Colonia del Sacramento
The oldest town in Uruguay, this mishmash of Spanish, Portugese and Uruguayan Architecture is soaked in two centuries worth of history.
The Portugese and Spanish had a long-standing power struggle for control of Colonia del Sacramento, as it was a town with a valuable tactical advantage in regards to trade routes of Brazilian produce and Peruvian Silver.
The city was traded back and forth a few times by both countries, but in the end it was the Portugese who conquered it and won control.
It was a short lived victory though, as it wasn’t long before the Brazilian-Argentine Cisplatine War broke out and the historic quarter sustained widespread damage to the city’s defenses and its most valuable buildings.
Today the town is well preserved and is home to many different people and cultures. One of the must visit places for lovers of History, the town is home to not only the Portuguese basilica, the Spanish-Uruguyan history museum and bullring but 17th-century convent ruins and more.
If you prefer art over history then Casapueblo is the place to be.
The artist Carlos Páez Vilaró’s quirky villa and art gallery, which took 36 years of design and planning to create, cascades down a cliffside and is gleaming white under the hot south American sun.
Visitors are able to tour the rooms, watch a movie on the artist’s life and travels, and take in the incredible views – especially the sunset- at the upstairs cafeteria-bar.
Although the sunset is breathtaking it can get quite busy during the summer, so it’s best to arrive early. And even if you do not plan on staying at the hotel The restaurant at Casapueblo is the perfect place to take a special someone for dinner.
Los Dedos Playa Brava
The beach gets its name from the enormous sculpture of a hand that appears to be rising from under the sand, most commonly called La Mano or The Hand. However, because the piece of art resembles a giant clawing its way out of the earth, the official title of the piece is actually Hombre Emergiendo a la Vida, or Man Emerging to Life. Originally the piece was meant as a signal for help from a drowning swimmer, as well as a reminder to be careful in the turbulent sea, giving the piece of art another name, El Monumento al Ahogado, or Monument to the Drowned. No matter what name you choose to call it, the sculpture is an important icon of Punta del Este.
Los Dedos Playa Brava beach is quite popular among the younger generation, with its fine golden sands, fresh mouth-watering food and the perfect waves for any surfer enthusiasts, it’s no wonder that the place is such a hit!