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Wednesday, December 9, 2009

Punta Del Este, Uruguay

Summer In Punta Del Este
Returning to Punta Del Este, after being there during the winter, was like returning to a ghost-town and finding it filled with people laughing, drinking, sunning, and enjoying every moment.

The wealthy set from all over South America and the world descend on Punta Del Este immediately after Christmas and the party lasts for a few months.

Punta Del Este reminds me of South Beach in Miami, with tall buildings overlooking the beaches. And, like South Beach, it is filled with beautiful Latin people (be sure to learn some Spanish before you go so that you can talk to all of them!).

Word on the streets in Uruguay was that the Brazilians take over Punta Del Este during the first 15 days of the season (December 26-Jan 10) and, after that, you will find predominantly Argentineans. There are also Uruguayans of course but many prefer the more tranquil and reasonably-priced beaches of Cabo Polonio, Rocha, and Punta Del Diablo.

But the place to see and be seen is Punta Del Este. Don’t believe me, believe E!:

The Beaches in Punta Del Este

As a peninsula, Punta Del Este offers two types of beaches: the bay side and the ocean facing side. You will often hear people refer to Playa Mansa (bayside) and Playa Brava (oceanside). The bayside offers a bit more tranquility with less wind and waves. The beaches on the ocean side are more expansive and there is plenty of room to move, play football (or futbol), and roam around looking at the various sites.

Often, you will hear people say, “Meet us at the beach at stop 16.” All the beaches are numbered, numbers which you can see along the street, and many people have their favorite number.

Bikini Beach in Punta Del Este
Whoever woefully said, “today’s bikinis don’t leave much to the imagination” is woefully short of imagination.

After seeing the bikinis in Bikini Beach just outside of Punta Del Este, I have nothing but positive reviews of the South American style bikini. The way it hugs the curves of a woman and exhibits their fine physique certainly doesn’t leave me short of imagination. Au Contraire–it feeds the imagination.

Any visit to Punta Del Este is incomplete without a visit to Bikini Beach. View some of the bikini beach photos below and, if that doesn’t entice a visit, you too may be woefully short on imagination:

Want to look great in a bikini?

Nightlife In Punta Del Este
The local catchphrase: “There’s always time to sleep in the winter!”

If you are from North America, or Europe, and you are reading this: Be Prepared. Nightlife in Punta Del Este truly begins at about 2am or later.

I remember asking some friends in Uruguay: “If you go out at 2am, and arrive home at 8 or 9 in the morning, how do you enjoy the beach during the day?”

“Well,” came the collective response, “we still go to the beach everyday.”

This is true. However, I realized the term day has significant elasticity here. To many in Punta Del Este, the beach day begins at about 2 or 3pm in the afternoon. If you are an early riser, you will be heading out the door in the morning before most party-goers get home from their evening.

Don’t believe me?

One night we were going out to the clubs and my friend said, “oh, I forgot my sunglasses.” Sunglasses at the bar? Is your Future So Bright You Have to Wear Shades? No! The hipsters all know that they’ll be leaving the clubs when the sun is coming out and so they’ll need their sunglasses for the homeward journey.

For many, nightlife in Punta Del Este does not take place in Punta Del Este; nightlife happens in La Barra, a small town about 10-15 minutes outside of Punta Del Este filled with many different bars and discos. If you don’t have a car, you can get there by bus. Or, if you are female, there are many cars who will eagerly escort you from Punta Del Este to La Barra. Just look your finest because the competition is fierce.

My friends and I ventured out in Punta Del Este many times as well. There are many bars in the port area and along the beaches that are packed with beautiful people every night. View the links below for the hot nightspots in either place.

Punta Del Este Sunsets

Since the nightlife continues well into the day, our schedule included many Punta Del Este sunsets. We would wake up to hit the beach during the day (at about 3pm) and then take in the sunsets along Playa Mansa, just in front of the Conrad Hotel.

After the sunsets at about 9:15, it would be time for a little nap before the nightlife. Napping at 9pm? In your workweek vernacular, you might refer to this as a paradigm shift.

Embrace the shift-it’s well worth it!

Cabo Polonio, Uruguay

Cabo Polonio, Uruguay

Punta del Este may be Uruguay's most famous beach resort, but the South Beach-meets-South America feel of the place hardly screams, "Off the beaten path."

Ask an Uruguayan to point you in the direction of a beach after his or her own heart, and you can bet it will be located in the laid-back department of Rocha.

Situated a few miles off the highway, the tiny peninsula village of Cabo Polonio is accessed by 4-wheel drive trucks or horseback, which transport visitors over the dunes to a hidden beach.

Electricity and running water - only delivered to a few places by rainwater and the odd generator - are rare commodities here. There are a few posadas(rustic motels), and most of the block-style vacation bungalows dotting the dunes are lit with candles at night. The long, sandy beach - popular with windsurfers from around the world - is rugged and totally undeveloped. On one side of the peninsula the ocean pounds the shore, while the other side offers a sheltered crescent of beach more suited to swimming.

STAY: Rent your own private beach bungalow for a few nights or by the week. Most online information about rentals online is in Spanish, so consider contacting the country's Ministry of Tourism for assistance with bookings. The oceanfront rooms at Posadoy Parador La Canada have hot-water showers, and there's a communal kitchen.

EAT: There are a few restaurants in Cabo Polonio, but most folks cook in (bungalows are usually equipped with gas burners or outdoor grills). There's a small grocery store with very limited supplies, so it's best to bring the bulk of your food with you.

Beaches of Mauritius

An island nation in southwest Indian Ocean, Mauritius is renowned the world over for its natural charm and beautiful beaches. While the country is endowed with exquisite beauty and unspoilt elegance, beaches in Mauritius do have their own appeal. It is no secret that the country is visited by a substantial number of tourists from all across the world and for most of them, the lure of Mauritius beaches is simply too big to resist.

The beaches in Mauritius are beautiful with spectacular white sand and pristine water all around it. The Belle Mare is a white sandy
Mauritian beach that boasts of a deep lagoon at the eastern coast while Mont Choicy is a beautiful long beach at the northern coast and is known for a great collection of Filao trees. Riviere Noire is the center of deep sea fishing in Mauritius. Pointe aux Piments is one for people enjoying the quite and cozy warmth of the seashore

However, it is the Grand Baie that is one of the biggest pulls for visitors to Mauritius. Shops for a wonderful shopping experience, restaurants with all sorts of popular and delectable dishes including a collection of seafood's and hotels catering to most of the requirements of the guests, all are available here. Discotheques and bars are there too and tour operators in Mauritius organize a number of sea excursions from this beach too. And to give you the thrills of a lifetime, amenities for all kind of water sports are available so as to give the guests a wonderful sojourn in the country. From business executives to honeymoon couples, all make a beeline to Grand Baie in Mauritius.

Blue Bay is acknowledged as an important center of water sports in Mauritius. Surfing, sailing and snorkeling are widely popular here. The Flic-en-Flac with a beautiful lagoon has a range of shops, restaurants and hotels. Baie du Tamarin offers a picturesque view of the landscape and Baie de Tombeau beach is overgrown with cocos.
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