This coastal town built along a peninsula is one of Latin America's most glamorous beach resorts, commonly referred to as the St Tropez of South America, and it attracts predominantly Latin American visitors. It has a relatively developed tourist infrastructure with villas and mansions, luxury hotels, a yacht marina and a large choice of restaurants. The gentle waters of the beaches on the bay side of the peninsula are suitable for bathing and relaxing, while the rougher waters of the surfing beaches are on the ocean side.
Nearby you find Jose Ignacio, which not so long ago was a sleepy village of fishing boats and colonial hotels, 30km from the bright lights of Punta del Este. Today, Jose Ignacio is still quaint and quiet, very much the alter-ego to Punta del Este but with a reputation now for sophisticated small hotels and excellent restaurants. Sunset strolls along nearly-empty beaches replace glitzy nightlife.
A pleasant day trip from Punta del Este are the islands of Isla Gorriti and Isla de los Lobos. These enchanting islands are found opposite the large peninsula separating the two waters of the Atlantic Ocean and Rio de la Plata and are inhabited by one of the world's largest sea-lion colonies. They are well worth a visit.