15 Feb Punta del Diablo, Uruguay – Feels Like Home
Punta del Diablo was originally a small fishing village on the coast of Uruguay. Today it is a bustling summer resort town that has drawn the attention of tourists and developers.
The town sits up the coast from Punta del Este. Cash and development have been fed into the area, spurring lots of development and driving up prices. Punta del Diablo has a great deal to offer. Not quite as big as Punta del Este, it’s also not as small as Cabo Polonio.
From big hotels to comfortable hostels, there are lots of options. The ocean and beach are practically in your backyard.
How to Get to Punta del Diablo
Capitan Corbeta International Airport is the closest hub. It’s just outside Punta del Este and less than an hour flight from Buenos Aires.
There are a few bus companies serving the town. Punta del Diablo is a two-and-a-half hour bus ride from Punta del Este and five hours from Montevideo. Some of the bus companies available are Rustas del Sol and COT.
Also, there are ferries that run to Montevideo, where buses regularly go to the resort town.
Buses run from the border of Brazil, at the town of Chuy, to Punta del Diablo.
COT buses from Castillos are commonly used by travelers coming from Cabo Polonio. These cost 50 pesos, or just $2.50.
SummerBus is a backpacker bus that runs during the, you guessed it, summer. It runs from Montevideo to Punta del Diablo and costs $75 for the entire route. Tickets are also sold for single trips.
How to Get Around Punta del Diablo
Punta del Diablo is a walking town. There are also bicycle rentals. Bikes aren’t really that necessary since the town is so small, but there are destinations reachable by bike such as Parque Nacional de Santa Teresa.
Bike rentals are currently $15 for three to four hours. They started recently, being a new addition in 2012.
Accommodation in Punta del Diablo
Summer reservations should be made well in advance. Hostel beds sell out quickly, so you want to be sure you get into the one you prefer and that suits your budget.
January is the peak summer month. This is when the rates are the highest. It can also be tough to find a bed if you don’t reserve in advance. Most hostels, restaurants, and shops in Punta del Diablo are closed during the off-season.
Here are some popular hostels you’ll find in town.
Hostel de la Viuda – Calle San Luis y Nueva Granada. Shared rooms include 6, 8, and 10 bed dorms with shared bathrooms and breakfast. Private Double and Superior Private Double rooms are available too. The hostel also has a clothesline and washing tables. Its living room has books, TV, music, and Wi-Fi, while the garden yard has room for barbecues, hammocks, volleyball, and a deck overlooking the sea and forest.
La Casa de las Boyas – Calle 5, Playa del Rivero. At just 50 meters from the beach and a five minute walk to the center of town, the hostel has an 8-bed dorm for $15 per night. A 10-bed dorm costs $20 per night and has a balcony with ocean views. The larger room also has a kitchen with a refrigerator, stove, and microwave. Breakfast is included while a bar is open in summer.
El Uro Hostel – Rocha. Starting at $15/night, this hostel offers room to sleep, plus a light breakfast and outdoor terrace. The property also has hammocks, volleyball, and ping pong. Refreshments are served at the bar. Horse tours, surfing, and Spanish courses are available while events such as campfires and barbecues are held regularly.
What to Do in Punta del Diablo
There’s no doubt Punta del Diablo is a beach town. Here are the main beaches you’ll encounter.
Playa del Rivero – Close to most of the popular hostels in town, this beach is great for surfing and relaxing. It’s just north of the town.
Playa Grande – Located 20 minutes by foot from the northernmost point of Playa del Rivero. This long beach is in the Parque Nacional de Santa Teresa.
Playa de los Pescadores – This small beach is in the heart of Punta del Diablo and offers great views of the fishing boats.
Playa de la Viruda – South of town, this long beach is great for swimming and also kiteboarding.
Activities in Punta del Diablo
Kiteboarding – Lessons are available, at $15 for a two-hour session.
Horseback Riding – Four hours will cost you $140.
Surfing – Private lessons (two hours) go for $15.
Parque National de Santa Teresa – At $0.50 admission, you can hike this national park’s sandy trails. It’s accessible via a sandy path from the north end of town. Buses go to the park entrance as well. The park is a great place for bicycling too.
Eat & Drink
Restaurants are plentiful in summer, while just around 5-7 stay open off season in December through March. There is also a year-round grocery store and small convenience shops.
II Tano Cucina – Calle 5 y Calle 20. This Italian and International restaurant is noted for its pasta dishes. Breakfast, lunch, dinner, and late night meals are served. It’s just a few blocks from the center of town.
Aquarella Ristorante-Bar – Calle 5 y 12. Serves Italian, Mediterranean, International, and seafood. It is highly rated for its atmosphere and the friendliness of the hosts and servers.
Arrai Beach Bar – Playa del Rivero. A place to have lunch and drinks on the shore, this beach bar serves seafood, Peruvian food, fish and chips, and sandwiches.
Nightlife in Punta del Diablo
Punta del Diablo, the beach town it is, has plenty of beach bars. Get the party started by watching the sun set. Party with friends or other travelers. Brazilians, Uruguayans, and Argentinians flock here in the summer, but its quieter other times of the year.
Many of Punta del Diablo’s bars are along a wooden boardwalk near the town center, by the Avenida de Pescadores. Ask around for the best spots, as the bar scene differs greatly from one season to another.