A hotel and museum at the tip of a rocky point with tremendous views of the Río de la Plata is the main draw in Punta Ballena, east of Punta del Este. Uruguayan abstract artist Carlos Páez Vilaró created his work as a "habitable sculpture" and it defies architectural categorization. With allusions to Arab minarets and domes, cathedral vaulting, Grecian whitewash, and continuous sculptural flourishes that recall the traceries of a Miró canvas, this curvaceous 13-floor
surrealist complex climbs up a hill and looks like nothing else in South America—or anywhere much else.
The spaces include an excellent series of galleries dedicated to the artist's work. Here you can see photos of him with friends like Picasso and peruse copies of his books. One book tells the true story of his son Carlos Miguel, who survived a plane crash in the Andes, which was made into the 1993 film Alive.
Punta Ballena, Punta del Este, 20100, Uruguay