Top things to do

Top Choice Gallery in Punta del Este

Casapueblo

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…
Top Choice Seafood in Piriápolis

Café Picasso

Down a residential backstreet several blocks from the beach, septuagenarian chef-owner Carlos has converted his carport and front room into an informal, colorfully decorated restaurant with an open-air grill. Locals…
Top Choice Seafood in José Ignacio

Parador La Huella

For a classic taste of José Ignacio’s rarefied atmosphere, drop in at this chic beachside eatery, where you can mingle with José Ignacio's beautiful people over sushi, grilled fish and clay-oven-fired pizza, all ser…
Top Choice Sculpture in Punta del Este

La Mano en la Arena

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 c…
Top Choice Italian in Punta del Diablo

Resto-Pub 70

Run by an Italian family from the Veneto, this portside eatery serves divine, reasonably priced homemade pasta such as lasagne alle cipolle (veggie lasagna with walnuts and caramelized onions), accompanied by UR$50 …
Jazz in Punta del Este

Medio y Medio

This jazz club and restaurant near the beach in Punta Ballena brings in top-name performers from Uruguay, Argentina and Brazil.
Nature Reserve in Laguna de Castillos

Monte de Ombúes

On Laguna de Castillos' western shore (near Km 267 on Ruta 10), brothers Marcos and Juan Carlos Olivera, whose family received this land from the Portuguese crown in 1793, lead two- to three-hour nature excursions. …
Bar in Cabo Polonio

Lo de Joselo

For a quintessential Polonio experience, head to this ramshackle bar, overgrown with dense shrubbery and flowering vines. Blind bartender Joselo presides over the funky candlelit interior, serving up licor de butia …
Parrilla in Cabo Polonio

El Club

This colorfully decorated, eco-conscious eatery combines the creative efforts of Colombian artist Camila, her Uruguayan partner Fernando and various local chefs. Specialties include grilled fish, artisanal beer, woo…
Uruguayan in Punta del Este

El Chancho y la Coneja

Owners Horacio (the pig) and Karina (the rabbit) named this rustic backstreet hideaway for their Chinese zodiac animals. Well-chosen blues and jazz numbers, yellow brick walls, artsy light fixtures and distressed-wo…