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Punta del Este Travel Guide

What to Pack: Punta del Este

With sunny, windswept beaches and excellent wineries just a day trip away, Punta del Este has long been a South American and European vacation favorite. In recent years, more North Americans have caught on (blame it on their national soccer star Luis Suarez or the increasing celebs spotted in the area, including Naomi Watts). Here are a few ideas on what to include in your suitcase.


Bikini Beaching

Punta del Este is a beach city in the truest sense, so you’ll have your pick of sandy stretches. Most prefer the prime scenes near La Barra, a trendy neighborhood, including Bikini, Manantiales and Montoya beaches. Accordingly, wear your best bikini, such as this vibrant crochet set in zig-zag blue ($48 for the top; $38 for the bottom).

Reflect the international bohemian spirit with a crochet trim cover-up ($99) and gold braided toe sandals ($98). They’ll both pair well on many beach vacations to come.

Especially if you’ve been suffering a cold winter (read: your skin has only seen fluorescent office lights), protect your complexion with SPF and this floppy patchwork hat ($58).

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Head into town for shopping, or better yet, a stop into the art museum Casapueblo. A denim-style playsuit (it’s actually made of soft tencel; $108) provides just the right amount of coverage.

Late Night Lounging

Dinner runs late (we’re talking 10 or 11 pm) but you can kick things off with sunset cocktails at the many beach bars in José Ignacio. A jersey dress in snazzy floral print ($210) is just stretchy enough to lounge about comfortably.

Separates can be breezy and feminine, such as an elegant black silk tank ($98)—a lasting closet staple—worn with poppy pink cotton lace shorts ($300).

This being a oceanside destination, finish your look with a few natural touches. Loose beach waves will go with the rustic detail on this black-leather-and-raffia clutch ($295).

Or choose these horn bangles, whose neutral tones will pair with both colors and muted shades ($12.97).


Surf Days

Particularly during the winter season, Montoya in La Barra is where to find a good break. If lazing around is more your speed, head to José Ignacio on the earlier side for lunch at La Huella. Pick an appropriately hip pair of swim trunks, such as these by Marc by Marc Jacobs in light gray leopard ($158).

Top it off with a coral ringer tee ($90) and gray-tomato Havaianas ($24), which you’ll likely spot on the many Brazilian travelers in the area.

If you plan on beach-hopping, a sturdy yet attractive beach bag ($120) will stow all your extras.

Round out your laidback getup with a pair of cool matte black sunglasses ($310). They’re excellent cover for people-watching.

House Partying

Looking for a hot spot? The best parties are usually those hosted in the million-dollar homes lining the beach. The area has somewhat of a South Beach vibe, so keep your duds loose, light, and fresh, like this short-sleeve chambray top with white pineapple print ($168) or a relaxed mocha henley with subtle contrast pocket ($44).

Pressed off-white shorts ($64.50) work well with the area’s balmy summer temperatures.

For cooler nights, these velvety-soft brushed twill jeans ($195) will fit the bill.

Surely it’s fine to go sockless, but nifty sneakers, like these Paul Smiths ($245), are a finer choice for after hours than your daytime flip-flops.

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