Summer vacation may be over here in the Southern Hemisphere, but Terra readers in Brazil are getting a healthy dose of saudade uruguaio this morning.
They came in droves from Rio and Sao Paulo this summer and filled the finest hotels and restaurants in Jose Ignacio, La Barra and Punta del Este. The combination of refined luxury and rural tranquility proved equally appealing for thousands of travelers from the US and Europe.
Alexander Vik, the owner of the Estancia Vik and Playa Vik in Jose Ignacio, describes coastal Uruguay as the perfect mix of Wyoming and Saint-Tropez, one of the best descriptions of la costa uruguaya since a WSJ reporter described Garzon as a town with dirt roads, stray dogs and a $48 ravioli. Vik GM Augustin Leone says 90% of guests come from Europe and the US, many of them art lovers from New York.
Agencia EFE says Argentine polo players typically spend their summers in Uruguay before taking their ponies and talents to Palm Beach, Monaco and the Hamptons. Their jet-setting and networking abroad has been the catalyst for more Americans and Europeans discovering coastal Uruguay. Brazilians are following the lead of national developers like JHSF who can make more money with a seasonal luxury property in Punta del Este than a year-round business hotel in overpriced Brazil.
Americans, Brazilians and Europeans collectively may soon rival Argentines in terms of importance in the Punta del Este real estate market, because they don’t face the same currency control and tax transparency issues now facing Argentine real estate investors in Uruguay. (Full Story in Portuguese)
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