Piriapolis, the resort that should be, but isn't.

Trip Start Apr 15, 2009
Trip End Jun 17, 2009

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Flag of Uruguay  ,
Thursday, May 28, 2009

Riding the chair lift down from the top of Mt. San Antonio to the harbor in Piriapolis, I am reminded of the Italian Riviera - except that the broad curve of beach is longer and wider than any that I have seen in northern Italy.

Piriapolis was a popular beach resort long before its neighbor, Punta del Este, was the destination for up-scale South Americans.  In fact, when the beach-front Hotel and Casino Argentino opened in 1930, it was, reportedly, the grandest hotel in South America.  Piriapolis was created in 1890 by Francisco Piria and inspired by European sea-side resorts of the period.  And while Piriapolis seems to have thrived for several decades, Punta has more recently sucked away its visitors and its vitality.

But Punta can't take away the gorgeous views from Mt. San Antonio, and a few people have taken notice.  We're told that there are small enclaves of Americans, Germans and Canadians scattered around town. 

And on the side of Mt. San Antonio, a developer has built a new building directly above the harbor.  The condos are small, but the decks, most of which have an outdoor fireplace/barbecue, have spectacular views.  You can buy this view, along with a 1,000 square foot 3-bedroom unit with a 300 square foot deck for $157,600.
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