Punta del Este - the St Tropez of South America?

Trip Start Apr 05, 2008
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Trip End Mar 20, 2009


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Flag of Uruguay  ,
Friday, December 19, 2008

Punta del Este, the Latin American version of St. Tropez. Easily accessed from Buenos Aires by ferry and then bus, it takes about 5 hours to get there. The easiest way to get around to see it all was by car so we rented a little VW to run around in. Punta with it's seemingly endless coastline of golden sandy beaches is a beach bunnies dream. There is a beach area to suit everyone's needs and with so many options you can always find a sheltered spot for when the wind picks up. This is where the glitzy, glamorous and minted come to vacation, predominantly for the first two weeks of January every year. Apparently during this time the population swells from a quiet 10,000 to 1 million so if anything it sounds like hell. Cars fight for parking spaces and ride bumper to bumper on the roads, we can only imagine that everyone flocks to key beach spots and they're packed on top of each other like any good beach in Europe on a hot day. We expected to see hot bikini clad and speedo adorned goddesses and gods toasting themselves golden by day and partying hard by night. The reality was very different. Most houses and apartments still looked closed up for the season, only a handful of beach bars were operating and the rest were still in the midst of remodeling which seemed to be the case for most of the town. So instead of the party haven we had been told of we spent our few days here cruising round checking out all the beach spots and catching some sun whilst taking it easy in the evenings enjoying stunning sunsets and fresh seafood. It was all very quiet and laid back, not unlike spending time at the batch at home. Sadly not enough sunscreen was applied and the white spots soon were replaced by a pinky tinge, forcing us to take a break from the sun-baking. As with a good vacation our three days felt more like a week. A nice reprieve from traveling but it's back to work again for us.
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