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What to do in José Ignacio


Visit Uruguay’s most happening beach town, where artists, musicians and surfers mix with the jet set, and discover original galleries and conceptual stores among the surf shacks and seafood restaurants. A chic alternative to Punta del Este, José Ignacio is hardly a secret haven but still retains the feel of an exclusive coastal destination. Take a look at our picks for the most fun you can have while you’re there

Sufiyeh Hadian-Clarke
Sufiyeh Hadian-Clarke ,

Stay at the Garzon hotel
Head to the Garzon hotel, a restored 100-year-old mansion owned by Francis Mallmann – one of Argentina’s most celebrated chefs. The hotel has only five rooms, which include features such as claw-footed bathtubs. The room rate covers full board and wine, so you can enjoy fresh Argentine and Uruguayan produce and traditional cuisine.

Garzon, Costa José Ignacio, 20401 Garzón, +598 4410 2811

Relax at the Shack Yoga
Offering guests open-level vinyasa-style yoga classes as well as reiki treatments and even deep-tissue or shiatsu massage, this soothing yoga studio is a gem and popular with locals and visitors alike.

The Shack Yoga, Los Bigua, 20402 José Ignacio, +598 9449 4555

Horse riding at Estancia Vik
Take a 10-minute drive away from the beach and you’ll find yourself at the beautiful Estancia Vik José Ignacio ranch house. You don’t have to be a guest there to experience horse riding in a landscape of fields and mountains, and, if you’re pretty confident on a horse, there’s always the option of private polo lessons from some of South America’s top polo experts.

Estancia Vik José Ignacio, Camino Eugenio Saiz Martinez, 32232 José Ignacio, +598 9460 5212

Go surfing
José Ignacio is a haven for surfers and for those less familiar with the world of waves, a tiny surf school can be found between the La Huella restaurant and the lighthouse on Playa Brava beach. Stock up on surf gear at all the many great boutiques in the area.

Eat late at La Huella
A rustic beachside restaurant with a main terrace and an ocean view from the second floor. Order the fried calamari with chilli mayonnaise followed by the dulce de leche dessert, which comes complete with volcano-like molten centre and is served with banana ice cream and oatmeal cookies.

La Huella, de Los Cisnes, 20402 José Ignacio, +598 4486 2279

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