With golden sand, enticing waves and food stands, Brava Beach (Playa Brava) is popular with families, groups of friends and surfers. Enjoy the uninterrupted stretch of beach for about 5 miles (8 kilometers) along Punta del Este’s Atlantic Ocean coast. It includes paradas (stops) with amenities such as paradors (beach bars) and watersport rentals.
Arrive at the beach early to see the sky light up with the sunrise. A mix of fishermen, dog walkers, joggers and people returning from nightclubs congregate to watch as the sun appears from below the horizon.
Go to Parada One, the beach’s southernmost point, to snap an iconic Punta del Este photo. Visitors pose creatively in front of Mario Irarrázabal’s La Mano, a sculpture of a huge hand rising from the sand. This is the beach’s busiest area, favored by young families and teenagers.
Stroll along the beach’s soft sand. The further north you walk, the quieter it becomes. Kids practice sandboarding in the tall dunes and fishermen wait patiently for a bite. At the northern tip of the beach is a lookout, which offers views across the Maldonado Stream to the beaches of La Barra.
Rent a sun lounger and umbrella or lay down a towel and gaze out across the blue-green ocean. Watch cruise ships, trawlers and yachts pass by and spot the distant Isla de Lobos, home to a colony of sea lions.
The medium-sized waves make Brava Beach popular with surfers. At Parada One or Parada Four, rent bodyboards, surfboards and standup paddleboards. Group and individual lessons are also available. If you want to swim, do so between the areas marked by the lifeguards, who patrol the beach from mid-December to mid-March.
Purchase food and drinks from the paradors. Some are simple kiosks while others are restaurants and bars, which become nightclubs later in the evening. Corn cobs and clericó (white wine sangria) are typical of Uruguayan beach food.
Parada One of Brava Beach is a 5-minute walk from Punta del Este Bus Terminal. Walk to other areas or catch a bus. Paid parking is available on the beach road.