Punta del Este is South America’s premier beach resort. It is often compared to the Hamptons of Long Island, New York, or Europe’s Saint-Tropez. For decades, it has been a prestigious vacation destination. Now, a growing number of people are living in Punta del Este, Uruguay, making their favorite summer resort their full-time home.
Why are expats choosing to live in Punta del Este? Here are five of the most cited reasons.
1. Punta del Este now has a year-round supply of goods and services
Punta del Este brims with hundreds of thousands of vacationers in the summer. In past decades, when high season was over, there weren’t enough people left to justify keeping the doors of a business open during the off season.
Most of the locals who work in Punta del Este live in the adjoining city if Maldonado, which has a year-round population of 55,000.
However, Punta del Este doesn’t empty out after high season anymore. The number of people living in Punta del Este full-time has passed 20,000, and continues to grow. This has made it worthwhile for more businesses to remain open during the winter. It has also encouraged new businesses targeting fulltime residents to expand beyond the borders of Maldonado into the resort area.
2. Punta del Este is beautiful
Punta del Este is the dividing line where the Rio de la Plata (River of Silver – actually a large estuary) ends and the Atlantic Ocean begins. It is a beautiful area with long, sandy beaches punctuated with peninsulas, rocky points, and river inlets. There are even a couple of small islands off the coast.
Outside the relatively small areas of development, there are elegantly maintained country estates and green pastureland. Besides that, most of the properties in Punta del Este are tastefully designed and well-maintained.
3. Living in Punta del Este is fun
When the weather is nice, there is a lot happening on Punta del Este’s beaches.
- Kite surfing
- Stand-up paddle boarding
- Beach volleyball
- Beach fishing
Other recreation away from the beach includes: Tennis, swimming, golf, horseback riding, polo, sailing and power boating.
Things in Punta del Este slow down in the winter, (mid-June through mid-September), but there are still things to do. There is quality year-round dining, going to the movies, or attending one of the special events and shows put on by one of the three casinos. The “House of Culture,” Maldonado’s community center, has free music lessons, a variety of classes including yoga, as well as plays and concerts.
Punta del Este is a good place to stay in shape. There are good gyms and places to run and cycle off the roadway. In the spring and summer there are several running and endurance events.
One of the most interesting hubs of activity is the Punta del Este marina. People living in Punta del Este buy fish and a variety of seafood straight from the fishing boats. On Sunday night, people from all over the area come to the marina area to watch the sunset.
4. Some residential towers in Punta del Este offer hotel-like amenities and services
Punta del Este has the availability of amenities and services that are not available anywhere else in the country. Some of the residential towers have game rooms, reading lounges, computer rooms, pools, gyms, and theater rooms.
Many buildings have the following services provided, with the cost included in the homeowner’s dues:
- 24-hour porter/security
- Daily maid service
- Maintenance staff (will make small repairs in living units)
- Valet parking
- Beach attendants (provide and set up beach chairs and umbrellas)
With this type of arrangement, the building’s administration company takes care of all the hiring and firing, training, scheduling, and government reporting for employees. The owner can enjoy the benefits of these services without the concerns of being an employer.
5. Living in Punta del Este is safe
Uruguay has a reputation for being the safest country in Latin America, and Punta del Este is the safest area of Uruguay. Personal safety is the reason Punta del Este is the South American beach resort of choice for wealthy families and celebrities. Safety is also the most cited reason that people from other South American countries bring their families to live in Punta del Este.
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