Punta del Diablo and Other Trendy Uruguay Attractions

Uruguay is one of those countries that I stumbled into almost by mistake. I was in Buenos Aires enjoying a coffee and some tango when I read that I could get a ferry across the Rio de la Plata to Colonia or Montevideo. I think I left some coffee in my cup in my haste to reach the ferry terminal on time for the next departure.

I ended up going to Colonia del Sacramento. This is a cool little place and a great way to start your time looking at this country. Despite its current sleepy feel, this was once a town that was fought over bitterly by the Spanish and Portuguese.

A day here is probably long enough for you to see the fortified section of town and enjoy a plate of chivito. This is the national dish of Uruguay and I was disappointed to find out that the literal translation of “little goat” was sadly wrong. It is really a beef dish and pretty tasty too.

Montevideo Looks Great for Living In

After a day in Colonia my plan was to head back to Argentina but I was intrigued by the idea of going to Montevideo. I made the trip by bus, which took a couple of hours. The Uruguayan capital struck me as one of those places where it would be great to live in but not particularly exciting to visit. The people are friendly, there is a nice city beach, the food is good and it seems safe enough. Indeed, this is rated by many people as one of the region’s best cities for living in, with a very high standard of living.

At this point, it is worth pointing out that Uruguayans are just about the friendliest people you will ever meet. This isn’t just my opinion because I was lucky enough to meet nice people. Just look up any blog or article about this country and you are likely to read gushing reports about the wonderfully welcoming nature of the locals. I felt safer and more welcome in this small South American country than just about anywhere else I have been to, including the UK city where I grew up.

I simply never found enough things to do to keep me interested in Montevideo, though. There is only so much chivito a man can eat, after all. However, some of the most popular and trendiest Uruguay tourist attractions are smaller communities further along the coast.

Punta del Este and Punta del Diablo Uruguay


Punta Del Este


If you have ever spent any time in the company of rich and glamorous South Americans then you will know that Punta del Este is simply the place to be seen in summer, darling. It is a stylish resort where the continent’s celebrities flock to during the summer months. This makes it a fun place to spend some time but it also makes it absurdly expensive. If you are backpacking around South America on a tight budget then you will want to give this place a very wide berth.

If Punta del Este is too expensive and trendy for your tastes then Punta del Diablo is another option, although it looks like soon reaching the same level as the more famous resort soon. It is a tiny place, with a permanent population of fewer than a thousand souls. However, in the summer over 20,000 tourists come here to enjoy the peace and natural beauty of the area.

Punta del Diablo has made a name for itself in recent years as an ultra-hip destination. It has grown from being the archetypical sleepy fishing village to being the place where everyone want to see and be seen.

Faro Jose Ignacio

Jose Ignacio

However, while Punta del Este and Punta del Diablo Uruguay are big attractions, the stars who have serious cash to splash go to Jose Ignacio. In fact, this has been described recently as the most chic place in all of Latin America. This is where the likes of Shakira, Diego Maradona and Naomi Campbell go when they want to feel some Uruguayan sand between their toes, and presumably some chivito in their belly. The prices are insane but if you want to see one of the current coolest places on Earth then you can find it right here in Uruguay. Don’t expect to see me there, though.

2 Responses to Punta del Diablo and Other Trendy Uruguay Attractions

  1. Great round up and I’d love to visit Jose Ignacio – it’s funny as it sounds like someone’s name!
    Suze – Luxury Columnist recently posted…Beginner’s Guide to BaliMy Profile

    • Robert Bell says:

      Thanks Suze, I always assumed that it was really named after a guy called Jose Ignacio, which makes it sound really cool.

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