Uruguay beach hotels make the most of the country’s wonderfully inviting shoreline. Uruguay boasts hundreds of miles of sandy beaches that play host to many of South America’s beachcombing vacationers every year. The beaches are either set inland, along the banks of the wide Rio de la Plata, or along Uruguay’s eastern border, where the land meets the Atlantic Sea. Uruguay beach lodging is found in both areas, and it’s often of the very best quality, too.
Whether you want to head to the banks of the river or the edge of the sea will likely depend on what type of vacation you’re looking for. Generally speaking, Uruguay’s more happening beach resorts, such as Punta del Este, are located along the Atlantic Ocean. These are 24/7 type of places, where vacationers lounge around on the beach by day before partying until dawn in restaurants, bars, and clubs come night. The hotels along the banks of the Rio, meanwhile, are quieter, more tranquil places. Colonia del Sacramento is the largest city in these parts; UNESCO recognizes its sleepy historical old town as being a World Heritage Site. Further inland along the banks of the river, the small backwater town of Carmelo offers excellent Uruguay beach lodging in ever-peaceful rural surroundings.
In terms of the Atlantic Coast, most people head to Punta del Este, Punta del Diablo, and Piriapolis. Punta del Este is Uruguay’s headlining resort—its nickname, the St. Tropez of South America, comes from the fact that the continent’s rich and famous are well known for treating it as a second home. (The resort is also often termed the Monoco of South America for the same reason.) Uruguay beach hotels here normally come in the form of top-notch luxury joints such as the Mantra Punta Del Este Resort or designer hotels such as the Awa Boutique Design Hotel (pictured). Cheaper Uruguay beach lodging, such as hostels in Punta del Este, is available, though it’s worth remembering that daily life here comes pretty expensive even if you have a reasonable rate negotiated at your accommodation.
The more budget-minded traveler should probably think about booking one of the hotels in Punta del Diablo instead. This is a much smaller beach resort than Punta del Este, but it’s still a fun and lively type of place. Hotels in Punta del Diablo often come in the form of cabins or houses that people rent out during high season, though you will find a few more orthodox examples of Uruguay beach lodging here if you search hard enough. An interesting option for backpackers and the budget-conscious in general is holing up in the resort during the low season, meaning anytime that doesn’t fall between December and April, when hotels in Punta Del Diablo come at a fraction of their high-season price.
Uruguay beach hotels found inland include the excellent Four Seasons Resort at Carmelo. This is a grand and luxurious place, where adults spend their time either on the gold course or in the spa, while children enjoy the great swimming pool and crèche facilities. If you're looking for a beach option without the potential crowds of the Atlantic beaches, this might be the perfect place to go.