Tag Archives: fishing village

Chillin’ in Punta del Diablo

Punta del Diablo is a small coastal village in eastern Uruguay, famous for its beaches and its waves, which make it a popular surfing spot in Uruguay.

During the summer season (Dec-Mar), the population in Punta del Diablo swells from 1,500 to over 20,000.Uruguay "Punta del Diablo"

Visiting in early November, like I did, you’ll have a very different experience from what most tourists do. Punta del Diablo is very quiet at this time of the year and you’ll be one of a handful of non-locals and able to experience more authentic village life. Also  building, repairing, and painting seem to be one of the main activities, as the locals are getting the village ready for the high season tourist influx.

Sandy and dusty roads, not very well signposted, cross town. Very colourful houses and shacks welcome you at every corner. A couple of convenience stores are open all day so you can stock up on all you need. Most of the beach restaurants and bars are closed, and the few that are open trade only during the day. So a walk along the Avenida los Pescadores by night will be a very quiet experience (and if you haven’t sorted your dinner you may end up with an empty stomach!).

Long and empty beaches offer opportunities for relaxing walks while enjoying the scenery, the waves are already pretty good for surfing, and the sun is shining.

Uruguay "Punta del Diablo"
Playa Grande

What I liked the most about Punta del Diablo out of season was the calm atmosphere, and if this is something you enjoy, then I strongly recommend a visit outside of the main tourist season!

My dream place

This is the story of a random last minute decision – not uncommon when you travel – that took me to an amazing place with amazing people. Right at the end of my trip.

This is how it started.
I was about to fly back to Vietnam from Lao, and still hadn’t decided where to spend the following week. The last week of my trip. I wanted the sun and the beach, but I already been to Phu Quoc and Con Dao. And Mui Ne and Nha Trang had zero appeal for me. Should I go back to the mountains instead?

Then I remembered Quy Nhon. A friend had mentioned it to me as a place relatively off the main tourist trail. Worth checking it out! The fact that there are direct flights from Hanoi, and at reasonable prices, played a part in the decision too. I checked on Tripadvisor: there’s a guesthouse by the beach in a fishing village! It’s called Haven. It sounds like my dream place :-).

Bai Xep beach

Within 24 hours I had booked flight and accommodation. And two days later I arrived at Bai Xep, fishing village 10km from the city of Quy Nhon.

Just like in my dreams the beach was outside our front door, and was dotted by fishermen’s round boats. A handful of rocky islands in the sea in front of us. No tourists apart from us in the small guesthouse.

I fell in love with it within seconds!

My days there were made of walks along completely empty beaches, suntanning (best tan I have had in decades!), eating delicious food cooked at the guesthouse, watching the locals hanging out at the beach, walking around the village, chatting with the other guests and with the lovely guesthouse management.

One morning we also hopped on one of the round boats and then onto a fisherman’s boat for a trip around the islands! So nice…

And how can I forget Kitty, the sweetest kitten ever?! She was very unwell and didn’t move much, and all you wanted to do was cuddling her.

I miss Kitty...
Unfortunately Kitty died few days after I left…

What an amazing place! What an amazing time!
I had planned to stay 3 days. I extended it to 5. And tried to extend further, but logistic issues prevented me from delaying my departure from Vietnam.

I left one day after lunch – crying like a baby.
I felt I had been locked out of heaven….