6 of Montevideo´s Best Beaches


When most people think of beaches in this small South American country between Argentina and Brazil, Punta del Este and other strands along its “Gold Coast” most readily come to mind. But two hours north, among the charms of Uruguay´s appealing capital (pop. 1.8 million) are several beaches of its own, bathed in the waters of the Río de la Plata (River Plate), an estuary which empties into the South Atlantic and is so huge that locals refer to it as el mar (the sea). So in addition to admiring the treasures of Montevideo´s old town and enjoying tasty local maté tea and classic chivitos (steak-and-cheese sandwiches), visitors can also get in some swell sun and fun, especially during Northern Hemisphere winter (which down here is summer) at at some ten stretches of white, powdery sand. And here are a half top choices:



Playa de los Pocitos

Running more than 22 kilometres (nearly 14 miles) along the Río de la Plata, the promenade known as La Rambla crosses a number of neighbourhoods and with them a number of inviting beaches. Pocitos, ten minutes from downtown, is one of the best known and most popular, lined with modern buildings –  many housing hotels and restaurants – and packed with amenities and water sports options. It´s also lively after dark, with concerts and other events extending the fun far into the night.



Playa Ramírez

Near downtown, at the edge of Rodó Park and its amusement park, this broad, 1.4-kilometre (4,560-foot) crescent also along La Rambla provides plenty of opportunities for activities both on the sand and in the calm, shallow waters, ideal for families. Bars, cafés, restaurants, and hotels are close at hand, as is the National Museum of Visual Arts, and Ramírez is also near the port area and its 155-year-old Mercado del Puerto, once a covered market and now home to more than a dozen eateries. And finally, in addition to being a great spot for sunset viewing, Ramírez stands out for being adapted to people with disabilities.



Playa Malvín

Located on a bay in an eastern Montevideo suburb of the same name, this wide  stretch was especially fashionable in the 20th century, and even today it´s a gem, a bit quieter than the more central city beaches but still with an extensive menu of water sports; bars and restaurants; several nice parks nearby; and a view of offshore Isla de las Gaviotas (Seagull Island), which as its name implies is a refuge for the feathered set, and not just gulls.

Playa Honda

Also out in the eastern suburbs, in the Punta Gorda neighbourhood to the west of Malvín, “Deep Beach” does indeed have deeper waters than many other local strands – meaning it´s a good choice for snorkelling, scuba diving, and even an occasional spot of surfing. On its stretch of sand, meanwhile – a bit smaller than other Montevideo strands – local love a good game of football or volleyball.

Playa de los Ingleses

Out in Punta Gorda as well, “The Beach of the English”  is also on quite petite but considered one of the capital´s prettiest, with calm waters ideal for a laid-back family getaway. Beachgoers can also rent sailboats and windsurfing boards as well as take lessons at the local sports club, and even work in a visit to the nearby Portones Shopping mall.

Playa Verde

Bordered by the Rambla de Playa Verde promenade, one last Punta Gorda strand, “Green Beach” is aptly named for its ample vegetation, and is also home to some impressive sand dunes. Plus thanks to some of Montevideo´s bigger waves and stronger winds, Playa Verde also attracts surfers and windsurfers, though there are plenty of other active options here, as well, including Jetskiing, canoeing, kayaking, snorkelling, and scuba diving. Finally, for a bite, a drink, and great sunset viewing, check out Restaurante Hemingway overlooking the beach.

So yeah, this winter (or next) come get your beach on in Montevideo, with Iberia!