It appears from this road map of Uruguay that all roads lead to Montevideo, the capital. However during the summer months, Uruguayans and savvy tourists flock to the beaches. They have the choices of river or ocean as Uruguay enjoys a long coastline from the Atlantic border with Brazil, down to the mouth of the Rio de la Plata, and up river to the border of Argentina.
I'm always amused that the stretch nearest Montevideo along the river which after all means river of silver is called the Gold Coast. There are other coasts along the great river which attract visitors, but perhaps the most famous are the beaches on the Atlantic coasts, called the Uruguayan Riviera.
The area along the coast of Maldonado and East of Montevideo to the Brazilian Border contains numerous resorts including the town of Maldonado. Built in 1755 as a provisioning outpost the town has grown as a resort as a less expensive alternative to the most renowned resort: the tiny peninsula of Punta del Este which enjoys both a riverfront and an Atlantic side.
Punta del Este is elegant. Expensive resort hotels, real estate and deluxe restaurants draw those who can afford them, yet there is a certain number of accommodations catering to the more budget minded traveler.
On the river's side the beach of Rambla Artigas stretches to the port of Punta del Este then around and out and around the peninsula to meet the Atlantic at Playa de los Ingleses Playa el Emir and Playa Brava where the water is wilder. See the wide white beach in this photo. Mansa means tame and this beach is great for families with small children.
Beach hopping is a tradition and people follow the action. Most of the beaches have small restaurants called paradores with beach service so you can can picnic on the beach without the bother of carrying food along.
Piriápolis is a gem of a beach. The resort, named for its developer Francisco Piria, revolves around the waterfront named Rambla de los Argentinos, named for the clientele Sr. Piria catered to. He built the Hotel Argentino and a home referred to as the Castillo de Piria or Piria's Castle but drawing attention from any point is town is the Cerro Pan de Azucar.. You can climb to the top of the peak Uruguay's third highest point if you can tear yourself away from the magnificent beach.
North of Punta del Este through Rocha to the Brazilian border, miles of sandy beaches sand dunes and great scenery attact beach goers. In Rocha and La Paloma you won't find the super expensive resorts of Punta del Este, but you will find history, great beaches, and a more relaxed style.
No matter which beach of the many along Uruguay's coasts you choose, you will find hospitable people and a wonderful vacation. Check flights from your area. From this page, you can also browse hotels, rental cars, and special deals.