Punta del Este
|Punta del Este|
Port of Punta del Este
|• Mayor (Alcalde)||Martín Laventure (NP)|
|• Total||20.35 km2 (7.86 sq mi)|
|Dial plan||+598 42 (+6 digits)|
Punta del Este (Spanish pronunciation: [ˈpunta ðel ˈeste]) is a city and resort on the Atlantic Coast in the Maldonado Department of southeastern Uruguay. Although the city has a year-round population of about 9,280, the summer tourist boom adds to this a very large number of non-residents. Punta del Este is also the name of the municipality to which the city belongs. It includes Punta del Este proper and Península areas.
The first Europeans to set foot in what is now Punta del Este were the Spanish at the beginning of the 16th century. However, the colonization of the area actually began around Maldonado at the end of the 18th century due to Portuguese expansionism. Punta del Este and its surroundings (Maldonado and Punta Ballena) at the end of the 19th century were kilometers of sand and dunes, but in 1896 Antonio Lussich bought 4,447 acres (1,800 ha) of uninhabited land and there he started a botanical garden, Arboretum Lussich, and planted trees and plants from all over the world. Later the trees started to spread on their own, and now the area is full of mostly Pines, Eucalyptus, Acacias and various species of bushes.
Punta del Este hosted an American Summit in 1967 attended by U.S. President Lyndon Johnson. In September 1986, Punta del Este played host to the start of the Uruguay Round of international trade negotiations. These negotiations ultimately led to the creation of the World Trade Organization in 1994.
In 2011 Punta del Este had a population of 9,277 and 23,954 households and apartments. According to the Intendencia Departamental de Maldonado, the municipality of Punta del Este has an area of 48 km2 (19 sq mi) and a population of 15,000.
Source: Instituto Nacional de Estadística de Uruguay
Every year many Argentines, Brazilians and Europeans are choosing Punta del Este as their permanent residence. Some of the reasons are the peace in the midst of nature and the increasing educational offer.
Punta del Este has a mild oceanic climate (Cfb, according to the Köppen climate classification), with pleasant summers and cool winters. The precipitation is evenly distributed throughout the year, with an average of 1,010 mm (40 in). The hottest month, February, has an average temperature of 21.7 °C (71.1 °F), and the coldest month, July, has an average of 11.5 °C (52.7 °F). The average yearly temperature is 16.4 °C (61.5 °F).
|Climate data for Punta del Este (1961–1990)|
|Record high °C (°F)||37.0
|Average high °C (°F)||25.2
|Daily mean °C (°F)||21.6
|Average low °C (°F)||18.1
|Record low °C (°F)||10.2
|Precipitation mm (inches)||75.4
|Avg. precipitation days||8||9||9||9||9||10||10||9||9||9||8||8||107|
|Mean monthly sunshine hours||263.8||212.5||243.0||181.3||147.0||103.8||118.8||157.5||169.3||234.5||217.5||289.3||2,338.3|
|Source #1: World Meteorological Organization|
|Source #2: NOAA (extremes, sun and mean temperature)|
Punta del Este's scenic coastline is divided in two regions: Brava (Spanish for "fierce") and Mansa (Spanish for "tame"). The limit between the two marks the end of the Río de la Plata and the beginning of the Atlantic Ocean, and split is signaled by the Mano de Punta del Este, which the sculptor designed to warn swimmers about the danger of rough waves. Beaches on the Mansa side feature thick and golden sand, while on the Brava side the sand is white and fine. Every beach of the peninsula has public access.
La Barra is popular for nautical sports and fishing during the day. At later hours, La Barra becomes a central attraction for the younger generation. Starting from the end of December through to the second week of January, this location becomes a place for the local people as well as tourists to gather at the night life festivities. Other areas include the resort of El Tesoro, Montoya beach, Bikini beach and Manantiales beach. These beaches are a favourite spot for younger people as well as for many celebrities from both Uruguay and Argentina.
Southern right whales are now re-colonizing in the area, and helped creating a whale-sanctuary off Latin America, whose establishment had been prevented for near a decade by whaling nations like Japan.
The city has much colonial architecture contrasting with more modern buildings. Nowadays it has a scenic shore, typical resort houses, modern buildings, a port with mooring capacity, department stores, restaurants, and pubs. There are several large houses, and gardens lined with plants.
Punta del Este is home to the only Conrad Hotel in South America, also famous for its casino.
Gorlero Avenue, the main avenue of Punta del Este has commercial galleries, restaurants, cinemas, casinos, shops.
Artigas square, over Gorlero Ave is the place where there is a popular handicraft market.
This icon of Punta del Este is an artwork by the Uruguayan painter and sculptor Carlos Páez Vilaró. It sits atop Punta Ballena, as one of the main attractions of the peninsula. The artist began working on the project in 1958, and took 36 years to be completed.
It is universally considered as a “living sculpture”. Inside this masterpiece there are many rooms facing the sea. It also boasts sculptures, paintings and ceramics made by its creator. During the summer season there are sunset classical music concerts. It is possible to view the sunrise over the Atlantic Ocean and the sunset over the Río de la Plata in Punta Ballena.
Fundación Pablo Atchugarry
One of the leading artistic institutions of Uruguay, the Fundación Pablo Atchugarry (Pablo Atchugarry Foundation) is dedicated to the promotion of arts and culture in Punta del Este. The foundation was created in 2007 by international sculpture artist Pablo Atchugarry, with the aim to keep a dialogue between art and nature. During the summer season (December to February) the foundation proposes a series of exhibitions and events such as concerts of lyrical to popular music, ballet representations and more. Once a year, the institution present an iconic exhibition from a major artist or collection. Over the past five years, the works of František Kupka, Le Corbusier, Collection MACBA, José Gurvich and Pablo Atchugarry have been exhibited in the main building. The premises of the institution are composed of the sculptor’s workshop, a building with three exposition rooms, an auditorium, an open air stage for a variety of shows, a restaurant, a didactic room where sculpture, painting, drawing and ceramic classes are held, and a last space which holds the permanent collection and the work of the founder. A 30-hectare sculpture park surrounds the compound.
Punta del Este Lighthouse
The lighthouse is 45 metres tall, and the crystal panels which are part of its illumination system were brought from France. It works by electricity, with acetylene gas as emergency backup. It is possible to climb the 150 steps of its spiral staircase.
This island of 21 hectares of surface is daily visited to enjoy its two beaches: Garden Port and Honda beach. It consists of a natural port, with ships anchoring close to it, and it also became a popular area to practice water sports.
The city is served by Capitán de Corbeta Carlos A. Curbelo International Airport, being the second most important of Uruguay, located near Laguna del Sauce on the outskirts of the city. This modern airport opened in 1996. It offers domestic and international flights within the region.
Punta del Este can be reached from Buenos Aires by ferryboat to Montevideo (the capital city), 140 km (87 mi) from Punta del Este, and then by car or bus.
Most international flights land at Carrasco International Airport around 115 km (71 mi) from Punta del Este. The bus companies Copsa and Cot connect the airport with Punta del Este, and are there are several private taxi and remise services available.
Also in the area is El Jagüel airport, which is very close to Punta del Este and Maldonado; decades ago it used to be its only international airport, now it is only used by small-sized private aircraft.
Places of worship
Punta del Este has numerous temples:
- Parish Church of Our Lady of Candelaria (Roman Catholic)
- Fátima Chapel (Roman Catholic)
- St. Raphael Chapel (Roman Catholic)
- Rafael Temple (Jewish)
- Beit Yaacov (Jewish)
- Beit Jabad (Jewish-Chabad)
- "Censos 2011 Cuadros Maldonado". INE. 2012. Retrieved 25 August 2012.
- "Statistics of urban localities (1963–2004)" (PDF). INE. 2012. Retrieved 8 September 2012.
- "LEY N° 12.397". República Oriental del Uruguay, Poder Legislativo. 1957. Retrieved 10 July 2011.
- "Censos 2011 Maldonado". INE. 2012. Retrieved 25 August 2012.
- "Presupuesto-2011-2015". Intendencia Departamnetal de Maldonado. 2012. Retrieved 11 September 2012.
- "Foreign residents in Punta del Este" (in Spanish). El Observador. 28 November 2013.
- "World Weather Information Service". World Meteorological Organization.
- "Punta del Este Climate Normals 1961-1990". National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration. Retrieved April 8, 2014.
- "Punta del Este Highlights. Tours at Punta del Este".
- Secretaría de Comunicaciones y Prensa. "Ciudad de Punta del Este : Faro de Punta del Este" (in Spanish). IMM. Retrieved September 10, 2010.
- "Airport/Transport". Aeropuerto Internacional de Carrasco. Retrieved 14 January 2013.
- Synagogues in Punta del Este
- "The Jewish tourist capital in South America" (in Spanish). Aurora Israel. Retrieved 31 March 2013.
|Wikimedia Commons has media related to Punta del Este.|
- Official site of Punta del Este municipality
- Correo Uruguayo – Stamp for the 100 years of Punta del Este, with notes on its history.
- Article on the Port of Punta del Este, Official Portal of the Uruguayan Government
- INE map of Punta del Este and San Rafael–El Placer
- Map of the municipality of Punta del Este
- Punta del Este at DMOZ
- Punta del Este travel guide from Wikivoyage