do as a family. It is known by its animal-shaped sculptures made of wood which entertain the little ones. It has many children’s games and trails for outdoor activities and it is possible to rent a horse to explore the park.
I) Design District:
On the Italia and Pedragosa Sierra Avenues you can find many art and interior design stores, which create an artistic district like those present in the most cosmopolitan cities of the world. This is a promenade especially conceived for the visual enjoyment, located in a quiet and tree-covered zone, a little distant from the peninsula. In addition to the decoration and clothing stores, you can also find elegant design hotels and high-class restaurants in this area.
J) La Barra:
Located only a few kilometers away from Punta del Este, la Barra de Maldonado has become one of the favorite places for tourists of all ages. It is characterized by a style of its own, the colorful architecture of its houses and the permanent state of movement given by the art galleries, the antique shops and the flea market.
Its coastal landscape with its beautiful beaches such as Montoya, Bikini, Manantiales, El Chorro and Punta Piedras, which succeed each other forming a dynamic and happy atmosphere, is strengthened every summer by the arrival of thousands of travelers.
It is also complemented by restaurants of different styles, pubs and discos that appeal to young people looking for fun. During the summer, it is the night-time place par excellence.
La Barra Bridge
The Leonel Viera bridge, best known as the undulated bridge, is not only one of the most outstanding engineering works in Uruguay, but also the most amusing. To pass through these two structures by car will give you a unique sensation that will make you want to cross this bridge again.
K) Maldonado Stream:
Water sports and ecoturism take place in this stream, which begins in Sierra de Carapé and flows into the Atlantic Ocean, creating one of the most beautiful places in Punta del Este. The stream is sustained by other smaller water sources that form little islands in its path, such as the Cahuet Island to the north and the Fisherman Island (Isla de los Pescadores) near the mouth of the stream.
I) Punta Ballena:
Currently integrated to the urban and touristic development of Punta del Este, Punta Ballena is one of the most particular and beautiful places in the Uruguayan coast. The incomparable view of the Maldonado bay and Portezuelo that can be enjoyed from the Panoramic Route over the highland, make this one of the few places in the world where you can enjoy a very pleasant sunset.
Its cliffs give the place a Mediterranean appearance and the mythical “Casapueblo” can be found there. On the west side there is a small natural port where water sports can be practiced and also the Portezuelo and Solanas beaches, often visited for their western-orientation, their calm waters and the large extensions of fine sand. On the east side you can find caves, rocks and coarse-grained beaches and a view of Punta del Este and the Gorriti Island. It is 18 km away from this city.
If you look at Punta Ballena from a distance, you can see where the name comes from: the highland where it is located has the shape of a sleeping cetacean.
M) Laguna del Sauce (Lagoon of the Willow):
This is another option for water sports and ecotourism lovers. This great water mirror (of over five thousand hectares) is the most important freshwater reserve in Maldonado, surrounded by woods and beaches, a space where tranquility reigns. Next to the Club del Lago Hotel there is a pedestrian promenade with direct access to the Beach of the Lagoon (Playa de la Laguna). You have to get the road that starts in the kilometer 116, 5 of the Ruta Interbalnearia in order to get there.
The spectacular view of Punta Ballena is crowned by the mythical Casapueblo, the house-atelier-hotel-museum of the Uruguayan artist Carlos Páez Vilaró, who built this great “inhabitable sculpture”, imitating the ovenbirds’ construction technique. The famous suns of Vilaró decorate the house that is characterized by its irregular terraces overlooking the sea and that follows a strictly Mediterranean-style. Walking through the maze-like corridors of Casapueblo, it is possible to see a number of works by the artist. The little museum opens every day until the sunset, moment in which the classical “sun worship” takes place. It is located fifteen minutes away from Punta del Este, on the Panoramic Route at Sierra de la Ballena.
O) José Ignacio:
Located at a majestic natural setting on the shores of the Atlantic Ocean, with a rustic and wild appearance, it still preserves its fisherman's village style. Far away from big buildings, discotheques and the lively nightlife that Punta del Este has, José Ignacio is nowadays an exclusive place.
Along with its beaches and the stunning summer houses all around, a highlight in this coastal site is its excellent cuisine, focus of attention for those who wish to delight themselves with the best seafood in the area.
José Ignacio Lighthouse
Built in 1877, it is located in the homonymous coastal site on the Atlantic Ocean and has been a source of inspiration for many artists, from musicians such as Fito Páez, to writers, cinematographers, etc. Its structure is fantastic not only from the outside but from the inside as well and the views you can enjoy at the highest part of the lighthouse are simply indescribable. In the surrounding area you can find beautiful souvenirs, handicrafts, drawings and paintings of the lighthouse to give as a present to yourself and to others.
The “Arco del Sol” ride offers a different way to live the adventure and the emotion. Along this way you’ll be able to know the traditional farming production: olive groves, vines, agriculture and livestock, which show us the new reality of our destination.
Nature, silence, culture and history: that’s the proposal.
During the path, the visitor will also be able to enjoy some bird watching, sightseeing and artisanal production.
The villages that form the Camino Arco del Sol are: Garzón, Aiguá, Pueblo Edén, Pan de Azúcar, Gregorio Aznárez and Balneario Solís.
This circuit is located on the axes of Routes 39, 109 and 13. It includes a nature tour, unique for its landscape beauties, in which the highlands of Coronilla and Las Cañas, Route 109, the Catedral Hill and the Caves of Salamanca stand out.
It also includes some town history and culture-related tours that refer to the foundation and other important historic and cultural events, such as the visit of the tango singer Carlos Gardel.
Sierra de los Caracoles Circuit
The Sierra de los Caracoles circuit takes place in the north of Punta del Este, including routes and paths that let us contemplate different views, such as the oceanic coast, wetlands, meadows, colorful highlands and leafy mountains.
You can also find there a great variety of birds, resting places and sites for nature watching.
Maldonado is one of the departments that, thanks to its topography and well-drained soil, has developed a large number of olive-growing undertakings. Other weather conditions, such as oceanic-influenced winds, encourage the healthy growth of trees and an appropriate pollination.
In the middle of the Sierra de los Caracoles there is a real olive-growing basin that gives rise to the Olive Route. A sea and highland path that goes down to Punta del Este.
New touristic experiences are offered around the Extra Virgin Olive Oil Boutique Production Plant, located only a few kilometers away from the Uruguayan coast. The visitors will be surprised with incomparable landscapes, unique views, noble wines, delicious extra virgin olive oils, a selection of cheeses and country breads and personalized attention during the whole visit.
For more information, please visit: http://www.agroland.com/es/