Uruguay is a rich and lively nation, with traditions, cultures and natural beauty. The beaches are world famous for being unspoiled and uncrowded. East of Montevideo, the sandy corners on the Atlantic coast are perfect for a holiday full of sun, sea and relaxation, while the hilly interior of the country, the land of the Gauchos, is pleasant and little known to tourists: if you want to isolate yourself from the world for some time, this will be your destination. For those who want to be lulled by the waves, the colours and landscapes, there is no lack of choice. The beaches are also beautiful on the south coast amongst which Punta Del Este, considered the most beautiful in the whole South America, stands out.

A place, which has now become famous and well known, where you can sunbathe, bathe in the ocean or cool off in the hot hours under the palm trees that line the shore. An area where maybe you can meet some VIPs, as it is now also renowned even amongst the stars. There are also beaches where you can devote yourself to diving, snorkelling, fishing or those where hordes of surfers are ready to challenge the force and the vehemence of the waves. There are also enchanted treasures where you can admire breath-taking natural scenery or where you can make friends with sea lions.

Discover the 30 beaches not to be missed.

  • Playa Punta del Este
  • Playa Mansa
  • Playa Brava
  • Punta del Diablo
  • Playa Santa Teresa
  • Playa Barra del Chuy
  • Playa Barra de Valizas
  • Playa Cabo Polonio
  • Playa La Pedrera
  • Playa La Paloma
  • Playa José Ignacio
  • Playa La Barra
  • Playa Piriàpolis
  • Playa Bella Vista
  • Playa Las Flores
  • Montevideo
  • Playa Chihuahua
  • Costa de Oro
  • Playa Atlàntida
  • Playa La Coronilla
  • Playa Costal Azul
  • Playa Neptunia
  • Playa Los Titanes
  • Playa La Tuna
  • Playa El Fortin
  • Playa La Esmeralda
  • Playa La Floresta
  • Playa Bello Horizonte
  • Playa Marindia
  • Playa Pinamar

Playa Punta del Este

Punta del Este  is now a popular destination, which needs no introduction. One of the chicest destinations to be spoilt in, straddling the Ocean and the Rio de La Plata. People who come here don't have to worry about anything: there is beauty in every corner and all amenities are available. In the area there are several beaches, for everyone’s taste. On the one hand calm and family-friendly waters, on the other, tumultuous waves and currents that want to challenge surfers. The connector that holds them all together  is, however, the peace of the setting with palm trees skimming the sand, the varied, lush vegetation and the beauty of the beaches and the unforgettable colours of the water. 

Playa Mansa

Beaches often have their essence or their characteristics in their name. This is the case with Playa Mansa, ("quiet" in Spanish). And here the waters are typically placid, ideal for families with children and swimmers who want to relax without any worries. The water of Mansa, overlooking the Maldonado Bay and on the island of Gorriti, in Punta del Este is generally warm and the soft sands are perfect for a long walk or for an afternoon to share with friends. It is the beach where local families decide to come on the weekend for a trip or just an outdoor picnic. In this very fashionable and tourist-friendly area, nothing is missing. Plenty of clubs, bars and kiosks will allow you to have a snack or enjoy a tasty break, trying out Uruguay's typical specialities.

Playa Brava

Playa Brava ("lively beach" in Spanish), is famous for a sculpture, which has become a symbol and attraction: a hand that emerges from the sand. The peculiarity of the beach, as the name states, are the high waves that attract numerous surfers, especially in winter. From here in the distance you can see the Isla de Lobos, populated by the largest colony of South American sea lions. For those who are not sports-loving, it is possible to walk along the sand for several kilometres. Also in this area there are numerous bars or kiosks that offer a moment of relaxation or the opportunity to have a drink with the locals.

Punta del Diablo

At first glance it may seem like a simple fishing village, but it is actually a tourist centre on the rise. In fact Punta del Diablo, just a few miles from Santa Teresa National Park, offers lovely beaches that also attract South American tourists. A fascinating place, full of legends and stories, which refer to the multiple shipwrecks in this area, and from where the name ("The Devil's Tip") comes. 
The beaches of the area, which stretch for over 10 kilometres, are the perfect place for enjoying the breath-taking sunsets and for have some unforgettable moments. The most intimate and welcoming beach is Playa de los Pescadores: Here everyday, small fishing boats approach the shore and offer bathers fresh fish. Playa Rivero and La Playa de la Viuda they are highly sought after by surfers thanks to the high waves and strong winds. 
Playa Grande, instead, separates Punta del Diablo and The Santa Teresa National Park. A beach, which is an example of unspoiled nature and where the only noise you can hear will be that of the waves. The surrounding scenery can vary from the rocks that fall straight down to the sand dunes that accompany the steps. A very fascinating local ritual in the area concerns the sunset hunt. As soon as the sun "goes down" to rest, people start clapping their hands to encourage it to go to sleep. A way to get in touch with the locals, to understand their traditions and to be in tune with the spirit of the place: here almost everything works on solar energy.

Playa Santa Teresa

The Santa Teresa National Park, located near the border with Brazil, is a riot of nature with a thousand acres of gardens and forests. And the beaches are just as interesting. They are extended, boundless and lively. The waters are calm, the sand is white and the amenities are plentiful. One of the most interesting beaches to visit there is definitely Playa Achiras, very popular with residents and full of views to admire.
There is also Playa la Moza, popular with surfers due to the height of its waves. The park is famous for a very special attraction called the Chorro ("the jet"). The construction, made of stone, takes advantage of natural elevations and accumulates water, forming wonderful natural pools. Around it grows lush and unparalleled vegetation. The area is also well known for the presence of exotic birds of different colours.

Playa La Coronilla

A perfect place to watch the sunrise, a beach that stretches for 8 kilometres, ideal for sports and for walking. Even if the activity not to be missed is the release of turtles that have been saved and taken care of at the Karumbé Centre, located nearby. The beach is about 25 kilometres from the border with Brazil and over 300 kilometres from Montevideo.

Playa Barra del Chuy

It is the most oceanic of Uruguayan resorts and has a vast beach of crystal clear waters, white sands and huge dunes. Barra del Chuy benefits from its proximity to popular tourist spots like the Santa Teresa Park, Fuerte San Miguel and is a step away from Chuy, the border town with Brazil. It is therefore a very special and varied destination even in its visitors.

Playa Barra de Valizas

Imagine that you are in front of theAtlantic Oceanbetween endless white beaches, a stream and huge dunes, all to discover. "La Barra" is, for many, the most picturesque and special coast. La Barra de Valizas, 270 kilometres from Montevideo, is a haven of tranquillity and freedom. The waves at the Valizas beach are excellent for surfing but the most popular sport is sandboarding, a snowboard practised on the dunes. The beach is divided in two by the Valizas river, which you can cross with a boat for an unparalleled experience. 
The main beach is to the north, while to the south there are dunes. Near the coast you may be surprised by fragments that tell stories and are testimonies of a legendary past: there are the remains of numerous shipwrecks, which have become the preferred setting for an underwater adventure. The "Barra" is a quaint bohemian and natural space, located in the Rocha department, on the border with the Cabo Polonio National Park. A place where you can enjoy nature, relax or find time even for fishing.

Playa Cabo Polonio

The wild soul of Uruguay deserves to be discovered. There are two beaches Cabo Polonio, a small fishing village amongst the sand dunes, on a rocky headland beaten by the wind and topped by a solitary lighthouse: the beach named La Calavera (to the north) and Playa Sur, separated by the big rocky headland where the lighthouse of Cabo Polonio is located. The first is the beach renowned for the homemade fishing boats that are now almost part of the landscape. It is also remembered for numerous shipwrecks that have happened over the years. So many activities and sights that can surprise you. 
On the one hand, there is the rocky headland of Cabo Polonio from where you can visit the archipelago "Isla de Torres" and the world's largest sea lion reserve. On the other hand, huge dunes that invite you on a long and fun journey through the sand. On the rocks, you will find restaurants overlooking the sea where you can enjoy exquisite dishes based on fresh fish. 
From the beach of La Calavera you can take a walk 7 kilometres across the dunes until you reach Cerro de la Buena Vista. Along the way you will enjoy a spectacular panoramic view of Cabo Polonio, its houses and ranches, the immensity of the ocean and a unique landscape in Uruguay, where the sand will be the protagonist.
Playa Sur is also a very charming place, where you can enjoy beauty and relaxation. During the summer months, a lifeguard is available at this beach and a hostel is open where you can stop for a tasty break: Drinking refreshing natural juice or trying some seaweed pancakes or a shrimp dish. One of the main activities to try out is surfing. Credit here goes to the wind, thanks to which excellent waves are formed. Also from here you can take a hike to the lighthouse of Cabo Polonio, to meet the sea lions. Another route not to be missed is the one that leads southwest towards Oceana del Polonio, skirting the sea. An adventure to connect with yourself, a moment to listen to the sound of the sea and the wind.

Playa La Pedrera

La Pedrera, bathed by the waters of the Atlantic Ocean, is located east of Uruguay in the department of Rocha. The name refers to its ancient rock formations on the sea. The main road ends on a large cliff from where you can enjoy spectacular views of the ocean during the afternoon. In the evening it becomes a sparkling area where elegance and energy blend into an atmosphere of good vibes and fun
The main beach is El Desplayado, which is considered to be the most suitable for families with children, since it is without currents. It is characterised by fine white sand, crystal clear waters, and has a rocky part that extends to and then meets the sea. The second is Playa del Barco, the name is due to the shipwreck of the Cathay VIII, a fishing vessel flying the Chinese flag, which got stranded in 1977. The remains now lie on the shore. The beach is a popular destination for surfers due to the big waves that make it ideal for challenging the sea with your board. 

Playa La Paloma

La Paloma is a municipality in the Rocha Department. The beaches of La Paloma are frequented for the variety and beauty of its landscapes. You can spread out and choose according to your needs: you can range from fine sands, bays between the rocks. There you can be surrounded by big waves or relax in calm waters. There are also several opportunities for playing sports or for fishing. One of the best known is Playa de Los Botes, a family-friendly beach, which allows you to take long walks, by the ocean, but also offers several opportunities for sports. 
And, offshore, it is also frequented by surfers. Among the peculiarities of the beach is a sculpture called "El Christo de Lucho, " which was created by a fisherman, artist of the area as an auspicious sign of protection for those who have to face the waves. In the area, every day, fishermen venture out to sea and then they come back to sell the fruit of their labours to tourists or restaurants in the area who will then turn them into juicy dishes. 
The beach of El Cabito, is, on the other hand, the smallest of all the beaches in La Paloma. It is the ideal place in summer for the little ones, and of course, for having fun with the family. Children love the pools formed on the rocks, which allow you to cool off and play without worrying, since they are less than one metre deep. These bodies of water bounded by the rocks form a picturesque sight, with the sea in the background. A unique opportunity for taking photos or even for fishing.

Playa José Ignacio

The beach is located 18 kilometres from La Barra, on the border of Maldonado with La Rocha. The bays that form here have a dual soul, like those of Punta del Este. West of the small peninsula there is a beach with high waves and strong currents, to the east family-friendly calm waters. Playa José Ignacio has an intimate atmosphere, it is full of small fishing boats that come and go and sell fresh fish.  Among the must-see attractions, there are also two lagoons. It's a place where you can try different activities from windsurfing to rowing, snorkelling and fishing. There's no shortage of seafood restaurants in the area. Another curiosity concerns The Lighthouse, 32 metres high. It was decided to build it in 1877, after a series of shipwrecks that occurred between the rocky shores of the area.

Playa La Barra

La Barra is a small spa town on the Uruguayan coast, in the department of Maldonado, 10 kilometres from Punta del Este. It has become one of the favourite places for tourists of all ages. After all, it has all the qualities: a seascape with lovely beaches, the colourful architecture of the houses and a bustling centre with art galleries, antique shops and a flea market. One of the most famous beaches is Playa Verde. The ecological beauty this beach attracts families in search of serenity. 
It has three ideal beaches for little ones and is surrounded by a spectacular setting of hills and woods. Playa Hermosa extends, instead, along a bay framed by wild forests, forming one of the most beautiful postcards in the area. There is no shortage of restaurants, various bars, pubs and clubs that attract young people in search of fun, turning the night into a special show. According to various legends, the area was a refuge for pirates. In particular, a pirate named Francisco Tournier is said to have buried a treasure in one of the islands of the Maldonado river.

Playa Piriàpolis

One of the places with the most history and traditions is Piriapolis, a beach located on the Rio de la Plata. An oasis of peace that extends for 7 kilometres allng the coast. You will be struck by its buildings full of style and decoration. If, on the other hand, you are looking for a sparkling destination you must to go Bikini Beach. Typical beach of Latin America, fashionable and where you can play sports, but also dance to the rhythm of DJs. In the area there is a possibility of going on acable car ride on the top of San Antonio Hill from where you can take in the breathtaking views of the Uruguayan coast.

Playa Bella Vista

A spa, which is located just 10 kilometres from Piriàpolis and that knows how to mix beauty in various forms: combining the sea, beaches, rocks and hiking trails. The beaches are small, but you can enjoy a wonderful view, also thanks to some natural lookouts. Many people take advantage to relax, reading a book on the beach, or strolling along the shore. The waters are calm and transparent,ideal for snorkelling and even for fishing. There is no shortage of sporting events throughout the year.

Playa Las Flores

A place for recharging your batteries, about ten kilometres from Piriàpolis. Whether it is due to the picture-perfect beaches, that are quiet and ideal for the family, or also for the beauty of the houses overlooking the sea with their bright colours. Playa Las Flores is famous for its fine sand and turquoise water. An oasis of tranquillity where children chase crabs or create works of art in the sand "armed" with their buckets and spades. The adults relax in the sun and enjoy the mate, a characteristic infusion of South America. A must-do in this area is to stop to admire the sunset.

Montevideo

Montevideo not only offers history, culture and art: it is also a seaside town with numerous beaches.  Embracing it is the Rambla, a promenade of more than 20 kilometres, which allows access to several beaches, even on foot. One of the most beautiful is Playa de los Pocitos, an ideal and central place for sports fans. Another treasure not to be missed is Playa Ramirez, suitable for families. On the podium, we can also place Playa Malvin,  a place without waves and suitable for relax.

Playa Chihuahua

It is the first nudist beach in Uruguay and spreads out over Portezuelo Bay. A beach where the crystal clear colours of the water, the white sand and the strong presence of the vegetation coexist, with lush forests. The nudist beach of Chihuahua was discovered in 1986 and has since remained popular and in vogue amongst the people who love naturism

Costa de Oro

The Costa de Oro is a coastal area of Uruguay which stretches for 45 kilometres, through different resorts and beaches, east of Ciudad de la Costa. In recent years the area has been at the centre of a renovation project: trees have been planted and it has been decided to give more impetus to activities, through the construction of infrastructure for visitors. It combines beaches and spas, pretty villages in more urbanised centres, full of surprises and things to do. It is not particularly well known, but the beaches are lovely and rich in diversity
In many places you can enjoy nature in its purest state, enjoying postcard-perfect views, as in the case of Balneario Argentino or Playa Santa Ana, which gives spectacular views and a landscape dominated by forests. The coast ends with the fascinating landscape of Jaureguiberry, a spa park and protected area created in 1937, which still keeps its natural environment almost intact. The beach offers good waves for surfing and for water sports.

Playa Atlàntida

Atlántida is the boundary where the waters of the Rio de la Plata begin to mix with those of the Atlantic: it is located on the Costa de Oro, 45 kilometres from Montevideo. There are two beaches, one with a few ideal waves for sports, strolling or for relaxng. The second, on the other hand, is highly sought after by surfers. They are both wide and extensive beaches with fine white sand, infrastructures and services ready to meet the needs of tourists. The nightlife in the area, thanks to a strong presence of restaurants and numerous pubs and discos, is a highlight of the spa city.

Playa Costal Azul

Costa Azul is one of the certainties of the Costa de Oro. It offers a calm sea, the opportunity to rest, but also to enjoy numerous activities. Mix a rural landscape, a setting of lush forests and waters that are also appreciated for the waves in the east. There is no shortage of shallow natural pools that children like so much and opportunities to do sports on the beach.

Playa Neptunia

At the mouth of the Pando stream in the Rio de la Plata we find Neptunia, the first town on the Costa de Oro. Here you will find long beaches of fine white sand and calm seas, ideal for swimming or relaxing. Fishing and water sports are classic activities, both on the Pando stream and on the Rio de la Plata. There's no shortage of bars or kiosks where you can recharge for a moment. Nature and walkng enthusiasts should visit a small natural area between the Pando and Tropa Vieja streams.

Playa Los Titanes

Continue the relaxing path along the Costa de Oro with Playa Los Titanes: an intimate beach, a small gem nestled amongst the trees. Here swimming and walking are highly recommended activities. For those who want to, there are also natural lookouts where in addition to striking views, you can admire Albardones Island, which is very close to the coast.

Playa La Tuna

A neighbour to Playa Los Titanes is Playa La Tuna. Like her sister, the atmosphere is very family-oriented.The calm and clear waters, as well as the desire to rest and recharge in nature. As along the entire Costa de Oro, services are everywhere as are the many infrastructures.

Playa El Fortin

A kind of natural refuge. This is how El Fortin, another resort located on the Costa de Oro, is described. Peace, greenery and clear water. Even Playa El Fortin will not disappoint tourists and visitors, offering a corner full of beauty, fine sand and many miles for walking in different contexts.

Playa La Esmeralda

Lie down and relax: Playa Esmeralda features a quiet environment and a wide beach of fine, white sand located in a rugged and varied landscape, surrounded by dunes, mountains and the Atlantic Ocean. You can fish or even walk for a few kilometres until you come across the remains of the ship "El Cocal", which was stranded in 1969.

Playa La Floresta

It's not only known for its family-friendly beach. La Floresta is the oldest seaside resort in the Costa de Oro, whose origins date back to 1909. To make it special there is also a history full of events, a unique natural setting and a sea worth discovering.

Playa Bello Horizonte

Wild, serene, sunny: The resort of Bello Horizonte lives up to its name and, in fact, offers one of the most beautiful views on the Costa de Oro in Canelones. With its crystal clear waters, the panoramic views, the white dunes, the woods and family style, Playa Bello Horizonte is a perfect destination for a refreshing and reassuring holiday.

Playa Marindia

Another seaside resort worth seeing in the Canelones department. Marindia is the ideal destination for a nature-filled holiday. Imagine a wide and clean beach, lush trees which also surround the inner streets. Add corners to admire and also amazing wildlife.

Playa Pinamar

Pinamar is an elegant, familiar and activity-packed resort where you can be in contact with nature. The Costa de Oro never disappoints. The beach has the same features. Its crystal clear and calm sea is great for fishing, for swimming or just for relax.

Choose Uruguay with Costa

Uruguay is a small nation, which knows how to condense beauty. La Rambla walks, surrounded by endless views and beaches to get lost in. Choose the white sand, immerse yourself in places that are sparkling and full of services or isolate yourself in the reserves for a more intimate moment, to recharge, unplug from everyday worries or simply rely on one's senses to recover the ability to look at things. Uruguay's beaches are little known, but they deserve to be discovered and to be included on the post boards or memories of your best homes and holidays.

Depart with Costa Cruises