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Introducing Punta del Diablo

Once a sleepy fishing village, Punta del Diablo has long since become a prime summer getaway for Uruguayans and Argentines, and the epicenter of Uruguay’s backpacker beach scene. Waves of seemingly uncontrolled development have pushed further inland and along the coast in recent years, but the stunning shoreline and laid-back lifestyle still exert their age-old appeal. To avoid the crowds, come outside the Christmas to February peak season; in particular, avoid the first half of January, when as many as 30,000 visitors inundate the town.

From the town’s traditional center, a sandy ‘plaza’ just inland from the ocean, small dirt roads fan out in all directions. To get to the marina and the hostels there, head downhill 200m to the waterfront and continue northeast along the shoreline.