After breakfast, we set out for our first stop of the day, Punta Ballena. We had heard that it was the Punta Del Este of 15 years ago, but more affordable now, so we wanted to check it out as a potential location for our next home in Uruguay.
We stopped at a viewpoint in Punta Ballena and took some pictures of the beautiful scenery.
This was clearly a tourist stop because there were some vendors set up selling trinkets.
There was also museum nearby. But Zoë fell asleep so we didn’t get to check it out this trip. Instead of waking her to check out the rest of Punta Ballena, we decided to head out to Piriapolis.
I guess a motorcycle convention was in Piriapolis for the weekend because there were motorcycles everywhere. We really liked the feel of Piriapolis. It has more of the small beach town feel we’re looking for.
Although we didn’t get to spend a lot of time there today, we’ll definitely be taking another trip out there within the next couple months to explore it further.
The only Piriapolis pictures we got were of a fountain at one of the small parks on our drive out to Punta Del Este the night before:
Our next scheduled stop was Atlantida, but we decided to drive though several of the smaller, more unknown beach towns on the way. There were some really neat little towns tucked along the coast. It was really cool to see that even though these communities were very small, they still had markets, restaurants, etc.
We also noticed that peat moss roofs are quite popular in these small towns… Brian kept commenting about how it reminded him of Ireland.
We stopped off and had lunch in one of these small little beach towns at a quaint family restaurant called La Caracola. The owners (I believe it was a husband and wife team) were very friendly and welcoming.
And, the food was excellent. Brian had the Milanesa with puré de papas
(mashed potatoes) and both Johnny and I ordered the Chivitos al Pan.
The portions were huge so in addition to eating her own serving of puré
de papas, Zoë shared with all of us. We definitely recommend stopping
here if you’re taking a road trip down the coast.
After we had lunch, we headed to Atlantida. Atlantida had even more of a sleepy beach town feel… it felt more residential than Piriapolis did. I’m sure during the summer it picks up quite a bit more.
We found a small park with a large fountain so that Zoë could run around. She had spent a lot of time in the car that weekend and was getting pretty antsy. She had a blast running around, picking up leaves and giving them to us as presents.
The beaches in Atlantida were nice as well, but we didn’t get a chance to enjoy them this time around. Here are a couple pictures of the beach in Atlantida we shot the day before when it was raining.
One thing we noticed on our drive down the coast is how untouched the beaches are. You still see vegetation growing on the dunes in many areas (it isn’t pulled out to make the beaches more tourist friendly). The sand even comes back onto the road in many places, making navigation interesting.
We’ll definitely be taking another trip to Piriapolis and some of these other beach towns in the next few months.