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Mar del Plata - Beach Tourism in Argentina

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Mar del Plata - Beach Tourism in Argentina

Mar del Plata - Beaches near Buenos Aires, Argentina

Photo courtesy of Beatrice Murch Photography.

Argentina's Hot Spot:

Mar del Plata, translated as "sea of the Plate region", is the 7th largest city in Argentina, with a population of 614,350 as of the 2010 census. During high season, this number swells, as millions of beach-goers flood the city. In 2006 the number of visitors hit 7 million.

Given these numbers, it is no surprise that this Atlantic coast playground has built up a sophisticated infrastructure to handle this level of tourism. The city boasts many hotels, restaurants, casinos, theatres and other tourist attractions.

Beachs of Mar del Plata:

With 30 miles of coastline, Mar del Plata has sections of beach that have their own personality just as neighborhoods in a city have distinct local flavor. Some beaches are geared more toward the college crowd (such as Bristol)and surfers (headed to Playa Varresse) while others are dedicated to a family friendly feel (such as La Perla beach).

Downtown beaches including Bristol, Popular, Punta Iglesia,Las Toscas are centrally located and often very full. However, they have benefited from recent renovations and have the infrastructure to handle many thousands of sun worshipers. Get there early, or, cruise a bit further down the coast to see if you can find a spot at a less hectic beach.

Getting There:

You can reach Mar del Plata by plane, car, bus, train, or boat.

- By plane: Aerolíneas Argentinas offers flights in to the Mar del Plata airport which is just 10 minutes from downtown. Flights from Buenos Aires are just under an hour, with about three flights a day.

- By car: you would take Route 2, the main highway from Buenos Aires to Mar del Plata. The drive is about 4 to 5 hours.

- By bus: More than 50 bus companies link Mar del Plata with the rest of the country. Buses from Buenos Aires, which arrive at the central bus terminal at Alberti 1602, are comfortable and leave Buenos Aires at the Retiro Bus Station. Bus rides are around 4 to 5 hours.

- By train: A train run by the company Ferrobaires connects Mar del Plata with Buenos Aires, and it's only slightly more expensive than the buses. It leaves Buenos Aires from Constitución, in the southern part of the capital, and runs three times a day. The trip take about 4 to 5 hours.

Source: http://www.frommers.com/destinations/mardelplata/3596010002.html

When to Go:

Mar del Plata beaches have been described as the most crowded in the world, often dotted completely with the multi-colored tops of beach umbrellas. The busiest, most wild, and expensive months for visiting are December, January, and February. Things slow down in March, when families and retired couples are drawn to a slower paces and slightly more affordable accommodations. While these are the busiest months, the city never closes down. There will always be a hotel or bed and breakfast option, catering to those who are interested in the cultural and recreational activities offered during the cooler months.

Mar del Plata Attractions:

Mar del Plata offers much more than just sand and water. When the sun goes down there is a lively night scene including the area of Alem street and Irigoyen (known for its many pubs and nightclubs) and the coast and Constitution Avenue. Also, there are museums, zoos, casinos, shopping, and other recreational activities that draw people to the city. Here are a few of the attractions:
  • Casino Central de Mar del Plata
  • Juan Carlos Castagnino Municipal Museum of Art
  • Museo del Mar
  • De Los Padres Lake and Hills
  • Zoo El Paraíso
  • The Museum of Natural Science
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