I was lucky enough to spend some time along the coast of Uruguay back in 2010 when I was living in Buenos Aires. I fell in love with the rolling hills, the charming towns, and the gorgeous beaches. Punta del Este, the Miami Beach of South America, is great, don’t get me wrong. I mean, look at Fasano Las Piedras. But the villages of Jose Ignacio and Punta del Diablo, both north of the city, really captured my attention.
Jose Ignacio, home to the famous Estancia Vik, has quickly become a hot spot for chic South American and European jetsetters. Unlike Punta, Jose Ignacio, with its dirt roads, hand painted signs, and family owned restaurants, has maintained a luxe, laid back vibe.
Punta del Diablo, a sleepy surfing village 185 miles from Montevideo, attracts backpackers and bohemians with its tranquil shores and its distinct lack of high rises and night clubs. Wooden fishing boats dot the beaches and many visitors stay in tents rather than in one of the few hostels in town.