Before this trip I had never really heard much about Uruguayan beaches. Now I know why they are such a drawing factor for tourists!
In Punta del Diablo there are four main beaches: Playa Grande (north), Playa del Rivero (in town), Playa de los Pescadores (in town), Playa de la Viuda (south). Windswept, long and empty, they have soft and fine sand, and offer plenty of opportunities for long walks and/or just lazying in the sun. Most of the time you’ll have long stretches of the beach to yourself, which is definitely a plus.
The rocky parts of the coastline are great for watching the waves crashing or exploring rock pools (a passion of mine), so don’t hesitate to go for a wander.
To my surprise during my several beach walks I saw a few dead sea animals stranded on the shore: a turtle, a seal, several penguins and a couple of large seagulls. Never experienced that before! Apparently there are also whales in the Punta del Diablo waters.
The huge waves make Punta del Diablo perfect for surfing, which is one of the main activities here. You’ll always see people heading to the beach wearing a wetsuit and with a surf board under their arm. Sit and watch them as they try to catch the waves, it’s quite cool!
Catching the waves
One warning: if you want to go for a dip in the ocean, be aware that the wind is always very strong and the waters choppy and cold, so be careful…
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.
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.
Empty roads in low season
Fishermen dragging the boat up the beach
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!).
Signs along Playa del los Pescadores
View of Punta del Diablo
Boat at the Playa de los Pescadores
Boats at the Playa de los Pescadores
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.
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!