Adventure By Corey Quinlan Taylor

Punta Del Este: "The Miami" of South America

South America is a continent of sublime contradictions. It’s a part of the New World, yet many North Americans are unfamiliar with its lands and cultures. A few of its countries have glaciers, while others have jungles. Some South American nations touch the ocean, while others are so high, they touch the clouds. While certain countries are interwoven with indigenous Indian traditions, others have cities identical to those of Europe. It’s a region of adventure, art, history and rituals unlike anywhere else in the world. 

Familiarize yourself with South America through a shore excursion to the Uruguayan city of Punta Del Este, the “Miami of South America.” And best of all: this Exclusive Shore Event, and many others, is complimentary when booked through the SELECT Distinctive Voyages program. The cruise departure below also includes the Services of a Distinct Voyages Host and an Invitation to a Private Welcome Reception—at no additional cost. View all voyages to South America here.

Commence your tour by driving to two of the most picturesque beaches of the city: Playa Maya, which curves around the calmer bay side and Playa Brava, known for its iconic sculpture “La Mano de Punta del Este” (The Hand of Punta del Este). Created in 1982, the massive, titan-sized fingers of the statue emerge from the beach, some say as a warning of Playa Brava’s rough waves.

Hand Sculpture

After a bit of sun, sea and people watching, experience Punta del Este’s art scene at the Ralli Museum of Contemporary Art, located in a Spanish-inspired building of terracotta roofs, white walls and beautiful archways. In addition to renowned European artists such as Dali or Chagall, the museum also boasts one of the most important collections of Latin American art in the world.

Feel the energy of the town with a panoramic drive past Indian Corner, followed by the twin-wavy bridges of La Barra – a local favorite. The bridges, constructed over the Maldonado Stream, rise and descend like a wave. When drivers provide enough speed, they get the sensation of riding on a roller coaster! Persuade your driver to give it a go – within reason. After a light lunch at a local restaurant, where beef could be served in a number of savory ways from steak sandwiches to short ribs, return to the port at Montevideo, your first South American adventure complete.    

La Barra wavy bridge


Our voyages to South America often begin or end in Buenos Aires, Argentina; a family-friendly city to spend extra nights and explore before or after your cruise. You have an exceptional hotel to enjoy this relaxing destination: Palacio Duhau – Park Hyatt Buenos Aires, where modern comforts from spas to high-tech gyms are embraced with the majesty of a restored palace from 1934. With this hotel, your travel advisor can secure you bonus SELECT amenities to enjoy during your stay.

Buenos Aires