La Mano en la Arena

Top choice in Punta del Este

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 artist Mario Irarrázabal, it won first prize in a monumental art contest in 1982 and has been a Punta fixture ever since. The hand exerts a magnetic attraction over thousands of visitors every year, who climb and jump off its digits and pose for photos with it. Look for it just southeast of the bus station.

Lonely Planet's must-see attractions

Nearby Punta del Este attractions

1. Playa Brava

0.28 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).

2. Playa El Emir

0.38 MILES

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

3. Playa Mansa

0.39 MILES

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

4. Yacht Harbor

0.87 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…

5. Playa de los Ingleses

0.87 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.

6. Isla Gorriti

1.97 MILES

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…

7. Isla de Lobos

5.66 MILES

About 10km offshore, this small island is home to the world’s second-largest southern sea-lion colony (200,000 at last count), along with colonies of…

8. Casapueblo

6.97 MILES

Gleaming white in the sun and cascading nine stories down a cliffside, Uruguayan artist Carlos Páez Vilaró’s exuberantly whimsical villa and art gallery…