Introduction

OK, here’s the plan: tan it, wax it, buff it at the gym, then plonk it on the beach at ‘Punta.’ Once you’re done there, go out and shake it at one of the town’s famous clubs.

Punta del Este – with its many beaches, elegant seaside homes, yacht harbor, high-rise apartment buildings, pricey hotels and glitzy restaurants – is one of South America’s most glamorous resorts, extremely popular with Argentines and Brazilians, and easily the most expensive place in Uruguay.

Celebrity watchers have a full-time job here. Punta is teeming with big names, and local gossipmongers keep regular tabs on who’s been sighted where. Surrounding towns caught up in the whole Punta mystique include the famed club zone of La Barra to the east and Punta Ballena to the west.