Piriapolis, the belle epoque
Today a laid-back beachfront enclave, Piriapolis was founded in 1890 by Francisco Piria, an Argentine of Italian descent. He purchased acreage between the town of Pan de Azucar and the Rio de la Plata for his private residence – still there as the Catillo de Piria museum. Even at the turn of the 20th century, the visionary Piria saw the potential for tourism, and began developing his city, Piriapolis, to resemble a French coastal town.
Piriapolis stretches some 15 miles from town east toward Punta del Este with seven beaches. Only Rambla and Hermosa, though, with food stands, parking and lifeguard stations, cater to the high-season visitors.
Playa de la Rambla, a calm, in-town beach, attracts middle class Uruguayan families and young singles. Hermosa, a few kilometers east of Piriapolis, is known as the Beautiful Beach for its fine grained gold specked sand.
Local fishermen bring their daily catch in to Playa Punto Colorado, and surfers enjoy the challenge at Playa de San Francisco. Playa Verde is so named for greenish swirl of fresh and saltwater mix; a bit rough for swimming. Playa Punta Negra, a dark sand beach, is more isolated and without amenities.
The historic Argentino Hotel, in the belle epoque style, is now a national historic monument. Completed a decade after its 1920s groundbreaking, the hotel then was one of the grandest on the continent. Its elegantly furnished rooms and balustraded balconies overlook the ocean. Argentino Hotel’s famed Piriavital health spa and renowned casino make this a world class destination. Please contact us when ready to buy a house in Piriapolis.
Compiled and Edited by Pamela Bieri