Best Beaches in Uruguay

By Caitlin Hornik

Uruguay is a coastal paradise brimming with beautiful beaches! Check these out before you plan your South American summer vacation!

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A waterfront city, Montevideo is home to a handful of beautiful beaches. Following the Rambla of Montevideo along the coastline can bring visitors to some of the best beaches in the area! Pocitos Beach is arguably the most well-known in Montevideo, while Carrasco Beach is located in one of the most affluent areas. Locals are drawn to Ramirez Beach due to its proximity to the city center and many excellent attractions.

Punta del Este

A lively resort town, Punta del Este has become a hotspot for celebrities to play. With its beautiful beaches, glamorous nightlife, luxury hotels, and laid-back vibes, it’s easy to see why it has gained so much attention. Due to its location, visitors can easily access Punta del Este from Montevideo and Buenos Aires. Punta del Este has two main beaches, Playa Mansa on the West coast and Playa Brava on the East coast.

José Ignacio

Known for its serene setting, people tend to seek out José Ignacio beach for a quieter, more natural environment. It has upscale resorts and is an extension of Punta del Este in many ways. With its charming village town, excellent surfing opportunities, and beautiful lighthouse, who wouldn’t want to visit?!


If you want to live like the locals, check out Piriápolis! Another beach with a laid back environment, local families tend to seek out Piriápolis during the summer months. Piriápolis used to have a wealthy Argentine clientele, with the Hotel Argentino serving as a reminder of those days. Today, there are mostly Uruguayan visitors, with the Argentine clientele moving on to Punta del Este and José Ignacio.

La Barra

Known as one of the “party beaches,” La Barra is located North of Punta del Este. La Barra offers visitors a wide variety of activities, including surf competitions and art galleries. It has a similar vibe to José Ignacio, but caters to a slightly more upscale clientele.

Punta Ballena

Small but mighty Punta Ballena is a peninsula on the coast of the Río de la Plata, located West of Montevideo. It has over seven miles of beaches with calm waters and stunning views. Many retreat to Punta Ballena for water sports and for the fine sand. Another picture-perfect place for relaxation in Uruguay!

Honorable Mentions: Costa de Oro, Playa del Rivero, Punta del Diablo, Bikini Beach

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