If you go . . .
How to get there
The lowest round-trip air fare at press time between Boston and Montevideo, Uruguay, was $730 on TAM Brazilian Airlines. Buses leave hourly from Montevideo for Punta del Este, until late at night. From Punta del Este, buses leave regularly for day trips to Cabo Polonia; car rental agencies offer transport for trips to the interior.
Where to stayLa Quebrada del Castillo Sierras de Garzón
This sprawling, hilly ranch offers the flavor of gaucho life with the comforts of a rural spa. An overnight stay is $120, including three meals. A day trip, including barbecue lunch and guided horseback ride, is $20.
Calle 31, Punta del Este
This aging hotel still occupies prime beachside real estate, serves a buffet breakfast, and has clean, comfortable rooms. Doubles with a sea view $90 in high season, $45 March-December.Hotel LancasterPlaza Cagancha, Montevideo011-59-8908-1054
This comfortable, 11-story hotel is a short walk past 19th-century architecture and from all downtown attractions. Balconies overlook the square and the city's main thoroughfare. Singles with air conditioning and cable $22; doubles $32.
Where to eat
Hosteria La Perla
A break from urban life and beef every meal, this outdoor eatery serves fish with creamy sauces or homemade salsa. Brotola and a cold beer $6. El Abasto
Ciudad Vieja, Montevideo
Traditional asado restaurant, fills around 11 p.m. with Uruguayans seeking mounds of grilled red meat. Entrees $4-$13.
What to do
General information at uruwashi.org.,p>
Beaches in Punta del Este are everywhere, within walking distance of hotels on the main strip or short $1 bus rides away. At Bikini Beach, surfing lessons are $20.