(GERMANY OUT) Punta Ballena (bei Punta del Este):Hotelanlage "Casa Pueblo"- 02.1997 col (Photo by Lothar M. Peter/ullstein bild via Getty Images)

ullstein bild via Getty Images


Top choice in Punta del Este

Gleaming white in the sun and cascading nine stories down a cliffside, Uruguayan artist Carlos Páez Vilaró’s exuberantly whimsical villa and art gallery sits atop Punta Ballena, a jutting headland 15km west of Punta del Este. Visitors can tour five rooms, view a film on the artist’s life and travels, and eat up spectacular sunset views at the upstairs cafeteria-bar. There’s a hotel and restaurant adjacent. It's a 2km walk from the junction where Codesa’s Línea 8 bus drops you.

Lonely Planet's must-see attractions

Nearby Punta del Este attractions

1. Isla Gorriti


Boats leave every half hour or so (daily from December through Carnaval, weekends rest of year) from Punta del Este’s yacht harbor for the 15-minute trip…

2. Yacht Harbor

6.53 MILES

In summertime, Punta del Este's busy yacht harbor overflows with beautiful people, who come to see and be seen at the surrounding restaurants and clubs…

3. Playa Mansa

6.63 MILES

This calm river beach straddles the western (Río de la Plata) side of Punta del Este's long narrow peninsula.

4. Playa de los Ingleses

6.85 MILES

On the Atlantic Ocean side of the peninsula, this is the southernmost of Punta del Este's many beaches, and a favorite with surfers.

5. La Mano en la Arena

6.97 MILES

Punta’s most famous landmark is this monster-sized sculpted hand protruding from the sands of Playa Brava. Constructed in iron and cement by Chilean…

6. Playa El Emir


This small beach on the eastern (Atlantic Ocean) side of Punta del Este's peninsula gets good waves, making it popular with surfers.

7. Playa Brava

7.11 MILES

This beach on the eastern (Atlantic Ocean) side of Punta del Este's long peninsula has rougher water, as reflected in the name Playa Brava (Fierce Beach).

8. SOS Rescate de Fauna Marina

12.17 MILES

Ten kilometers south of Piriápolis is Uruguay’s premier marine-animal rescue and rehabilitation center. Run entirely by volunteers, its emphasis is on…