The beach in Punte Del Este in full swing over the New Year’s holidays.
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Punta del Este, Uruguay
The crowds came from all sides–60,000 Argentines crossed the border into Montevideo and 8,000 reached Colonia–all in the last 48 hours. Small forces came from Paraguay and Chile, while an estimated 75,000 Brazilians began their descent from the north. All converged on Punta del Este and Uruguay’s coast.
Uruguay is being taken over by vacationers from Argentina and Brazil and the holiday season here in Punta del Este is off to a roaring start.
This New Year’s invasion and celebration is an annual occurrence and little Uruguay is prepared for the onslaught. Punta del Este, our town of 19,000, gears up to accept over half a million visitors who’ll be with us over the next two months.
Most of the homes around the area set up their own fireworks display, using professional fireworks of the type you see in the U.S. on July 4. The fireworks started around 11.45 p.m. on New Year’s Eve, and kept going strong until about 1.00 a.m., drowning out the music coming from the same homes. There were jets and helicopters in the air, owned by the people who vacation here.
The clear blue skies and temperatures in the 80s have brought beachgoers out of the woodwork, as the normally vacant beaches fill up with umbrellas, blankets, bathers, and surfers. Nearer the city, the normally quiet, oceanfront road bordering the rolling dunes is now lined with cars, and every available flat spot has got someone parked on it. Nightclub acts, comedians, and entertainers of all kinds are packing guests into the casinos and clubs.
The good news for the business owners and property investors is that the influx of visitors keeps rising, as the tourism industry continues to boom. More shows and events are on the agenda this year than ever before.
Almost all of the vacation homes in my own neighborhood are full, as foreign vacationers remain happy to pay between $6,800 and $14,000 per month to rent a house in Punta del Este during the summertime high season. Not a bad return, as the homes I used for these rental examples sold during the past year for $140,000 and $210,000, respectively.
Punta del Este is one of South America’s premier seaside resorts, and its beautiful beaches, dazzling casinos, world-class restaurants, and upscale shops have kept people coming from around the world for almost a century. And perhaps best of all, it’s located in Uruguay: a country with one of the continent’s highest standards of living, lowest levels of corruption, and best infrastructures.
It’s early, of course, to predict the success of the season, but so far, the numbers bode well for the New Year.