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Saturday, October 23, 2010

Mar del Plata, Argentina

With a population of 650,000 , this large seaside city was created for the middle class looking for refuge from the bustling cities. Mar del Plata faded in the mid 80’s, but was restored in mid 90’s and now is considered one of the trendiest coastal towns in South America. 400 km south of Buenos Aires, Mar del Plata boasts undulating hills throughout the city, a beautiful boardwalk, 47 km of beaches, and the San Marin pedestrian street so ideal for shopping and people watching. With tourism as one of its largest industries, Mar del Plata hosts many festivals, such as the National Sea Festival, numerous fashion shows featuring latest haute couture designers, and the world famous International Film Festival. Long beaches, dunes, cliffs, and ravines make this seaside city ideal for hiking, paragliding, diving, and a myriad of other sports. Ideal for families, lovers, students, and the intrepid traveler, some of the best sights to enjoy are Colon Square, the neighborhood of Los Troncos, the Harbor, Sailing Club, the crafts fair, and the sea museum. Mar del Plata is well known for its superb nightlife, which includes pubs, discos, a casino, bingo as well as theatrical plays and other types of stage performances.

Getting There:
Aerolineas Argentinas, Austral, Lapa, Lade, and Dinar airlines use Brigadier de la Colina Airport, about 40 minutes and $14 from down- town by taxi. 
Mar del Plata is a 30 minute flight from Buenos Aires
By road from Buenos Aires on route 2
By train, 5 hours from Buenos Aires

When to Go:
Though the beaches lure many visitors escaping summer heat, Mar del Plata is not just a summer resort.
You might want to plan your visit in January for the Fiesta Nacional del Mar (National Sea Festivity) and Fiesta Nacional de los Pescadores (National Fishermen Festivity) as Mar del Plata is known for both its commercial and sports fishing. Mar del Plata - Fishing Boats
Be prepared for rain all year around.

Things to Do and See:

  • Beaches! Balneario La Perla, Balneario Punta Mogotes, Playa Grande, and Playa Chica, Miramar, Mar del Sur, Centinela del Mar, Costa Bonita and Necochea. Mar del Plata Beaches
  • Mar del Plata Aquarium
  • Bird watching, horseback riding, walks and boat cruises
  • Tour San Pedro Cathedral, the National University of Mar del Plata (1961), Colón Theater, the botanical gardens and Faro Punta Mogotes
  • Visit Torreón del Monje, Laguna de los Padres and the village of Santa Clara del Mar
  • Museo Municipal de Ciencias Naturales Lorenzo Scaglia and Museo Municipal de Arte Juan Carlos Castagnino
  • Enjoy the casino and the nightlife. Remember that most discos and pubs don't open until midnight or after to accommodate the late dinner hour

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