Located in South America, this country is known for its beach-lined costs. Tourism is one of Uruguay’s most important economic facets and the growth in this sector has been increasing from year to year as it becomes one of the go-to places recently. You can also see the best beaches in Peru.
From the beautiful colonial cities and the beaches – Uruguay is even voted as one of the best ethical tourism destinations. You can start planning your holiday here by looking at our list of best beaches in Uruguay.
Best Beaches in Uruguay
Uruguay is definitely the top “contender” for the title of “The Switzerland of South America,” so much so that Uruguayans themselves often jokingly refer to their country as “the Switzerland of South America.”
Uruguay is mainly known for its beaches, barbecue, soccer, Juan Manuel Marquez and the narcotics trade. Uruguay is a small country (roughly twice the size of Maryland), with a population under 3 million people.
Punta del Este
Probably the top of the list when you look for tourist destinations in Uruguay, Punta del Este is packed full of activities and entertainments. One of its most famous attractions is the Los Dedos sculpture by a Chilean artist. There’s also a lighthouse, casino and Festival Internacional de Cine de Punta del Este for all you cinephiles out there. This place is a great place for tourists and those looking for adventures.
This beach is not for the faint-hearted. It’s a beach for nudist lovers, located near the surf, valley, forests and creeks. Even if you’re not a nudist, you can still enjoy the natural beauty surrounding this beach. Go for a swim or a hike, it has it all. It’s not a very touristy place, so you may not be able to find bigger or fancier hotels here; so make this one more of a day trip instead of a long stay.
Those seeking creature comfort will find this beach a match for their taste. Located in the upscale Pocitos neighbourhood, it filled with a long walkway of boulevard with apartment buildings, hotels, cafes and restaurants. It also has lots of great museums, parks, and galleries. This is the perfect place for artistic souls. Throughout the year, it has lots of events and activities. So you’ll never run out of things when you visit Pocitos. Just be ready to spend more than you expected!
Playa del Rivero
Now, if you’re after a more secluded place where the tourists won’t bother you as much, you might want to go to Playa del Rivero. This is a small bay area in the town of Punta del Diablo, and a popular place for surfers around the world thanks to its privacy and bigger waves. Although it lacks creature comforts, they still have several modest accommodations suitable for families travelling together. You can also do some whale or dolphin watching not too far off the shores. There’s also Santa Teresa National Park where you can go for a bit of hike and settle in the camping grounds.
This city was once a popular summer resort city that’s popular among locals. but recently that title has been taken by Punta del Este, and Piriapolis has been quieter since. It’s still home to 25 km of coastline of beautiful white beach, interrupted by boulders and soft hills. The beaches are much cleaner thanks to fewer tourists in this area. There’s also cafes and restaurants near the beaches that you can enjoy when you go for a stroll along the beach. This place also has lots of great hotels and high-end bars you can visit. Make sure you visit the chair lift that goes to San Antonio church for a great view of the coastline!
For those seeking a more secluded and relaxing getaway, this is the perfect place for you. You can not get more secluded than Cabo Polonio. Located in a remote area only accessible by trekking around seven kilometres over tall, soft sand dunes from the main highway – this place is not for people who shy away from adventures. The remote area only has rustic cabins with no electricity, running water, or Wifi. Not to worry though, the small stays or inns provide electricity by using generators. There’s no other place where you can throw away all your electronic devices, and enjoy the white sandy shore on a private beach.
La Esmeralda is starting to gain more popularity, so you might want to jump on this bandwagon before it becomes crowded. La Esmeralda remains underdeveloped, with only smaller stays and one restaurant available. You can have your choice of about 300 smaller beach dwellings or private rents here. The white, really fine sands are so soft and the oceans are turquoise. You won’t regret visiting this beautiful sunny paradise.
This is a popular place for surfers and nature lovers. The waves are a bit bigger, and it sits near a green grassy cliff. It’s another secluded area. The lack of nightlife is perfect for a family looking for a quiet getaway, and surfers that’s seeking more privacy and great waves. There are limited options for accommodations, but there are lots of smaller inns you can choose from that are comfortable enough. You can also enjoy bonfires near the beach. This low-key gem is one for the bucket list.
Located near the capital city of Montevideo, Costa Azul is a great getaway for those wanting a quick relaxing trip away from the city. The shores are shallow and soft sloping, so it’s a popular place to swim in, and the waves are very mild. Thanks to its location, this place is more developed than others on this list. You can enjoy a lot of water sport activities here – kitesurfing, windsurfing and beach volleyball. Don’t forget to walk up the El Cerro de la Virgen or Virgen’s Hill to catch the sunrise or see whales swimming in the distance!