Posada del Faro
The tiny Jose Ignacio is a hamlet-like group of houses that bobble up on a point marked by a lighthouse. This is the highly understated, cool little brother of Punta del Este.
rnIt’s the destination of clued-up socialites, who head down to the beach in their pick-ups at around 3pm after waking up from the night before. When in Punta, you need a car anyway, so do not be disturbed by the distance (40km) and take it as a hint that finger-on-the-pulse Argentines – and the odd Uruguayan – drive here from Punta every afternoon.
rnPosada del Faro is a 12-room beach house hotel decked out hammocks and bamboo sun shelters, and decorated with whitewashed walls, blue doors and the odd bikini-clad bombshell adorning the stunning pool. All this just 30m from the beach.
rnOpened in 1991 by residents Jose and Carla Garcia, Posada del Faro, which roughly translates as ‘little house by the lighthouse’, is everything the Mantra hotel (listed below) is not. This is a relaxed paradise from which you can assault Punta’s party scene (which runs from the end of December to mid-February) from a distance. The surfing here is also arguably the best in the area.