Punta del Este

Infobox Settlement
official_name = Punta del Este
pushpin_

pushpin_label_position =right
pushpin_map_caption =



image_caption = View of the peninsula at sunset
subdivision_type= Country |subdivision_name=Uruguay |subdivision_type1 = Department
subdivision_name1 = Maldonado Department
elevation_m =
latd=34 |latm=58 |lats=16 |latNS=S|longd=54 |longm=57 |longs=07 |longEW=W
established_title= Founded
established_date = 1907
population_total = 8252
population_as_of = 2004
population_blank1_title =Demonym
population_blank1 = Puntaesteño
area_code = +042|postal_code_type =postal code
postal_code = 20100

Punta del Este is an upscale vacation spot on the southern tip of Uruguay, southeast of the town of Maldonado and about 140 km east of Montevideo. Although the town has a year round population of 10,506 (2005), the summer tourist boom often boosts the population to about one million people between December and February.

The city is internationally known, among other things as the most important and exclusive resort of South America. Fact|date=June 2008

History

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 for example) at the end of the 19th century were kilometers of sand and dunes, but in 1896 Antonio Lussich bought 4,447 acres (1800 hectares) of uninhabited land and there he started a botanic garden and planted trees and plants from all over the world.

Later in the surroundings the trees started to spread by their own now the area is full mostly of Pines, Eucalyptus, Acacias and various species of bushes (Quite similar to Australian flora).Punta Del Este hosted a Latin American Summit in 1967 attended by U.S. President Lyndon B. 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.

The Beach

Due to its location, Punta del Este has scenic coasts and beaches.There are two types of coast: Brava and Mansa. This shows the end of the Rio de la Plata (River Plate) on one side and the beginning of the Atlantic Ocean, on the other side.Every beach of the peninsula has public access. There are quiet and calm water beaches while others have got strong waves, white and fine sand or thick and golden ones.

La Barra is popular for nautical sports and sportive fishing. Ahead we find different places, El Tesoro resort, Montoya beach, Bikini beach and Manantiales beach, among others.Nowadays this area has become an important touristic center with many services according to the visitors needs.

Main Sights

The city is a land of old lineage, an expression of colonial architecture that deserves to be known, since the modern architecture contrasts with the colonial architecture. Nowadays it has a scenic shore, houses typical of the resorts, modern buildings, a port with structure and mooring capacity, well-known trademark stores, restaurants, pubs, etc.It has several big and sumptuous houses, and its gardens lined with plants from every part of the world, wide avenues, boulevards, and a quality of life that is difficult to find in other South American cities.

Gorlero Avenue, the main avenue of Punta del Este has fine commercial galleries, restaurants, cinemas, casinos, shops and many more attractions.Artigas square, over Gorlero Ave is the place where the popular handcraft market takes places. Throughout its many stands you can find handicrafts made of materials such as leather, stone, metal, glass, etc.

Casa Pueblo

This icon of Punta del Este is a piece of art done by the Uruguayan painter and sculptor Carlos Páez Vilaró, with its unique architecture, Casa Pueblo sits atop Punta Ballena, as one of the main attractions of the peninsula.Its spontaneous construction 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 a must see attraction are the sunset classical music concerts, definitely an unforgettable experience. This is one of the features that makes Punta del Este unique as few continental places offer the opportunity to whatch the sun rising and setting over the sea, you can contemplate the sunrise over the Atlantic ocean, and the sunset over the River Plate in Punta Ballena.

Punta del Este Lighthouse

This lighthouse was built on the 17 of November of 1860 by Tomas Libarona with the intention of guide the navigators over the Atlantic Ocean and de la Plata river. To build it, a mixture of volcanic soil from Rome, which is apparently harder than concrete, was used. This is the reason why it is in such good condition.

The lighthouse is 45 mts tall and the crystal panels which are part of its illumination system where brought from Europe, France, works by electricity and in case of emergency it uses acetylene gas.It is possible to climb it up through its 150 steps of its spiral stair.

Gorriti Island

This island of 21 hectares of surface is daily visited to enjoy the nature, its two beaches, Garden Port and Honda beach.The island as a natural port “cares” all the ships which anchor close to it, besides, it is a popular area to practice water sports.Nowadays there are thousands of pine trees due to the plantations that the engineer Romulo Rubbo made, his work was later continued by his daughter the engineer Selva Rubbo.

Transportation

Roadways

Punta del Este can be reached from Buenos Aires by ferryboat (Buquebus) to Montevideo (the capital city), located 140 km away from Punta del Este, and then by car or bus; or by flying directly into Capitán Curbelo International Airport, located near Laguna Del Sauce on the outskirts of the city. This modern design airport opened in 1996.

From Miami, Madrid or other major South American cities you may fly directly to Carrasco International Airport in Montevideo, and arrange ground transportation (COT or COPSA) to Punta del Este.

References

See also

*Uruguay
*Montevideo

External links

* [http://en.puntadeleste.com Punta del Este english site]
* [http://www.viajarapuntadeleste.com.ar Information for tourists and travellers about Punta del Este]
* [http://www.maldonado.gub.uy/puntadeleste2.php Official site]
* [http://www.reservas.net/alojamiento_hoteles/puntadeleste_hotels_uruguay.htm Tourist Information Punta del Este]
* [http://query.nytimes.com/gst/fullpage.html?sec=travel&res=9C01E1D61F31F934A35752C0A9619C8B63 Article about Punta del Este in The New York Times]
*wikitravel
* [http://en.fotos.gerstmann.net/v/Uruguay/Maldonado/Punta-Del-Este/ Fotos of Punta del Este and Surrounding]
* [http://www.paradiseuruguayrealestate.com/punta_aerial.htm Punta del Este aerial images]


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