Punta del Este

History of Punta del Este

Now a modern resort with avant-garde buildings bordering the sea, Punta del Este was formerly inhabited by Indians.
In 1829, Don Francisco Aguilar (Mayor of Maldonado) founded the first village in the area, “Villa Ituzaingo “, a fishing village that initiated the construction of the actual resort.
Aguilar saw this area of rich natural resources as a favorable place to set up some industries. The slaughter of whales and sea lions, armed boats and a salt mine were the core businesses.
Upon Aguilar´s death in 1840, the Lafone brothers acquired the land.
The town was renamed Punta del Este in 1907, and the first holidaymakers, families from Montevideo and Argentina, arrived on a boat called “Golondrina”.
The resort has not stopped its expansion and development since then. The first lodging (the Pedro Risso hotel – the current Palace Hotel, Biarritz Hotel and the Spain building) were built at the same as the Church of the Candelaria in 1909.
The international promotion of Punta del Este started in the 40s. Since then, the resort has remained Uruguay’s main tourist destination and one of the most prestigious tourist destinations in South America.

Places to visit
Conrad Punta del Este Resort & Casino: the number one Casino in Latin America and the most important entertainment center in the region. Casino Nogaró: a casino with a breathtaking sea view from Sargo Resto & Café and multifunctional convention hall and Entertainment center.
Gorlero Avenue: The resort’s main street. The tourist life in Punta del Este was born in this street and here you can find restaurants, casinos, shops and many other attractions. Fashion road or “calle 20”: An outdoor shopping experience where the most recognised international brands, from Carolina Herrera to Valentino, converge with first rate traditional Uruguayan products. Punta Shopping Ideal for fun and enjoyment, it offers a wide range of national and international brands. The new Shopping center, Oh La Barra, opened in 2014.
Isla Gorriti: located opposite the port of Punta del Este, it has two beautiful beaches, Puerto Jardín and Playa Honda. The latter is located on the far side of Punta del Este, and has a beach bar as well as a scattering of barbecue areas that can be freely used by tourists.
Isla de lobos: hosts the largest colony of sea lions in South America and is located opposite the ocean beaches of Punta del Este, 12 km from the coast.
Punta Ballena: just 20 minutes from Punta del Este is Casapueblo, which has become an architectural icon of the resort. The unique building currently serves as a modern art museum and on summer evenings plays host to many cultural activities.
El Emir Beach: In the centre of the peninsula, ideal for families and surfers. A few meters from the most famous sculpture in the resort, “Los Dedos”.
La Barra: A small resort with stunning beaches and a rich variety of bars, boutiques, antique shops and art galleries.
Jose Ignacio: After crossing La Barra is the small town of Jose Ignacio. It is a small peninsula between two beaches, and has a lighthouse that was built in 1877. This small resort began as a fishing village and today is one of the most quiet and sought-after and prestigious areas.
Residential areas: On the waterfront of Brava beach a few neighborhoods stand out: San Rafael Park Golf, Beverly Hills and Rincon del Indio. It is an area where green spaces and big buildings with large gardens predominate that includes hotels, golf courses, restaurants and the Museum of the Rally Foundation.
Port of Punta del Este: “Puerto Nuestra Señora de la Candelaria” tourist harbour and marina.