Virtually all the country’s principal tourist destinations are on the coast, the eastern coast linked by the ruta interbalnearia (interbeach route) running from Montevideo to Chuy, on the Brazilian border. It is an area of wild beaches, ancient fortresses and temperate palm forests.
140km east of Montevideo lies Punta del Este with its many beaches, elegant seaside homes, yacht harbor, high-rise buildings and glitzy restaurants it is one of South America’s most glamorous resorts and easily the most expensive place in Uruguay.
Continuing east along the coast are several quiet fishing villages (such as José Ignacio and La Pedrera) which in season (December to March) attract many visitors to their pristine beaches. The beautiful province of Rocha has emerald shores and a network of lagoons. At its northernmost point, Chuy is a curious town straddling the border with Brazil, where the locals speak a mix of Spanish and Portuguese.