After a day soaking up the sun, South American socialites gather in this lesser-known Uruguayan coastal village for an asado, or barbecue.
Traditional to the southern region of Latin America, the barbecue usually consists of locally produced beef cooked on a grill, called a parrilla, or in the case of José Ignacio, an open fire under the stars at La Olada restaurant.
José Ignacio is chic but not as famous as Punta del Este, Uruguay’s first glamorous beachside resort. The area was uninhabited for much of the last century, with the exception of a small number of wealthy families from Buenos Aires and Montevideo who built villas by the sea in the 1970s.
Recently, the town had a full facelift to welcome the next wave of globetrotting glitterati who prefer summering in this laid-back enclave.
José Ignacio is about 160km east of Montevideo, the capital of Uruguay, and a 40-minute drive from Punta del Este, which has its own airport.
José Ignacio appeals to those who prefer a bohemian atmosphere of sandy tracks, hand-painted street signs and low-key boutiques. At the fashionable beach shack of La Huella, clericó, a white-wine sangria, is served all year round.
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Photographs: Mark O’Flaherty/Alamy; Daniel Caselli/AFP/Getty Images; Miguel Rojo/AFP/Getty Images; Dreamstime; Pulsar Images/Alamy