The San Tropez of South America, Punta del Este during the winter/New Year’s period is like being in a permanent Polo Ralph Lauren ad South-American Style, complete with shining sun, idyllic white sand beach back drop, gorgeous glistening South American super models in tiny colorful bikinis and well-chiseled men in equally form-flaunting attire.  

Though this is not the place for intellectual stimulation, it provides just about every other type of stimulation. Shatteringly beautiful people flood into this winter vacation enclave solely by the desire to see, be seen, and revel amongst their beautiful counterparts. Famous soap opera actresses, young heirs and tan jet-setters sip ‘clerico’, a white-wine sangria-champagne concoction and soak up the sun.  

The days are generally spent hoping from beach to beach, milling in the sand, playing music, or relaxing on pristine white beds overlooking the rolling seas. The night is kicked off with the first sun-set parties, where the groups of stylish hipsters put down their cocktails only momentarily to clap at the sunset.

The night-time offers a renewed sense of excitement and allure.  The flock heads out to hip restaurants no earlier than 11pm, munching on scrumptious steaks or gourmet pizzas, before hitting the areas’ top clubs until the sun comes up over the horizon.  

Every year, the new hot spot changes, but the formula remains the same: everyone knows everyone else, and the unfortunate ones who don’t are barred out of the exclusive doors of clubs or the private parties in the hills. The season is topped-off with a climactic fire-works display on the beach on New Years and people down unlimited champagne at the throng of private parties run by international model agencies and marketing agencies as techno music radiates over the hills and beaches.

Though this scene is not for every body (in fact it is really only for a select few privileged souls), “Punta” is becoming an internationally recognized word and still remains the most illustrious South-American luxury escape for South-Americans.