Punta Ballena another fantastic place close to Punta Del Este
Take the Interbalneriao (Route10) from Montevideo or Punta del Este International airport going towards the east. Shortly before arriving in Punta del Este, you will see from the main road, how an impressive and elevated peninsula called Punta Ballena enters into the sea. It is the last part of the “Sierra,” a rock formation that serves as a natural boundary between the bay of Portezuelo and Maldonado. With an unparalleled view, the area has become a desired place for private homes and apartment complexes with terraces of Mediterranean air on the cliffs. The majestic presence of Casapueblo is crowning the landscape. The panoramic route that runs along the highest ridge of the Peninsula inaugurated in 1978. The name Punta Ballena comes from the look of the Peninsula. It reminds from a distance to the back of a whale.
A 50-meter high cliff with grasses and low shrubs is overlooking down to the waves that hit the rocks violently and with an ample sight of the long bay of Maldonado. The eastern side of Punta Ballena always contrasted with the other side, where Casapueblo, the Club de Los Balleneros, and many houses are located that have been part of the traditional sights of Punta Del Este.
This stretch of land out in the sea has attracted plenty of new owners who feel this is one of the most privileged areas of the Uruguayan coastline with its microclimate. You have the most beautiful sunsets of Punta Del Este from Punta Ballena’s west side and the best city views of Punta del Este from the east.
Punta Ballena is a destination that maintains its validity at the same level during the four seasons. Its landscapes do not lose beauty because it is winter, nor does autumn overshadow the majesty of the sunsets seen from Casapueblo. Spring calls visitors for whale watching and adventure tours, and summer is time for the beautiful beaches. Cliffs and caves are experienced both in January and June, and the strange phenomenon of zero gravity in Las Cumbres astonishes either August or February. Also, for the convenience of the off-season tourism, most services and several restaurants remain open all year round.
History of Punta Ballena
In the nineteenth century, General Francisco María Acostathese bought these lands from the State. He transferred them to several owners until finally, they fell into the hands of Ramón Álvarez Mora and Dr. Martín C. Martínez. Martinez later became Finance Minister of the Uruguayan President, José Batlle y Ordóñez.
The afforestation of the area is the work of Antonio Lussich, also responsible for the Arboretum Lussich Park Museum. He bought the properties from Mora and Martínez, and they remained in his hands until his death in 1928.
For decades, the eastern side of Punta Ballena was inhabited only for some time with an old discotheque called Las Grutas (embedded inside a cave in the rock and closed a long time ago) and a hostel The Chiringo, led by the daughter of the painter Carlos Paez Vilaró. A beautiful beach and a few houses scattered among the dunes had the high cliff on their back. Also, there was not much else.
Beaches in Punta Ballena
The entire coast that extends to the west is protected from the currents by the Peninsula. The Peninsula causes the beaches of Punta Ballena to enjoy safe waters from the Solanas Portezuelo (very busy) to Sauce de Portezuelo (quieter). In the middle is the Chihuahua beach which is known for the main nudist beach of our country. In summer Chihuahua can also get very busy with visitors.
Sometimes there are significant events at the beach club Tío Tom restaurant (Tommy Bistro) and El Chiringo beach on the east side. Nearby are also the vast cliffs and Las Grutas that once served as a luxury nightclub.
La Rinconada, in Solanas Portezuelo, is the beach where motorboats are allowed to enter the water. It is here where you can see yachts when coming to enjoy the afternoon and the sunset.
Nonno Antonio is an old cheese factory by Marisa Carvalho where everything handmade. You can visit the tasting room. The owner will tell the story of each cheese, while you can try a glass of wine to accompany and enjoy a Tiramisu dessert and Lemoncello. All nestled in a natural environment in the shade of eucalyptus trees. You find Nonno Antonio on Antonio Lussich Street, 4 kilometers from the Arboretum Lussich Park Museum.
Punta Ballena offers several grocery stores like the El Dorado supermarket, and the latest addition is a Tienda Inglesa grocery store, which has added value to the region. The Ancap gas station with its separate coffee and shop is a traditional hangout as well.
The options to go out to eat in Punta Ballena is almost a tourist attraction in itself. Apart from the famous restaurant at Casapueblo and the Las Cumbres hotel, there are only a few options available.
Club de Los Balleneros: Founded on March 31, 1965, the Club has a restaurant for the general public. It is a large room, with a roof and wooden beams, completely open, with an exquisite view of the pool and Portezuelo bay. It is enjoyable both for lunch and afternoon tea.
Medio y Medio Jazz Restaurant and Club: On Solanas Portezuelo beach, a few meters from the sea, this simple but special place emerges. The location is well known and visited by locals and tourists. During the high summer season, of course, the evening is usually accompanied by high-level Jazz musicians who play on stage to the crowd. Often, it is open all year round (in winter only on weekends).
Oliva y Sal: This place invites the visitor into a relaxed and welcoming atmosphere, with colorful art on the walls illuminating the interior. An ideal place to visit with friends to enjoy homemade pasta, meats, pizzas, and seafood. It is open all year round (in winter only on weekends.
Punta Ballena is more relaxed than Punta del Este and offers a limited nightlife. Occasionally, the Tommy Bistro located on the beach of Uncle Tom performs parties that attract hundreds of people. In Chihuahua, there is a smaller but equally enjoyable place called the Mulata bar, with DJ and track sound around a pool every weekend.
At Medio y Medio restaurant club in Solanas Portezuelo live jazz music can be enjoyed at night during the summer month.
If, on the other hand, you are looking for great clubs, you can find them 10 to 15 minutes away in the center of Punta del Este.
There is a small Museum in Casapueblo with the works of Carlos Páez Vilaró, or the Museum of Tile and Plastic Arts of the Arboretum Lussich Park features an exciting combination of art and history.
New Projects adapting to the Natureof Punta Ballena
The reason for the absence of real estate developments in one part of Punta Ballena (about 20 hectares) was due to the dispute between the State and the heirs of Antonio Lussich’s family, owner of the Arboretum Lussich and the entire region of Punta Ballena.
In late 2004, the Supreme Court accepted the claim of the Lussich family and the possibility of dividing the plots for housing projects. Due to this change, it has not taken long to see Punta Ballena undergoing a significant transformation.
Some of the latest projects on the east side began to develop mostly from Argentinean enterprises with similar characteristics using terraced structures to blend with the fall of the slope of Punta Ballena and adapting to the landscape. These projects consist of low-rise buildings (maximum three floors), facing the east, which gives them a particular view of the bay. In the foreground the vast sea appears, then the island Gorriti and just behind the Peninsula and in the far end the island of Lobos. At night, the darkness of the sea contrasts with the distant lights of the Mansa beach line. Terrazas de la Ballena, Altamar and Syrah are some of the new apartment buildings.
The municipal regulations allow buildings in Punta Ballena only 1,20 meters above the scenic route, which led to the decision of the balcony terraces. All of the new terraces also provide parking services as well as beautiful recreational areas.
The architect Fernando Romero, director of Syrah, said; “Punta Ballena is an icon of Nature, and we want to represent that. We used our design criteria of low-impact projects with great respect for Nature, where the green, stone, and water are the axis of the development. Excellent materials, a lot of technology, abundant vegetation, and especially many flowers will make this a unique place. “
The projects include an offshore panoramic lift on the eastern slope of Punta Del Este, which will connect the different levels of the complex. Looking at it from an environmental point of view, it will have no impact due to the low density and the coexistence of the project with the morphology of the place.
Please contact us if you would like to see any Real Estate in the Punta Ballena area.