Uruguay - which of the smaller beach towns is best?


Dec 10, 2009
I am heading to one of the beach towns in Uruguay next week. Trying to decide between one of the following - Punta del Diablo, Piriapolis and La Paloma. I'm looking for somewhere chill but not dull, fun but not frenetic with a variety of good places to eat.

Would really appreciate any input on one or more of these locations. Gracias!
The three towns are totally different, and they attract different crowds. Punta del Diablo hippie heaven, with lots of people in their late twenties to mid-thirties. Piriapolis is for retirees or families with small kids and small budgets. I don't know much about La Paloma, but heard it's pretty nice. Many Uruguayans own sumer homes there.

Piriapolis is not technically on the ocean, which starts on the Brava side of Punta del Este. The waves are small, and the water not quite green - brownish on some days.

No matter where you go, the beaches are all clean and beautiful - white sand all the way, from Colonia to Chuy.

Restaurants are NOT Uruguay's strong point - the food is bland and overpriced, and and the coffee is awful - I've lived part-time there for the past four years, and haven't been able to locate a cup of good expresso.

Punta del Diablo....cool vibe, lots of backpackers....beer joints seafood joints $$ for things there, kinda outa the way....reachable by bus or car...

La Paloma.....Nice town, large than Punta del Diablo, more food choices...great beaches...lots of accomodation choices

Piriapolis....more upscale....decent food choices....beach is not as nice as 2 above....$$$ highest cost in season.....

I like La Paloma, however it is still high season and acomodations everywhere might be hard to get. Uy is expensive, and more so in high season (Jan-Mar) Food generally is boring and tasteless....and expensive in season at beach towns.. Like $50 usd for lunch in Punta del Este....!!!
Excellent! Thanks for the suggestions. Decided on a few days in Punta Del Diablo and a few in La Paloma.

Can anyone recommend a mid-range hotel in either of these towns?

The lovliest beach towns I know of in Uruguay are La Paloma, and La Pedrera. I like La Pedrera best. Cabo Polonio is just beyond la Pedrera, and is only accessible by 4x4 vehicles provided for a fee by transport companies along the main highway, no individually owned cars allowed. We went by horseback some years ago. The beaches there are vast and it is very raw and wild beautiful. I don't know Piriapolis, but hear that it is very nice too. Maybe somewhat more built up. La Paloma has some wonderful beaches too, is bigger than La Pedrera, has more amenities.