Punta del Este
Aerial view
Enjoy Hotel and Casino
Residential area of the peninsula
Playa Mansa
Punta del Este is located in Southern Uruguay
Punta del Este
Punta del Este
Location in Uruguay
Punta del Este is located in Uruguay
Punta del Este
Punta del Este
Punta del Este (Uruguay)
Coordinates: 34°58′0″S 54°57′0″W / 34.96667°S 54.95000°W / -34.96667; -54.95000
Country Uruguay
Department Maldonado
 • Mayor (Alcalde)Javier Carballal (NP)
 • Total20.35 km2 (7.86 sq mi)
 (2011 Census)
 • Total12,423
Demonym(s)puntaesteño (m)
puntaesteña (f)
Time zoneUTC−3
Postal code
Dial code+598 42 (+6 digits)

Punta del Este (Spanish pronunciation: [ˈpunta ðel ˈeste]) is a seaside city and peninsula on the Atlantic Coast in the Maldonado Department of southeastern Uruguay. Starting as a small town, Punta del Este grew to become a resort for the Latin and North American jet set and tourists. The city has been called "The Monaco of the South", "The Pearl of the Atlantic", "The Hamptons of South America", "The Miami Beach of South America", or "The St. Tropez of South America".[1][2][3][4]

Many famous people have visited, resided or acquired vacation properties in Punta del Este and its surroundings.[5][6]

Punta del Este hosted the Whitbread Around the World yacht races from 1985 to 1994 and participated with its own yacht 'Uruguay Natural'. Punta del Este also hosted the 1967 American Summit attended by U.S. President Lyndon Johnson, and the start of the Uruguay Round of international trade negotiations in 1986 that led to the creation of the World Trade Organization in 1994. The city hosted the 2014 Formula E Championship and the Gran Premio de Punta del Este receiving national, South American and international competitions.[7]

In addition to international film festivals, gastronomy and first-class hotels, the region has protected natural reserves such as Isla de Lobos, Gorriti Island, La Barra, or the Arboretum Lussich. Popular landmarks in the area include the La Mano giant sculpture, the Santorini-styled complex Casapueblo, the Rafael Viñoly designed Puente Garzón bridge, and the Museum of the Sea.

Although the city has a year-round population of about 12,400 in winter, the number greatly expands during the summer season.[8]



The city is located on the intersection of Route 10 with Route 39, southeast of the department capital Maldonado and about 140 kilometres (87 mi) east of Montevideo.


Punta del Este has an oceanic climate (Cfb, according to the Köppen climate classification), with pleasant summers and cool winters. Because of the average temperature of the hottest month near 22 °C (71.6 °F), the climate is close to a humid subtropical climate (Cfa).[9] It is similar to southeastern Australia.[10] The precipitation is evenly distributed throughout the year, with an average of 1,010 mm (40 in). The hottest month, February, has an average temperature of 21.7 °C (71.1 °F), and the coldest month, July, has an average of 11.5 °C (52.7 °F). The average yearly temperature is 16.4 °C (61.5 °F).

Climate data for Punta del Este (Península), elevation: 16 m, 1961–1990 normals
Month Jan Feb Mar Apr May Jun Jul Aug Sep Oct Nov Dec Year
Record high °C (°F) 37.0
Mean daily maximum °C (°F) 25.2
Daily mean °C (°F) 21.6
Mean daily minimum °C (°F) 18.1
Record low °C (°F) 10.2
Average precipitation mm (inches) 75.4
Average precipitation days 8 9 9 9 9 10 10 9 9 9 8 8 107
Mean monthly sunshine hours 263.8 212.5 243.0 181.3 147.0 103.8 118.8 157.5 169.3 234.5 217.5 289.3 2,338.3
Source 1: WMO[11]
Source 2: NOAA (extremes, sun and mean temperature)[12]


Spaniards were the first Europeans to set foot in the area of Punta del Este at the beginning of the 16th century. Colonization began around Maldonado at the end of the 18th century through Portuguese expansionism. [citation needed] Punta del Este and its surroundings (Maldonado and Punta Ballena) at the end of the 19th century were kilometers of sand and dunes, but in 1896 Antonio Lussich bought 4,447 acres (1,800 ha) of uninhabited land and started the botanical garden Arboretum Lussich, planting trees and plants from all over the world. The trees propagated on their own, with Pines, Eucalyptus, Acacias and various species of bushes flourishing.

On 5 July 1907, it was declared a "Pueblo" (village) by Act of Ley 3.186.[13] Its status was elevated to "Ciudad" (city) on 2 July 1957 by the Act of Ley Nº 12.397.[14]

During the 1970s, the city faced a decline in tourists, especially from Argentina, as a result of terrorist threats by the Tupamaros guerrilla organization and an increase of working class hotels and less luxurious residences.[15]

Punta del Este experienced formidable real estate development in the 1980s with a construction boom in spas, apartment towers and hotel complexes. Since then, the ups and downs of the economic cycles caused real estate activity to be another engine of the economy of Punta del Este. In 2022, real estate market specialists forecast exponential growth throughout the area as a place to live year-round. [16]


Chiverta Ave. from Playa Brava (Rough Sea Beach) to Playa Mansa (back). Gorriti Island.

In 2011 Punta del Este city proper had a population of 9,277[8] and 23,954 households and apartments.[17] According to the Intendencia Departamental de Maldonado, the municipality of Punta del Este has an area of 48 km2 (19 sq mi) and a population of 15,000.[18] Argentines, Brazilians and Europeans are gradually choosing Punta del Este as their permanent residence. Some of the reasons are peace in the midst of nature and increasing educational offerings.[19]

Year Population
1963 5,272
1975 7,197
1985 6,731
1996 8,294
2004 7,298
2011 9,277

Source: Instituto Nacional de Estadística de Uruguay[13]


A panoramic photo of Punta del Este.
Punta del Este at dusk.
Aerial view of Punta del Este.


Playa El Emir.

Punta del Este's scenic coastline is divided in two regions: Brava (Spanish: "fierce") and Mansa ("tame"). The limit between the two marks the end of the Río de la Plata and the beginning of the Atlantic Ocean, and split is signaled by the Mano de Punta del Este, which the sculptor designed to warn swimmers about the danger of rough waves. Beaches on the Mansa side feature thick and golden sand, while on the Brava side the sand is white and fine. Every beach of the peninsula has public access.

La Barra is popular for nautical sports and fishing during the day. At later hours, La Barra becomes a central attraction for the younger generation. Starting from the end of December through to the second week of January, this location becomes a place for the local people as well as tourists to gather at the night life festivities. Other areas include the resort of El Tesoro, Montoya beach, Bikini beach and Manantiales beach. These beaches are a favourite spot for younger people as well as for many celebrities from both Uruguay and Argentina.[citation needed]

Manantiales Beach at the sunset

Once abundant, southern right whales are re-colonizing in the area,[20] which helped create a whale sanctuary off Latin America,[21] whose establishment had been prevented for near a decade by whaling nations like Japan. Unlike the majority of Uruguayan coasts, appearances of orcas have been documented in the area; most notably around Isla de Lobos.[22][23]


The fingers of Punta del Este.

The city has much colonial architecture contrasting with more modern buildings. Nowadays it has a scenic shore, typical resort houses, modern buildings, a port with mooring capacity, department stores, restaurants, and pubs. There are several large houses, and gardens lined with plants.[citation needed]

An iconic and historic building rises on the 19th stop of the Brava Beach, the famous Hotel L'Auberge Inicio with its 70 year old water tower, continues to be a leader in hospitality and gastronomy with its unique rooms and still serving its traditional Belgian waffles Waffles with home made sauces.

Punta del Este was originally home to the first Conrad Hotel in South America.

Gorlero Avenue, the main avenue of Punta del Este has commercial galleries, restaurants, cinemas, casinos, shops.[citation needed]

Artigas square, over Gorlero Ave is the place where there is a popular handicraft market.[24]

Punta del Este is well known for organizing the summit in which the WTO was created. The Formula E has hosted several races, broadcast worldwide, in the city, based on its "absolutely landmark cityscape".[3] In 2017, the China-Latin America Forum took place in the Punta del Este Convention Center.[25]

Enjoy Punta del Este (formerly Conrad Resort & Casino)

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Enjoy Punta del Este (formerly Conrad Punta del Este) is a hotel and casino designed by Guillermo Gómez Platero. The hotel's construction started in 1993 and finished in 1997. It offers 294 rooms, including 41 luxury suites. It was originally operated by Hilton Hotels & Resorts under the brand "Conrad". The property was owned by Caesars Entertainment Corporation and Hilton Hotels & Resorts until it was sold to the Chilean group Enjoy S.A. in 2017. Hilton's affiliation ceased on April 1, 2018.[26][clarification needed]

The casino hosted the partypoker Latin American Poker Championships (LAPC) which lasted between February 24 and March 4, 2018,[27] and had an attendance of 1,137 players.[28]

Fundación Pablo Atchugarry

One of the leading artistic institutions of Uruguay, the Fundación Pablo Atchugarry (Pablo Atchugarry Foundation) is dedicated to the promotion of arts and culture in Punta del Este. The foundation was created in 2007 by international sculpture artist Pablo Atchugarry, with the aim to keep a dialogue between art and nature. During the summer season (December to February) the foundation proposes a series of exhibitions and events such as concerts of lyrical to popular music, ballet representations and more. Once a year, the institution present an iconic exhibition from a major artist or collection. Over the past five years, the works of František Kupka, Le Corbusier, Collection MACBA, José Gurvich and Pablo Atchugarry have been exhibited in the main building. The premises of the institution are composed of the sculptor's workshop, a building with three exhibition rooms, an auditorium, an open-air stage for a variety of shows, a restaurant, a didactic room where sculpture, painting, drawing and ceramic classes are held, and finally a space which holds the permanent collection and the work of the founder. A 30-hectare sculpture park surrounds the compound.

Punta del Este Lighthouse

Lighthouse of Punta del Este

The lighthouse is 45 metres tall, and the crystal panels which are part of its illumination system were brought from France. It works by electricity, with acetylene gas as emergency backup. It is possible to climb the 150 steps of its spiral staircase.[29]

Sea lions on Isla de Lobos (Isle of Wolves)

Gorriti Island

Main article: Gorriti Island

This island of 21 hectares of surface is daily visited to enjoy its two beaches: Garden Port and Honda beach. It consists of a natural port, with ships anchoring close to it, and it also became a popular area to practice water sports.


Capitán de Corbeta Carlos A. Curbelo International Airport.

The city is served by Capitán de Corbeta Carlos A. Curbelo International Airport, being the second most important of Uruguay, located near Laguna del Sauce on the outskirts of the city. This modern airport opened in 1996. It offers domestic and international flights within the region.

Most international flights land in Montevideo at Carrasco International Airport, around 115 km (71 mi) from Punta del Este. The bus companies Copsa and Cot connect the airport with Punta del Este, and there are several private taxi and remise services available.[30]

Also in the area is El Jagüel Airport, which is much closer to Punta del Este; it is only used by small-sized private aircraft.

Places of worship

Punta del Este has numerous Jewish temples and Catholic churches:


Among its attractions, the city offers music and cinema festivals, whale sightseeing, and fine dining.[2]

The 2014 Punta del Este ePrix was the first race of the Formula E history in the Americas.

The city hosted the Punta del Este ePrix in 2014, 2015, and 2018. The street circuit of 2.8 km of length runs along Punta del Este's harbour and has been nicknamed the Monte Carlo of South America.[33][34][35]

The Uruguay Sevens rugby competition held in Montevideo began as Punta Del Este Sevens in 1989.

Notable people


  1. ^ "Punta del Este, a luxury destination in South America". Archived from the original on 2021-03-09. Retrieved 2018-01-29.
  2. ^ a b Cruzado, Andrea López. "Punta del Este: Where South America's Elite Kick Off the Summer". www.mansionglobal.com.
  3. ^ a b "Punta del Este: is Uruguay's uber-rich 'gated city' a glimpse of our urban future?". the Guardian. January 20, 2016.
  4. ^ "Punta del Este: South America's Monaco | DW | 06.03.2018". Deutsche Welle.
  5. ^ "Famosos en la Punta – la nueva Montecarlo" (in Spanish). 21 October 2020.
  6. ^ "Punta-del-este".
  7. ^ "Formula e unveils Punta del Este circuit in Uruguay". Autosport.com. 20 June 2014. Archived from the original on 12 April 2021. Retrieved 1 March 2024.
  8. ^ a b "Censos 2011 Cuadros Maldonado". INE. 2012. Archived from the original on 10 October 2012. Retrieved 25 August 2012.
  9. ^ "Punta del Este, Uruguay Köppen Climate Classification (Weatherbase)". Weatherbase. Retrieved 2019-02-15.
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  11. ^ "World Weather Information Service". WMO.
  12. ^ "Punta del Este Climate Normals 1961–1990". NOAA. Retrieved April 8, 2014.
  13. ^ a b "Statistics of urban localities (1963–2004)". INE. 2012. Archived from the original (PDF) on 23 March 2015. Retrieved 8 September 2012.
  14. ^ "LEY N° 12.397". República Oriental del Uruguay, Poder Legislativo. 1957. Archived from the original on 8 February 2015. Retrieved 10 July 2011.
  15. ^ Wenner, Liana (2012). Vinicius Portenho: As inesquecíveis temporadas de Vinicius de Moraes na Argentina e no Uruguai. Rio de Janeiro: Casa da Palavra. ISBN 978-85-7734-236-5.
  16. ^ "Cuáles son las zonas calientes del boom inmobiliario en Punta del Este". 7 February 2022.
  17. ^ "Censos 2011 Maldonado". INE. 2012. Archived from the original on 7 September 2012. Retrieved 25 August 2012.
  18. ^ "Presupuesto-2011-2015". Intendencia Departamnetal de Maldonado. 2012. Archived from the original on 24 April 2011. Retrieved 11 September 2012.
  19. ^ "Foreign residents in Punta del Este" (in Spanish). El Observador. 28 November 2013. Archived from the original on 4 December 2013. Retrieved 28 November 2013.
  20. ^ "Whales in Punta". Uruguay in Photos.
  21. ^ "Blog.ilcwriters.org: Uruguayan Parliament Approves a Protected Whale Sanctuary in Coastal Waters". Archived from the original on 2014-04-07. Retrieved 2014-04-05.
  22. ^ Iriarte V. 2006.Killer whale (Orcinus orca) occurrence at Isla de Lobos, Uruguay
  23. ^ Willy E.D..Las orcas visitaron Punta del Este
  24. ^ "Punta del Este Highlights. Tours at Punta del Este". Archived from the original on 2013-04-09.
  25. ^ "China-LAC – Home". chinalac2017.com.
  26. ^ Reuters Editorial (2017-05-18). "BRIEF-Caesars Entertainment, CEOC announce sale of remaining stake..." U.S. Retrieved 2018-03-06. ((cite web)): |author= has generic name (help)
  27. ^ Cross, Valerie (2018-01-09). "partypoker Announces the Latin America Poker Championships". PokerNews. Retrieved 2018-03-06.
  28. ^ Stanton, Sharon (2018-03-06). "Amauri Grutka Nails Down $200K First-Place Prize in partypoker Latin American Poker Championships". Casino Reports. Retrieved 2018-03-06.
  29. ^ Secretaría de Comunicaciones y Prensa. "Ciudad de Punta del Este : Faro de Punta del Este" (in Spanish). IMM. Archived from the original on August 3, 2009. Retrieved September 10, 2010.
  30. ^ "Airport/Transport". Aeropuerto Internacional de Carrasco. Archived from the original on 25 November 2012. Retrieved 14 January 2013.
  31. ^ a b c "Synagogues in Punta del Este".
  32. ^ a b c "The Jewish tourist capital in South America" (in Spanish). Aurora Israel. Retrieved 31 March 2013.
  33. ^ "Circuit Guide | Punta del Este, Uruguay | FIA Formula E". FIA Formula E. Archived from the original on 2014-12-09. Retrieved 2014-08-24.
  34. ^ "Formula E reveals circuit for Punta del Este ePrix". FIA Formula E. 2014-06-20. Archived from the original on 2018-06-12. Retrieved 2014-08-24.
  35. ^ "Formula E unveils Punta del Este circuit in Uruguay". autosport.com. 2014-06-20. Retrieved 2014-08-24.
  36. ^ "Margaret Cooper, Wren at Bletchley Park – obituary". The Daily Telegraph. London. 30 August 2016. Retrieved 30 October 2017.