There’s little contest between Brazil and Argentina when it comes to beaches. However, fortunately for Argentinian sun seekers, this does not mean they are obliged to patronise the neighbour they love to hate so well when the holiday season arrives. Heading instead to Argentina’s other, slightly smaller neighbour to the East, Uruguay.
Want to know where in Uruguay those who like the finer things go? Then let luxury Latin America travel experts Dehouche direct you: Pass the once glamorous, aesthetics obsessed and now overdeveloped Punta del Este; letting the gossip drift on the breeze as you accelerate past the yacht choked harbour and the faded glory of the Miami cityscape fades into the distance. Continue on past brash la Barra and leave the bland high rises behind as you head somewhere altogether more exclusive.
35km later, you finally arrive at the fantasy playground of the rich, famous and downright brazen. If BÃƒºzios is Brazil’s answer to St Tropez, then Jose Ignacio is Argentina’s answer to BÃƒºzios. Dubbed the “ËœHamptons’ of South America, this secret destination of the bohemian jet set, is these days graced by the likes of Naomi Watts, Gisele Bundchen, Mario Testino and Shakira and boasts whimsical houses belonging to the likes of Martin Amis.
The problem is that this place is still so undiscovered; it’s difficult to know you’ve arrived at all. Refreshingly unspoilt and unassuming, with the wild backdrop of the Uruguayan Pampas and not an ATM or visa sign in sight, you may be wondering exactly how the wealthy dispose of their cash here and just why you’ve travelled so far.
Electricity only arrived in Jose Ignacio in the 1990s, but the international visitors were quick on its heels. For just two months a year, this once sleepy fishing village is now turned into a whirlwind of exclusive parties. Want to know the only time to go? You’ll just have to ask Dehouche.
Jose Ignacio may be discreet, but it’s unashamedly snobby and private parties are just that. Social networking on the beach during the daytime is essential if you don’twant to spend the evening sipping overpriced cocktails alone. With most of the social action taking place behind closed doors, there are still just a handful of restaurants to wait on the moneyed elite who frequent the resort and getting a table at the sole seafront lunch destination “ËœLa Huella’ is quite a feat. If you want to mingle with the well-heeled clientele, ask Dehouche to help you make a reservation. Equally, if you fancy dining barefoot in the sand, surrounded by torches at “Ëœsecret restaurant’ Dehouche can tell you how and where.
As Jose Ignacio continues to grow in popularity with cash laden Americans, Europeans and Brazilians, it’s difficult to say just how much longer it will retain the low key charms which attracted so many in the first place, especially with the imminent opening of both Fasano and Setai resorts. Dehouche recommend making an appearance before Jose Ignacio becomes the new Punta Del Este.
Let Dehouche arrange your luxury boutique hotel and enjoy a whole host of insider tips on where to truly escape from it all on your honeymoon.
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