Mar del Plata
Mar del Plata is the main beach resort in Argentina and the main tourist destination in the country. The 47 miles of beaches offer the visitor all kinds of options. La Bristol is the most popular and traditional, with a public sector and private concessions that have changing rooms, restaurants, paddle, tennis and volleyball. Heading south, you'll find the beaches of Varese and Cabo Corrientes, family atmosphere and sports. The calm waters are ideal for swimming, fishing and making excursions in small boats. At Playa Grande, however, the picture becomes more intense: there is the Argentina School of Professional surfers, and the Bikini Open headquarters. Passing the port, the 24 resorts in Punta Mogotes provide artificial lakes for water sports and spa services.
For the quality of its waves and winds, Mar del Plata is one of the most attractive places for the thousands of surfers every year. Diving enthusiasts will also find off its coast more than 10 spots where you can practice this discipline, including highlights Banco de Afuera ', ´La Restringida´ y ´Banco Patria´. Dives are done at depths ranging between 18 and 23 meters, and significantly sized fauna can be seen. The appropriate time of year to dive into the deep sea is between October and May as when water is warmer.
Fishing, be it by boat (fitted with sounder, satellite navigation and radar) or from shore, is another activity that has many followers in Mar del Plata. Four nautical downs are the ideal way for Jet Ski, and windsurfing lovers.
If you're after quietness and fresh air, just 16 km away , you can find yourself in 'Sierra de los Padres', , surrounded by pine trees, eucalyptus, cedar and elm, walking through a quiet area with plenty of plant nurseries and local products on offer. Very nearby, in "Laguna de los Padres' you will have the opportunity to practice water sports like kayaking and rowing (boat rentals are available), fishing, or barbecue.
Another classic postcard from this city worth knowing is the local sea lions reserve settled in the south jetty of the port, and where there are 500 males. Visiting it is useful to understand why the famous sculpture (representing a sea lion) erected on the city’s main promenade is one of the icons of Mar del Plata.
The Casino, in the centre, is also one of the most prominent landmarks. It is located opposite the Millennium Square, where every night a dancing waters fountain provides a spectacular sound and light show. And not far away, on the ' Vereda de las estrellas” (stars walk), you will find out about the many national and international artists who left their print on the city.
Also in the civic centre, on Diagonal Pueyrredón between San Martín and Rivadavia you can find the picturesque Central Artisans Fair (Saturday, Sunday and holidays from 10am to 20 pm), and the antiques fair on Rocha place, Saturdays and Sundays from 18 to 24 .
Mar del Plata is a large city with plenty to do and know.
From a historical point of view we must say that most museums in Mar del Plata have been placed in early twentieth century buildings. The religious sites also have an invaluable cultural meaning. Hostelling International recommends you to visit:
- The 'Oratory Institute Unzue Immaculate Conception' and the 'Santa Cecilia' Chapel (both National Historic Landmark)
- The "Loma de Santa Cecilia ', which offers a spectacular panoramic view of the coast with houses dating from 1900.
- The English-style residence Villa Emilio Mitre 'relevant because it hosts all graphical, written and audio history documentation of the city.
- The Municipal Art Museum Juan Carlos Castagnino ¨ ¨
- 'Villa Silvina', an area of mansions spread over one or more blocks in area, named Park Luro.
- The “ Marine Museum”, where you will be surprised to see a collection of more than 30,000 shells from all seas.
- The 'Centro Cultural Victoria Ocampo, "a prefabricated residence brought from England in 1912 by Victoria Ocampo and was a meeting place for a significant number of national and foreign writers. It was donated to Unesco in 1973..
- The 'Museum of the Navy Submarine Force Argentina', where you’ll get to learn about the story of 5 generations of submarines.
- The “Lourdes Grotto”, built on an old quarry very successful replica of the original French.
- The Municipal Museum 'Jose Hernandez' rich rural life history and indigenous and gaucho customs. Only 200 meters from there, is a dressage field where parties and shows are held. Hostelling International also advises you to take some time to see the Plaza San Martín, the main place of the city.
Nightlife is mainly found in two areas. On Constitution Avenue you have one circuit of bars, clubs and pubs, located in a nice area.
The second is in the area of Playa Grande, on Alem Street, where you will find a major shopping center with lots of pubs, clothes shops, singing bars and first class restaurants, with plenty of young people throughout the year.