Punta del Este, Uruguay

Latitude 34.95823°S Longitude 54.94204°W

Monday, March 24, 2003

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We visited Punta del Este, a small beach town 140km east of Montevideo, to see what all the fuss was about. With the reputation of being South America's ritziest beach resort, we thought it worthwhile to take a look.

A quiet, windswept town greeted us when we arrived in the afternoon. The streets were deserted and many shops were closed. We took a stroll around the peninsula from the protected beach of Playa Mansa to the surf beach Playa Brava. We were buffeted by strong winds and there was not a soul to be seen on any of the beaches except for a few joggers.

We stayed in town a few days, visiting the casino, eating the popular Uruguayan snack chivito (a kind of grilled steak sandwich), and taking long walks along the deserted sand dunes where the wind blew mournfully. It was hard to imagine the place thronged with the glamorous jet-set crowds - as it must have been just a few short weeks ago - but now the summer was over and town was closing down for the winter. We had seen enough, and it was time to move on.

Photos: (click on images to see full size)

Keiko on the beach at the deserted resort town Punta del EsteSculpture on Playa Brava beachThe highrise along Playa Mansa beach

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