The day seemed to start out well enough, warm and sunny with a piercing blue sky. My plan was to rent a car to travel to three nearby places: elegant, high-class Jose Ignacio, the Lussich Arboretum and nearby Piriapolis, which is west from Punta del Este. The rental company brought the car to the Hotel Atlantico, where I was staying while in Punta del Este. I was all set to go except the older model Garmin GPS was not working well, most likely as a result of older software technology. I have a friend who has a Garmin and hers is also tricky to use.

I often use my cell phone back home as a GPS device, so I know how easy a GPS can be to work with, and the Garmin was not approaching this level of efficiency. Why didn’t I purchase a local SIM card for my cell phone while in Punta del Este? For my purposes, it really wasn’t necessary. I finally cancelled the rental car. Driving in unfamiliar territory without a working GPS, for someone like myself who can be directionally challenged didn’t seem like a good idea. If my daughters are reading this, I can almost hear them giving a collective sigh of relief that I didn’t rent the car!

Well no problem, I chose to take a bus to Piriapolis, at least I’d see one destination on the wish list. Luckily I arrived at the bus terminal just in time to purchase a ticket for the 12:00 noon bus.


The first thing I saw as I walked into Piriapolis, the massive Argentino Hotel on the waterfront

About fifty minutes later I arrived in Piriapolis and walked into town looking for tourist information.  Tuesday is the only day they are closed! Oh well, the town is fairly compact, so I found my way to the main street that runs parallel to a boardwalk along the beachfront.  On the other side of town there’s a lovely marina and close to it is a gondola that takes you up the side of the hill. It’s something I had read about and was looking forward to. The top of the hill would give me an aerial view of Piariapolis, the local countryside and an opportunity for some nice photos. Only problem was that the gondola was closed for maintenance! Not my lucky day.


On the way back to the beachfront I passed the Hotel Colon, with an interesting mix of architectural styles.



Beautiful beach at Piriapolis

It was a short distance back to the central part of town, so this time I took a relaxing stroll along the beach with the whitest sand I’ve ever seen, had a bite to eat, discovered some tourist shops and purchased a few items. For me, it was a relaxing day with just enough time to get back to bus terminal for my return trip to Punta del Este.



Looking back towards the Piriapolis Marina and the hill where the gondola usually operates

A bit about Piriapolis: It is a summer resort town, and was founded in 1890 by Francisco Piria, thus the name Piriapolis. He built a castle as his personal residence and from 1920-1930 he constructed the Argentino Hotel one of the biggest hotels in South America at that time.


Back at the Piriapolis bus terminal awaiting the bus back to Punta del Este, still smiling.