Mar del Plata
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The Atlantic coast of Argentina boasts some of the most beautiful stretches of untouched beaches, natural forests, and enchanting dunes in the country and is one of the most popular destinations in Argentina. In this long stretch of ocean side coastline you will find the lively and yet laid-back city of Mar del Plata, known as the ‘happy city’ in Argentina.
Mar del Plata is the most popular resort found along the Atlantic coast in the Buenos Aires province and sees an upward of 8 million tourists, Argentines and foreigners alike, visiting its city and beaches every year. This city of 550,000 people is the 7th largest city in Argentina, often being compared to Buenos Aires in regards to its service, amenities, and culture life, and considered the most important seaside tourist centre in Argentina. During the summer months in Mar del Plata the city really comes alive, welcoming in thousands of beach-goers that come to enjoy the outdoors, local festivities, and balmy summer weather. During these months the days are sunny and hot (25-30C), best to be enjoyed at the beach or doing outdoors activities, and the nights are refreshingly cool (18-22C), perfect for late night, ocean side dinners or parties.
Mar del Plata has been the Argentine and foreign summer vacation place for decades and it is not hard to understand why thousands of vacationers visit this seaside resort every year. Besides the many outdoors activities offered such as parachuting, hiking, cycling, paragliding, surfing, windsurfing, jet skiing, sailing, swimming, and sport fishing, the following is also offered.
The city itself boasts kilometres of beautiful beaches that are lined with resorts, restaurants, beach umbrellas, and beach activities.
Head to the sand dunes to rent a sand buggy or 4×4 and explore the nearby ocean side dunes.
For a beach-out-of-the-beach experience spend a day at City of Mar del Plata, a giant water park located at the entrance of the city.
Visit Museo del Mar and its exhibit of more than 30,000 sea shells to learn more about the sea, sea creatures, and seashells from around the world.
Outside of the city is the zoo and botanical gardens of Mar del Plata, El Paraiso, offering visitors and education farm, exotic garden, and other animals from Argentina.
A 20-minute walk from downtown, one the harbours of city is home to thousands of sea lions who can be found lying next to the docks, boats, and playing in the water.
Famous for its theatres and cinemas, Mar del Plata has some of the most famous cultural nightlife in the country, offering a myriad of different cultural plays, musical and artistic performances.
Scuba diving is a major sport in the city and there are a handful of different dive schools and shops where visitors can purchase lessons or dive outings during the summer.
Restaurants and nightclubs are in abundance in this lively city, especially busy on weekends, but keep their vibe going all week long.
Another major attraction in Mar del Plata is the number of festivities held in the city every year. In December, the Fiesta Nacional del Mar is a must-see with the election of a Sea Queen and the official start to the summer season. The end of the season closes with the Premios Estrella de Mar, which offers awards to the best plays and shows of the summer. The summer season hosts a fashion event, The Mar del Plata Fashion show, feathering haute couture designs. To celebrate their tradition of sea and cuisine, the Fiesta Nacional de los Pescadores brings a colourful party along with local fisheries. The Argentina famous Mar del Plata International Film Festival brings class A- films from around the America’s. Along with these cultural festivals there are also a myriad of sports festivals to be enjoyed, however all booked on a yearly schedule.
The high season in Mar del Plata is from December until March or April, and low season is basically the rest of the year, however even so, visitors continue to visit this beautiful beach side resort all year long. During the high season it is important to book accommodation and even activities in advance as places tend to fill-up very early on. Prices are about 30-40% higher in these summer months, however worth the price as the city and its activities are at their peak.
This laid-back yet up-beat beach city, only 400km from Buenos Aires, is truly a fantastic place to enjoy beautiful beaches, eclectic restaurants, cultural and outdoors activities, and take refuge during the summer and winter months as it continues to expand and diversify year after year.
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