The not-so-famous cliff of Punta Ballena, Uruguay

Sure, Punta Del Este is known as the “resort city” and probably the most popular tourist destination in Uruguay…but “off the beaten path”, you’ll end up on the cliff known as Punta Ballena (whale point). Here you will find some of the most spectacular views for picture taking, feeling an amazing cool Atlantic breeze, or shopping on the weekend where you will find local artisans with some of the most unique handmade works of art made of gemstones, leather, wood, beads, etc. Punta Ballena is A MUST SEE when visiting Punta Del Este, and also the location of the locally famous Casapueblo, a piece of artwork in itself, literally. Here are some of my personal photos taken on my visit:

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Map of Punta Ballena

Here is some interesting information from Wikipedia:

Punta Ballena is a small peninsula (punta) and a resort, as well as an important tourist attraction on the coast of Río de la Plata in the Maldonado Department of southeastern Uruguay. It comprises an approximately 12 kilometres (7.5 mi) long stripe of beaches and landforms and extends on both sides of Route 10.

Location and geography

Punta Ballena borders the resort Chihuahua to the west, it includes the Casapueblo citadel, the promontory of Punta Ballena, and the beach Playa Las Grutas to the east of it. Further east it borders the resort Pinares – Las Delicias with the oblong lake, Laguna del Diario, as the natural limit between them. To the northeast it borders the Park and Arboretum Lussich and the small populated centre Las Cumbres directly north of the park, while another small populated center, Los Corchos, lies to the south of the park.

History

Established by Antonio Lussich, who purchased the land and in 1896 founded his namesake arboretum, Punta Ballena and the neighboring resort city of Punta del Este grew to become leading destinations for tourism in Uruguay during the summertime high season (December through February).

Population

In 2011 Punta Ballena had a population of 750 permanent inhabitants and 2,375 dwellings.

Year Population Dwellings
1963 107 88
1975 169 241
1985 499 687
1996 799 921
2004 376 1,268
2011 750 2,375

Source: Instituto Nacional de Estadística de Uruguay

Points of interest

The town’s best-known point of interest is the Casapueblo citadel, sculptor Carlos Páez Vilaró‘s onetime residence and atelier. Páez Vilaró began his “living sculpture” in 1958, sometimes adding a new room to host a particular friend, and eventually created a lodge within Casapueblo. The surrounding promontories are also popular hang gliding spots.

Punta Ballena was known for whales such as breeding southern right whales hence was named. They are becoming more regular along the coast during wintering seasons and whale watching is a popular attraction. The region is also notable for holding presences of orcas that are seldom in most of Uruguayan areas.

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