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Insider Guide To Punta del Este with Josefina Alazraki

Josefina Alazraki was born in Buenos Aires, Argentina but spent her summers growing up in the seaside city of Punta del Este in Uruguay. Now she calls it her second home, and where the roots of her sustainable resort wear brand Casa Raki were planted.

Designed for lovers of travel, Punta del Este is the ultimate source of inspiration for Josephine. The bohemian and relaxed approach to dressing is evident through her collections, focusing on fresh linen fabrics for easy holiday style.

Here, she shares more about her beloved Punta del Este, from where to find the best food and nightlife to soaking up the culture.

The best time to visit?

January, if you want the best party scene and February, if you want a quieter time with fewer people but great weather regardless.

Hotel to stay at?

Fasano Las Piedras if you want a different vibe to the beach, it’s in the woods with the most beautiful architectural. And for a romantic escape, I would recommend Casa Pueblo by Carlos Vilaro, who lived and worked there until his death at the age of 90 in 2014.


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A post shared by Fasano Gastronomy & Hotels (@fasano)

For an early morning workout head to… 

Espacio Anam in José Ignacio is beautiful for a great morning yoga session, if you like to work out in a gym. Alternatively, you can jog along the main road which has a path that connects Manantiales to La Barra.

Where should we go for breakfast? 

Borneo in La Barra does great Chipás. La Linda has the best bakery and café Manon in Manantiales has the best speciality coffee.

Where should we go for lunch?

La Huella is the most amazing place for lunch, with great music and it’s usually bustling. The food is outstanding; don’t leave without trying the dulce de leche volcán. Marismo is beautiful, great food plus the setting is very rustic and cool, the owner hand-built all the furniture in the restaurant using wood from the surrounding property. I also love La Susana – a great option with a little adventure involved, as you have to arrive by boat. Your journey finishes in this beautiful candle-lit beach shack; the food is wonderful too.

And for dinner?

Newly opened restaurant La Oveja Negra Oriental owned by chef Juan Peralta Ramos. He’s been doing some amazing stuff in the area in the past few years, but finally he has opened this great restaurant where you can eat his delicious earth-cooked food. This is the place where you’ll find only local’s here; the type of place you would only hear about from friends of friends.

Your favourite restaurant?

Café La linda is one of my favourites. It’s owner is half British/Argentinean and it has such the most delicious food, with a great vibe. Azul opened last year in 2022 as well, a new place in Manantiales that offers an amazing lunch and coffee, with a great crowd for people-watching. It is set to become a member’s club opened for locals who live there year round. It’s also a co-working space so I spend a lot of time there when I’m staying for over two months.

A must-try spot for date night? 

Marismo in José Ignacio. It’s a restaurant in a sand pit in the middle of the forest.

A spot for a snack or street food?

There are two things you can’t leave Punta del Este without trying. One is Medialunas Calentitas in La Barra, small-style croissants which are covered in the most delicious syrup. And the other is Churros Manolo, another institution in the city.

Where do you go for nightlife? 

For nightlife there is a great pizzeria called No Me Olvides which has been around for ages; after all these years you can still find people dancing on the tables in the street. It’s the go-to spot to meet your friends and start the night. Then you can head to Ferona or any house party there might be (which you’ll likely stumble upon!)

The drink to order at the bar is.. 

The Pisco Sour, always the best in Latin America. Or Fernet with Coca Cola if you want something more traditional.

The best place for people watching is…

La Huella in José Ignacio has quite a scene.

For the best views head to… 

Fasano Las Piedras with a beautiful terrace which is set very high up with a view of the forests.

One place only locals know about…

Bar 33, a great spot for a party at 2am.

A book to read before we go (or while you’re there)… 

I would suggest any book from Gabriel Garcia Marquez, probably One Hundred Years of Solitude to go with the mysticism and magic of the place.

For a change of pace try… 

Rochá, it’s a couple of kilometers away from José Ignacio and there’s pretty much nothing there except quiet.

Great day trips include…

Garzón to taste some wine.


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A post shared by Bodega Garzón (@bodegagarzon)

How should we spend the final day of our trip?

On the beach, you will not see ones like these in a while.

Souvenir to take home?

A poncho from Manos del Uruguay.

The best place to treat yourself is

Hotel Bahia Vik, great spa!


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A post shared by Vik José Ignacio (@vikjoseignacio)

Your favourite neighbourhood?

José Ignacio. It’s a secluded place with the coolest restaurants, beaches and everything you might want from a holiday spot. The sunsets on The Mansa (the calm beach) are from another world. Nothing beats a drink with your friends at the end of the day and this magical sunset. There are also loads of boutiques with South American designers clothes and great craftmanship.

The best place to go shopping?

José Ignacio has some amazing boutiques. My favourite is Panorama Store, a great store that stocks South American local designers, mostly sustainable and very original designs. Casa Ribera is also a great multi brand store with South American designers and a unique selection. The 300 metres-high street in Manantiales has fantastic little stores. In La Barra there are some amazing homeware shops as well.  Once a month, those who live in the neighbourhood organise a market in Manantiales where you can find antiques and some great gems, head to La Vecinal. The artisanal market in Gorlero is interesting to see if you have kids, loads of fun stuff for them to see, get braids and eat loads of candy.


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A post shared by PANORAMA (@panoramastore)

The best place to soak up some culture?

La Pedrera is really beautiful. I would say don’t leave without taking a horse ride through the countryside and don’t forget to visit Lapataia if you are a fan of dulce de leche like me. Definitely visit Garzón town – a worthwhile trip.

What are your favourite beaches?

Parador Olaf in Punta Ballena, this is a very rustic beach shack with a powder-sand beach on the way to the centre of the small city. It has some of the most beautiful landscapes at the back of the beach as well. For families, there are two beaches I usually recommend where the waves are very small, rarely any wind and plenty of other children to play with (perfect for self-entertaining options for your little ones). La desembocadura in La Barra or La Mansa in José Ignacio, very easy access to restaurants and cafes as well. I would highly recommend La Susana where you have the absolute best sunset you can get in Uruguay. The sun hides in the middle of the ocean and it makes it the perfect landscape.

What’s your Punta del Este secret? 

Probably an antique shop that is quite hidden away in La Barra a couple of blocks away from a petrol station in the direction of the woods. I couldn’t even tell you the name as it doesn’t have one, that’s how secretive it is.

Essential items to pack?

Casa Raki’s Flavia dress in white, the Cindy bikini in black and the Clementina Shorts in gold. A beach bag, effortless sandals and sun cream, I love to use only planet-friendly products.


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