A view of the historic hand in Punta del Este, Uruguay

Things to do in  Punta del Este

Uruguay’s swanky summer getaway

Perched on the south coast of Uruguay is Punta del Este, a seaside paradise that begs to be explored. The glamorous beaches that kiss the shoreline, plus the whimsical sculptures and parks in the town, have made it one of South America’s most sought-after destinations. The city offers exquisite restaurants and a vibrant nightlife. Things to do include wandering the streets and immersing yourself in the local art scene, taking a dip in the clear blue waters, or soaking up the Atlantic sun.

Top 15 attractions in Punta del Este

Casapueblo (Museo Taller de Casapueblo)

Perched atop the sea cliffs like a futuristic fairy-tale castle, the snow-white Casapueblo is a work of art and one of Uruguay’s top architectural landmarks. Visit the masterpiece—and former residence—of Uruguayan artist Carlos Páez Vilaró to see its museum, art gallery, and hotel.More

Port of Punta del Este (Puerto de Punta del Este)

Lined with glitzy yachts and traditional fishing boats, the Port of Punta del Este (Puerto de Punta del Este) is the entry point for cruise visitors and the gateway to Uruguay’s most glamorous beaches. It’s also a popular destination in its own right, with scenic coastal walks, rocky beaches, and seafood restaurants.More

Gorlero Avenue (Avenida Gorlero)

Gorlero Avenue (Avenida Gorlero) is Punta del Este’s main street, running through the heart of the peninsula. Named after Juan Gorlero, the first mayor of Maldonado, and also known as Calle 22, the palm tree–studded boulevard is lined with shops, restaurants, bars, and cafés.More

Punta del Este Cruise Port

At the meeting point of the Río de la Plata and the Atlantic Ocean, Punta del Este Cruise Port is the gateway to one of Uruguay’s most popular beach resorts. Lavish seafront mansions and white-sand beaches await visitors, along with luxurious shopping boulevards and renowned nightlife.More

Mansa Beach (Playa Mansa)

An expansive swath of golden sand stretching along the western shore of Uruguay’s ritzy Punta del Este resort community, Mansa Beach (Playa Mansa) boasts calm, clear waters that make it a favorite for families. A beach promenade backed by upscale hotels is also the place to see and be seen during a romantic sunset stroll.More

Hand of Punta del Este (La Mano de Punta del Este)

Brava Beach (Playa Brava) has golden sands and surf-worthy waves, but the star attraction is Mario Irarrázabal’s sculpture. Punta del Este’s best-known landmark, the gigantic Hand of Punta del Este (La Mano de Punta del Este)—or simply los Dedos, meaning “the fingers”—is meant to symbolise a drowning swimmer and warn of the beach’s notorious waves.More

Punta del Este Ralli Museum (Museo Ralli)

One of five museums of its kind in operation around the world, Punta del Este Ralli Museum (Museo Ralli) houses one of the most important collections of Latin American art in the world. Set on a small estate surrounded by parklands, it’s an idyllic spot to contemplate one of Uruguay’s most captivating art collections.More

Pablo Atchugarry Foundation (Fundación Pablo Atchugarry)

One of Punta del Este’s most important cultural sites is the Pablo Atchugarry Foundation (Fundación Pablo Atchugarry), a nonprofit started in 2007 by the Uruguayan sculptor of the same name. A museum and sculpture park, the multifaceted space also hosts art classes and live performances.More

La Barra

With its fair share of celebrity residents and jet-setting vacationers, the upmarket beach town of La Barra has fast become a popular alternative to nearby Punta del Este. Sandy beaches, modern architecture, and a buzzing nightlife scene have transformed this former fishing town into one of Uruguay’s hottest destinations.More

La Vista Punta del Este

Ride the panoramic elevator to the 22nd floor at La Vista in Punta del Este for some of the best views over the city. The top of the building is home to Uruguay’s only revolving restaurant, where you can take in the sights before exploring the complex’s art gallery, games zone, or bowling alley.More

Punta del Este Museum of the Sea (Museo del Mar)

From swashbuckling pirates to mighty marine creatures; the Museum of the Sea (Museo del Mar) offers a diverse look at Punta del Este’s seafaring heritage. One of the largest museums of its kind in the world, it’s vast and varied collection includes more than 5,000 items and plenty of surprises.More
Lobos Island (Isla de Lobos)

Lobos Island (Isla de Lobos)

Just off the coast of Punta del Este, at the mouth of the Rio de la Plata, Lobos Island (Isla de Lobos) is home to one of the largest colonies of southern sea lions in the world—an estimated 200,000 inhabit its rocky shores. A protected nature reserve, the island can only be visited by guided tour.More
Yacht Club Punta del Este

Yacht Club Punta del Este

Proud of its nickname “Monaco of South America”; Punta del Este is Uruguay’s most glamorous beach resort and the Punta del Este Yacht Club is the destination of choice for South American jet-setters. Overlooking the glitzy marina and cruise port, the Yacht Club’s restaurant also makes a popular spot for a dinner date.More
Punta del Este Splash Aqua Park

Punta del Este Splash Aqua Park

If you’re looking to inject some fun into your Punta del Este beach vacation, the Splash Aqua Park at Mansa Beach has you covered. This floating aquapark is a summer staple, featuring more than a dozen inflatable obstacles to challenge and entertain both kids and adults.More
Punta del Este Artigas Square (Plaza Artigas)

Punta del Este Artigas Square (Plaza Artigas)

Popular with both locals and tourists, Artigas Square (Plaza Artigas) is a bustling hub at the heart of the Punta del Este peninsula. Located along the main boulevard of Gorlero Avenue, the square hosts a lively arts and handicrafts fair, where local artisans and painters showcase their work.More

Trip ideas

Operators have paid Viator more to have their experiences featured here

All about Punta del Este

When to visit

The warm sun and moderate humidity between December to March make it the best time to hit the shores of Punta del Este. During this season, Punta del Este is a hub of activity that you definitely don't want to miss, with temperatures sitting at around 75°F (24°C) during the day. However, if you want to catch whale watching season, you'll have to visit from June through October, when southern Right whales head towards the coast.

Getting around

Transport options are relatively limited in Punta del Este. The best way to get around the beaches is on foot, with many of them just a short distance from the town center. You could also opt for a bicycle if you want to get around at a quicker pace. Otherwise, taxis can be difficult to find and charge a high price, so opt for the local buses if you want to get around to places outside of the center.

Traveler tips

Take a stroll along the peninsula in the early evening to be mesmerized by stunning sunset views across the beaches. Then, duck into one of the top restaurants found on the peninsula, with most of them brimming with delicious fresh seafood. You'll also find some more good restaurants along both beaches; Playa Brava and Playa Parada 16. Most locally caught fish, which includes corvina, merluza (hake) and lenguado (lemon sole), is served grilled and fried with fresh garnish and sides.


People Also Ask

What is special about Punta del Este?

This whimsical coastal town can be likened to a seaside resort city, complete with pristine beaches, high-rise resorts, buzzing bars, and stunning landscapes. It has two long stretches of beach on either side of the peninsula, with international DJs, round-the-clock parties, and a fun coastal atmosphere year-round.

Why should I visit Punta del Este?

Punta del Este is well known for its lively social scene, stunning beaches, and unparalleled natural beauty. From extravagant yacht parties to cocktails on white sand, life in Punta del Este is sophisticated but playful. Punta del Este is a go-to destination for the jet-set crowd of South America.

Is it expensive in Punta del Este?

You won't have to break the bank to enjoy the good life here. Yes, there are certainly high-end spots where the elite come to play, but there are also plenty of affordable options to suit any budget. It all depends on how you choose to experience it.

Can you swim in Punta del Este?

Yes, this luxurious coastal paradise boasts some of the most stunning beaches in Uruguay, perfect for swimming, surfing, or just lounging in the warm sun with a refreshing cocktail in hand. If you visit during the summer months, the ocean is brimming with people swimming.

Who built Punta del Este?

It was a combination of creative minds and shared dreams of luxury that built this stretch of coastline. From the architects who designed the high-rise buildings to the entrepreneurs who opened lavish restaurants, Punta del Este is the culmination of a collective effort to create a tropical paradise.

What is Punta del Este famous for?

This bustling resort town is famed for its pristine beaches and the swanky high-rise resorts that crowd the skyline. With its chic cafes, upscale restaurants, and flashy nightclubs, Punta del Este is a popular summertime destination where beach parties run around the clock.

Frequently Asked Questions
The answers provided below are based on answers previously given by the tour provider to customers’ questions.
What are the top things to do in Punta del Este?
What are the top activities in Punta del Este?
What are the top things to do near Punta del Este?
Check out things to do near Punta del Este:
What do I need to know before visiting Punta del Este?