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JOSE IGNACIO, URUGUAY
Half an hour from Punta del Este, José Ignacio looks like a boho-style beach shack of a village, but it's where the fabulous come for South American R&R. The Playa Mensa ("tame beach") is sheltered from the ocean winds, so the surf's calm and paddle-friendly.
Rub suntanned elbows with: Moneyed, beautiful, and impossibly thin thirtysomethings from Buenos Aires, a 35_minute flight away. It's big with the fashion crowd, too: Look for Mario Testino taking snaps of Gisele and Naomi Campbell (again).
Best way to cool off: A flute of Dom may be decadent, but a glass of Chilean wine is de rigueur: The Clos Apalta, a Bordeaux-style red, is an underground winner.
Beach chic: That pareo Miuccia Prada personally sketched for you.
Where to bed down: The soon-to-open Setai will be a sister hotel to Miami Beach's high-priced high-rise palace. It's scheduled to welcome its first jet-setters later this year. Can't wait? Book a room at the funky Posada del Faro.
Posada del Faro
Tel: 598 486 2110
Doubles from $90