The Hamptons of South America

(Above: the Dedos, fingers in the sand, is a sculpture in the sand near Playa Brava, Punta Del Este, Uruguay)

I had never heard of Punta Del Este Uruguay until a New York Times article wrote about the hot spot where the elite from Brazil, Argentina, Paraguay and beyond go to relax during the South American summers from December through March.

Great beaches. Nightlife. Culture.

So we decided to go explore the area during a recent trip through Argentina.

Amazing Beaches. Check.

Great restaurants and nightlife. Check.

Culture. Check.

The other aspect we discovered during our two-week hiatus is that real estate here is booming.

Call it South Beach Miami meets the Hamptons on Long Island.

Punta del Este is about a 90-minute ride east of the capital of Montevideo. We arrived from Buenos Aries Argentina via a 1-hour water ferry (known as the Bucquebus) across the Rio de la Plata into Montevideo, the capital of Uruguay. We then rented a car into Punta (as the locals call it).

The main part of Punta del Este is on a peninsula and is the most crowded part of the region (think high rises with great beach views). The peninsula of Punta separates the Alantic Ocean from the Rio de la Plata. However, Punta stretches from the peninsula northward through several beach communities northward to San Jose de Ignacio-where single family homes dominate the landscape.

In between the peninsula and San Jose de Ignacio is the community of La Barra. Filled with boutique shops, pizza joints and buzzing nightlife-La Barra is an eclectic mix of people and foot traffic making it the focal point of activity in Punta. Just north of La Barra is Bikini Beach where the scene and be seen mix together with a strong contingent of restaurants, djs and surfers.

There’s nothing like it here in the United States.

During the most popular months of December and January many year around home owners leave the area to rent their homes out for what many would pay in mortgage payments for the entire year.

If you every find yourself in Buenos Aires Argentina-take two days and head over to Punta Del Este-and discover a happening place most American’s haven’t heard of —yet.

A few properties to check out:

Acqua Punta del Este

New High Rise project with great website.

Imperiale

Another New High Rise development on the peninsula

Places to Stay:

Conrad Punta Del Este Resort and Casino

A mainstay in Punta for the last 20 years

Mantra Resort and Spa

Beautiful property above La Barra with view of the ocean

Filed Under: Emerging Markets

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