Culture and Information on Ex-Pat Communities

 

While the culture is largely Spanish / Portugese orientated since its colonisation, Punta del Este has a thriving English speaking ‘ex-pat’ community and Uruguay was for a short time a ‘British Colony’.

The citizens are highly literate, secure and have an extremely low poverty level as well as a high standard of education and for a country with such a small population it has created an extremely open and friendly attitude toward other people and in particular to English speaking visitors and residents.

The country has a strong ‘Latin’ culture with a significant ‘Gaucho’ influence which can be seen and heard throughout the country in its music and dance. It was the real origin of the Tango.

Punta del Este has proved a magnet for many artists and indeed examples can be seen throughout the city. This love of Art has extended into the city’s architecture much of which is outstandingly modern yet satisfyingly elegant. Many apartments and homes are works of art in themselves.

The country has more than 100 private daily and weekly newspapers, more than 100 radio stations as well as some 20 terrestrial television channels. Cable TV is widely available. The Internet and mobile networks are fully available throughout Punte del Este and the Uruguay, a target achieved by government with the future in mind.

As with many ‘Latin’ countries, dining out is a way of life and Punta del Este has an almost inexhaustible supply and variety of restaurants of high quality.

Sport and pastimes

 

While Uruguay’s primary sporting interest lies in Football, the country has a very popular Rugby Union following and their national team became famous from their experiences when their flight crashed in the Andes. (‘Alive’ 1993).

There is hardly any sport which isn’t available to participate or watch including all forms of racing, tennis, golf, basketball and all the other popular pastimes and spectator sports. For those who care for a ‘flutter’ not only does it offer its own racing circuits but the town has many Casinos where you can eat, drink and watch a show while you relax.

Art, music and dance are well supported and form a large part of the social life.

For those keen on the more adventurous, the beaches to the east are perfect for surfing and wind sports while those to the west have perfect boating, swimming and diving options or simply relaxing in the sun on beautiful, clean, sandy beaches.

Beaches that will remain unspoiled since it is the Junta’s policy that no developments will be allowed along them.

The area is well known for its marine wildlife with which the residents have built an excellent example of co-existence. Whale watching has become a favourite pursuit and Gorriti Island is accessible for wildlife visits.

Crime and law enforcement

 

Punta del Este has one of the lowest crime rates of any South American country and, while not immune from non-violent crime, is rated one of the world’s lowest rates. Tourist police on virtually every corner make it safe to enough to walk the streets with your family at night at the height of season unlike many European cities.