A relaxing week at the beach was much wanted after being constantly on the go through Montevideo and Buenos Aires. While Punta Del Diablo is a popular summer destination in Uruguay, it has much more of a laid back vibe than the beach scene in Montevideo or Punta Del Este. We passed through Punta Del Diablo in the fall when it was pretty empty, and the quiet was just what we needed. Most of our time was spent lounging at the beach, but here are a few great activities if you feel like wandering beyond your sunbathing spot.
1. Watch the Sunrise at Playa Grande
Our little beach bungalow was just up the hill from Playa Grande. During our entire week here, we only ever saw one or two other people on this beach with us. The coastline of Punta Del Diablo faces east, making its beaches a great place to watch the sunrise. For sunrise, sunset, and anytime in between, the long, curving stretch of sand on Playa Grande makes it a beautiful spot to take a walk, admire the scenery, and hang out.
2. Walk Around Punta Del Diablo
Unlike most other cities we visited in South America, Punta Del Diablo had no defined city center or central square. Though the residential areas of the city sprawl quite a bit, the main part of town is pretty small, so you can walk across most of it in about 15 minutes.
However, we took our time one afternoon to wander the dirt side streets, admire the beach houses, and visit some of the tiendas. We were there in the low season, so many of the shops and restaurants close or decrease their hours. There are quite a few ice cream vendors if you need a refreshing snack while you walk through town!
3. Visit Santa Teresa National Park
Santa Teresa National Park encompasses some of the land around Punta Del Diablo. This lush area has some pretty trails, wildlife, and camping. Visiting the park can be a nice way to see some more of the country that surrounds Uruguay’s coast. There is also an old military fort that can be explored for a small fee.
The park is reachable from Punta Del Diablo by buses heading north on route 9. Many also reach the park by rental bike or horseback tour. You can book tours and rent bikes in town. If you’re up for a reasonable walk, you can follow the coast north along Playa Grande (which also lies within the park boundaries) to Playa del Barco, then head inland towards the park entrance, fort, and camping areas.
4. Relax at Punta Del Diablo’s Best Beaches
Punta Del Diablo is pretty laid back, so you’ll probably find yourself kicking back at the beach for much of your time here. There are multiple stretches of sand that dot the coastline around the town. We spent most of our time on Playa Grande since that was closest to where we were staying, but we enjoyed also walking the coast to experience other spots. Playa Grande is spacious and less developed than some of the others.
If you head north of Playa Grande, there are some smaller beaches, like Playa Del Barco and Playa De La Moza. These are in the National Park, so they are also less developed and typically quieter than the beaches closer to the heart of Punta del Diablo.
Playa Del Rivero is a little closer to the main area of town. Being nearer to many of the restaurants and hostels, this beach is more of a hotspot. During busier times of year, it is hopping with surfers, people playing sports in the sand, vendors, and families enjoying the sun. A bit further south is Playa De La Viuda. This is a long beach that offers a little more seclusion.
5. Water Sports
Punta Del Diablo is known for being the best place for kiteboarding and surfing in Uruguay. If you’re a beginner, you can take lessons for a reasonable price. Kiteboarding lessons are typically more expensive than surf lessons. You can also rent equipment to go out on your own if you feel comfortable.
When we were there, the surf was pretty flat. Rain is frequent in Uruguay, so check the weather and surf forecast before booking a lesson. Playa Del Rivero is a popular lesson spot because of its fairly sandy seabed and mild swell.