José Ignacio, Uruguay
Why it made our list: Although Jose Ignacio usually gets lumped in with Punta del Este, it's technically about a 40-minute drive from the city proper. The extra time it takes to get there, however, is totally worth it. This one-time fishing village is now the sceniest spot in Punta del Este, yet it still manages to maintain a laid-back feel. Nestled in from the sand you’ll find art galleries, boutiques, and some pretty spectacular homes.
Bonus: You won’t want to leave without having a meal -- accompanied by some Champagne, rosé, or clericó (white sangria), of course -- at the inimitable La Huella. This parador is an open-air restaurant situated mere steps from the ocean and serves delectable whole grilled fish, octopus, and more. I’ll make a bold statement and say it is my favorite restaurant in the WORLD. Yep, in the world. It's that good.