30 Days Around the Horn travel blog

Punta del Este


Our tender pilot

Beautiful houses and flowers and streets




The lighthouse


Church of Our Lady of Candelaria




Definitely a seaside resort

Sea critters


Seaside shrine to Our Lady with Child. The signs are names of...

Surfs up

Everything is colorful


Los Didos

Note the dog at our feet

Richard's lunch (french fries, ham, cheese, potato salad, kitchen sink)

My lunch (He shared some fries)

We stopped at Olivias on the way back


Good name

We decided to walk the town with Sam and Carolyn who have been with us from day 1. They are RVers from Vacaville CA. It was really windy that day and sunny and bright. What didn't look so far on a map seemed like miles and miles walking in the wind. The residential streets had lovely big trees but along the ocean it was sun and wind. We ended up walking over 5 miles.

Punta del Este is a resort city on a narrow peninsula in southeast Uruguay. Popular Brava Beach is known for its strong surf as well as “The Hand,” a giant sculpture of 5 fingers. On the west coast, Mansa Beach has calm, shallow waters. The seaside resort is called the Miami Beach of South America.

The Punta del Este lighthouse is 147.6 feet tall, and the crystal panels which are part of its illumination system were brought from France. It works by electricity, with acetylene gas as emergency backup. It is possible to climb the 150 steps of its spiral staircase but we didn't. The Church of Our Lady of Candelaria is a Roman Catholic parish church. The parish was established 1 February 1948. The first temple was built in 1911. The current building dates from the mid-20th century. It is dedicated to the Virgin of Candelaria, the patron saint of the Canary Islands.

La Mano (The Hand) aka Los Dedos (The Fingers) is a sculpture by Chilean artist Mario Irarrázabal. It depicts five human fingers partially emerging from sand and is located on Parada 1 at Brava Beach. The sculpture was made during the summer of 1982, while the sculptor was attending the first annual International Meeting of Modern Sculpture in the Open Air in Punta del Este. There were nine sculptors, and he was the youngest one. There was a fight for the places assigned on a public square, so he decided to make his sculpture on the beach. He was inspired to make a sculpture of a hand "drowning" as a warning to swimmers, as the waters at La Barra up the beach had rougher waves which were better for surfing, while the other way, waters at Solanas were much more suited for swimming practices and windsurfing activities.

While Irarrázabal had the entire summer to complete the project, he managed to finish in the first six days, despite facing minor delays due to the strong southeast wind which is common in Punta del Este. The concrete and plastic fingers were reinforced with steel bars, metal mesh, and a degradation-resistant solvent covering the plastic on the outside.

Throughout that summer, sculptors from around the world worked on their creations at the beach, but only Irarrázabal's continues to sit on the beach today, not having left its original spot, and remaining largely untouched.

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