Punta del Este & Casa Pueblo

Posted by on May 15, 2013

Punta del Este & Casa Pueblo

Punta del Este (East Point) is Uruguay’s gold coast. This is the summer beach destination for moneyed Uruguayans and Argentineans. A peninsula that is covered in apartment buildings with beach and harbour views. As an Australian, I just don’t see what is so good about the beaches. They may be better than those of Argentina (I wouldn’t know, I never went to the beach in Argentina) but they can’t compare to Queensland. It’s like a small Gold Coast on Melbourne’s beaches.


It was a daytrip from Montevideo and I was unpleasantly surprised by what met me. I was not very gracious about it I’m afraid to say. After texting around for more options, Cony suggested I visit Casa Pueblo, the house of Uruguay’s celebrated artist Carlos Páez Vilaró.



Casa Pueblo & the works of Carlos Páez Vilaró

Casa Pueblo was a marvel, constructed by hand using a white adobe clay it was a rebellion against the modern religion of the straight line. Small white domes were dotted throughout. Winding walkways, narrow curving staircases, cool quiet rooms with irregular windows and various balconies offering spectacular views of the ocean to the south and west. It was adorable and I fully understand why, of all the houses this artist had in many countries, Casa Pueblo remained his home, his place of peace and inspiration. Vilaró’s work is full of life and vibrant colours and the sun features strongly in his work. While a prodigy of Uruguay, he travelled extensively through Asia, Africa, America and Europe and is still alive today.

Watching the sunset from the balcony, looking out over the vast expanse of water towards the sinking red orb was magical. The light sparkled on the water and drew a long fiery line from the horizon to the shore. The walls of the house glowed in shades of orange, pink and red, constantly changing colour with the descent of the sun. Overhead the sky was a seamless gradient of blue to indigo and the hills of a distant peninsula could be seen as a clear-cut silhouette against the fiery background. As the light faded, the mood changed, the water darkened and a peace descended on the coastal hamlet. For me it was a profoundly beautiful experience to be there and observe the wonder of the natural world. The wide open space, the sun, the water and the peaceful tranquillity of Casa Pueblo made me realise why ancient cultures worshipped the sun, or the sea. They don’t make you feel guilty, they don’t tell you you’re better than others, but instead they give you peace.