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If we ever return to Punta del Diablo, we’ll make sure to enjoy another beach side supper on Playa de Los Pescadores.
Most days, the town’s residents and those visitors in the know make their way here to greet the returning traditional fishing boats.
Whilst tourists now flock here by the coach load, especially during the summer months, it wasn’t always this way here.
This was once an even more simple village, relying on the skill and luck of the fishermen to get by on the ocean’s harvest.
On Playa de Los Pescadores it still hangs on to those traditions. For us, this was the highlight of our time in Punta del Diablo.
The fishermen of Playa de Los Pescadores
Most evenings, a crowd begins to gather on Playa de Los Pescadores as the returning fishing boats appear on the horizon.
Even the local dogs turn up to wait. Then as they see the vessels approach shore, they bound around the beach.
Men from the fishmongers shops wander to the water’s edge to meet the boats and the graft begins.
A couple of people work the hand cranked winches to haul the boats ashore. A few fishermen position planks and rollers underneath the hull to ease its progress.
The crowd grows, watching the spectacle. The dogs bark at each other, vying for position as the K9 chief of this Uruguayan beach.
Once the boat is safely secured, the fishermen prepare their catch. They separate the tiburón from shrimp before loading them into half a dozen crates.
A horse drawn cart arrives, cantering towards the beached boats. This is Punta del Diablo’s delivery van. The crates are loaded onto the cart and the horse canters the short distance to the fishmongers.
The watching crowd follows behind, queueing for the fishermen to filet and weight the fish to fill their orders.
Of course, we couldn’t pass up on the opportunity to dine on the freshest fish in Uruguay.
In exchange for less than 2 US dollars, we had a whole fresh fish, filleted, de-boned and pan ready.
We returned to the van, and in the early summer evening, cooked dinner overlooking the Atlantic Ocean. It doesn’t get much better than this.
When to visit Playa de Los Pescadores
If you want to see them set sail, the fishermen leave the beach a little after dawn most mornings. Ask at the fishmongers the evening before if they’re going out the following day.
They return well before dusk, on the high tide to make hauling the boats out a little easier.
You can see the ocean from almost everywhere in town, so keep an eye out late afternoon. Make your way down to the beach once you see them returning and you’ll be in plenty of time.
When to visit Punta del Diablo
The population of Punta del Diablo swells 30 fold in summer and is almost a ghost town during the cold, windy winter months.
Timing your visit is as much about what activities you want to do.
Winter is a great time for whale watching. Summer temperatures soar so perfect for sun worshippers. The shoulder seasons give the best of both world’s, although the weather can be a little temperamental.
For more detailed information, check our guide on the best time to visit Uruguay.
Where to stay near Playa de Los Pescadores
Punta del Diablo has plenty of accommodation on offer during the peak months of December through to February. If visiting outside of these months, your options are less, more so during the winter.
For overlanders | the best overnight parking spot has a commanding view of Playa de Los Pescadores. Each morning during our 5 day stay, we’d watch the fishing boats leave at dawn, right from the van with our 1st coffee of the day.
It’s located on the rocky headland between Playa de Los Pescadores and Playa de la Viuda and free but without facilities.
It was quiet in November although we suspect it’s quite popular with other overlanders during the summer.
Hotels | If you don’t have your own vehicle, the closest accommodation to Playa de Los Pescadores is Alojamiento Manzana. These whole apartments are on the doorstep, have sea views and a swinging hammock! The staff even bring your breakfast to your terrace! What’s not to love? Check availability and prices here.