There is much to do in the coastal city of José Ignacio, Uruguay
Passing through the center of Punta del Este, the first impression is that it is an elegant and crowded place. passing through La Barra, just outside Punta del Este, may not be your thing if you don’t like surf towns. However, if you are looking for something so relaxed that it reminds you of what absolute silence and tranquility is like, then you should head to José Ignacio in Uruguay and here is what to do when you arrive.
Enjoy the view from the Lighthouse
The town’s main landmark is the José Ignacio lighthouse, which has been placed to warn sea travelers of a rocky outcrop just below. Several of the small coastal towns in Uruguay have lighthouses similar to this one, which you can enter and climb the spiral stairs inside to get a great panoramic view of the coast and the small town from the circular balcony.
surfing in La Barra
If you want to get your blood pumping and see somewhere new, you can hop on one of the buses heading west to Punta del Este, or even the capital of Montevideo, and jump into the chilly surf town of La Barra. Just 10 minutes from Punta del Este, you’ll instantly notice the surfing vibe, with surf shops where you can buy and rent boards to hit the swell and do your best to catch a few waves.
Spend a day at the José Ignacio Lagoon
The lagoon that bears the same name as the town also carries the same tranquility, and you can spend a lazy day renting a bike or taking a horse ride to the lagoon. Have a picnic, stroll around the lagoon and swim all day until you return with the beautiful sunset in your sights.
Dinner at the Parador La Huella
Most people agree that it’s the best restaurant in town, especially if you’re looking for fresh seafood. You can sit on their patio, almost within reach of your food. Huge grilled octopus tentacles, grilled and spiced fish of the day, and hearty traditional dishes like steak and chips or milanese: it’s all here, and it’s all tasty.
Stroll among sculptures at the Pablo Atchugarry Foundation
There is much to see: from an exhibition building to an auditorium, an outdoor stage, a space for art classes, and a collection of works by Atchugarry, the abstract sculptor. The enclosure, full of art, is a charming space. Don’t miss the artist’s workshop and the sprawling Sculpture Park, where works by local and international artists are scattered throughout the greenery.
Hanging out in La Susana
Welcome to the place to see and be seen among the dunes of the Mansa Beach. On the west side of José Ignacio, La Susana Beach Bar and Restaurant beckons patrons with its dream combination: a dreamy beach location and specialty cocktails like the Clericó, a wine-based punch served by the pitcher. . Sit in the shade of a bamboo pergola or recline on a comfortable sofa as the micro-bike clad crowd poses eagerly.
Practice yoga at the Shack
What better place to practice your flow of yoga and meditation than this multi-disciplinary beachside wellness retreat, located in one of the trendiest boutique retreats in the country, Vik Bay? If you’re staying overnight, you can choose between art-filled suites and self-contained bungalows with floor-to-ceiling windows. All are situated among the dunes near Playa Mansa, and you can practice daily Vinyasa yoga in a serene wellness space, decorated in the natural tones of rattan and honeywood boards.
Picnic at Bodega Garzón
This sustainably designed wine world was the first LEED-certified sustainable winery outside of North America. It is surrounded by panoramic terraces in Maldonado, near Punta del Este, on the east coast. There’s a vineyard tour and now a lavish, glass-fronted members-only Club Garzón, in addition to the 120-seat restaurant with views of the surrounding countryside, hills and vineyards. Come and have a picnic among the vineyards, take a balloon ride and drink an Albariño Reserva, with aromas of white peach, citrus and jasmine.