In autumn Punta del Este is a city of immense charm. There are practically no tourists but the majority of the shops and restaurants are still open. The weather remains suitable enough to enjoy open air activities such as long walks along the beach or through the woods, riding on horseback or cycling, practicing surf or kitesurf either in a lagoon or at the beach or just sightseeing any of the countless landscapes available in every nook.
We chose to stay at the Grand Hotel for our first night. Even though we almost didn’t leave the hotel, it’s very well located in front of the Playa Brava. We mainly chose it because of the indoor pool which is ideal for children in this weather. We also liked the hotel in general and we proved our choice right.
We arrived in Punta del Este at 3 pm. This is a new hotel and we found it was a very comfortable option to stay with your family. We mostly stayed indoors just wandering around and enjoying its facilities. The children were enthused since the moment we arrived and the staff was very kind and helpful.
First, we went to the rooms. We had booked two spacious rooms which were connected. The bathrooms and beds were very good, plus we had a mesmerizing view of the Playa Brava waves.
During the day we alternated between indoor pool and bubble baths, enjoyed teatime and repeated the cycle some hours later to round up the day with a red-eyed supper.
The rest of the days we rented a small farm in El Quijote through Airbnb, but you can also book it from El Quijote’s website. The place is amazing. It is located in the outskirts of Barra de Maldonado next to Fasano Hotel Las Piedras.
Every small farm has a 5000-square-meter field which shares with the other farms a nature reserve. The landmark remains unaltered in this reserve: gulches, native land and shores of the Arroyo Maldonado; cows, sheep and horses grazing in the open field; all types of birds in the lagoons and dykes. Even though we wanted to do all of the countless activities offered by this lovely place, our minds and bodies only allowed us to ride on horseback and go for a long walk along the fields. The rest of the time passed while we enjoyed having interesting chats, viewing the landscape and seeing our children spend time in this magical place.
Thursday afternoon we had lunch with some friends in Narbona Wine Lodge which is five minutes away from El Quijote. The place is idyllic. It is an old farm house which shows great sensitivity in every detail. It is a U-shaped plan which embraces an interior garden with a pond that opens to the fields and its vineyards. The staff was very charming and whilst it is a chic environment it was also a relaxing one. I strongly recommend it to go with children, ours played non-stop and ran everywhere. The only moment they stopped was for the schnitzel with French fries and the ice-cream. We spent a lovely time with friends and enjoyed an excellent local wine.
When we were already coming back to Montevideo, from San Carlos and then on Ruta 8, we made one of our obligatory stops which is Parador Fito. Daniel, the restaurant’s owner, makes us feel at home and it’s a must for us. The menu is amazing and unpretentious. My favourite: Spanish omellette with onions and green salad.
Please don’t hesitate to leave any pieces of advice or recommendations in the comments’ section which follows. It’s always useful for those of us looking for inspiration for our future trips. Thanks!