Punta del Este – Uruguay

Uruguay’s Glamorous Summer Scene

“Punta” is the quintessential jet-set mecca for South America’s elite, a former colonial town whose top-drawer restaurants and clubs vie with the continent’s finest. Revered for its long stretches of white sandy beach and elegant designer boutiques, this is a fashionable see-and-be-seen summer desti­nation, where sun worship is the primary activity. To escape its rash of high-rise condos and stellar prices, some travelers now opt for the neighboring areas of Punta Ballena and Barra de Maldonado.

Day trips to the offshore Isla Gorriti and Isla de Lobos offer another temporary escape from the gorgeous thonged crowds. La Posta del Cangrejo, one of Uruguay’s loveliest hotels, in the slightly less-congested Barra de Maldonado, offers in­formal Mediterranean-style luxury. Despite its Oceanside location, there is something of an elegant farmhouse ambience in the white stucco walls, terra-cotta floors, and hand-stenciled guest rooms with canopied beds. Barefoot relaxation is encouraged by a staff truly fond of their special hotel.

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