© by Marian Grunden
Driving 400 km to the south of Buenos Aires is one of the most famous Porteño holiday destinations : Mar del Plata. Easily reached by a 5.5 hours bus ride or a 40 minute flight, Mar del Plata offers many Porteños the chance to enjoy a weekend at the beach. The modern bus terminal is located only 2 km away from the beach.
In comparison to Buenos Aires the taxis are cheaper and are waiting outside to bring you to your hotel. Usually the cab drivers are very friendly and love talking to foreigners. Even though taxis are an affordable option, Mar del Plata has a very good local bus network which you can use to get to the main attractions in the city.
Mar del Plata is known for it´s huge beaches on the 28 km long Atlantic City Coast. Playa Grande is one of the famous public beaches only one block away from Alem Street. Alem Street is known for it´s nightlife and countless bars and nightclubs. Nevertheless Alem is also a great option to have lunch or a drink close by the beach.
A bit further away but also reachable with public transport is Arena Beach. Arena Beach has many clubs and bars and almost every weekend there is a concert. Many famous bands perform here such as David Guetta who play annually in Mar del Plata. Not only are concert and music events offered in Mar del Plata but there are also well known theaters that offer shows during the summer months for only a fraction of the amount a similar show would cost in Buenos Aires.
At the beach it is easy to meet people from Argentina but also from all over the world. Due to the constant waves of the Atlantic Ocean, the beaches of Mar del Plata are loved by surfers from all over South America. It is fun to watch them ride the breaking waves or even try it yourself. Many surfing schools offer beginners classes and also rent boards at a very low price.
Furthermore you should not miss the sea lion colony in the harbor. The sea lions live there all year round and can be seen swimming in the harbor or sunbathing on a small beach close to the jetty . This jetty is about 2 km long and protects the coast from erosion by the strong Atlantic waves. At the end you can see a statue of Christ watching over the harbor and a nice, inexpensive restaurant with a view of the Atlantic.
The long coastal street is also worth a walk especially during sunset when returning to your hotel to prepare for the upcoming and probably long night out in Mar del Plata. Close to it you can find the very traditional restaurant Torreon del Monje where many tourists and locals go to enjoy the sunset since 1905. The harbour is well known for it´s huge variety of fresh caught fish which is definitely worth a try.
Mar del Plata is the perfect destination for a short vacation at the coast. Not only the ocean and the close natural beaches will attract you but also all the activities in the city such as the museums, the lighthouse and the downtown area. Another must see is the Casino, not only the gambling but also the building itself is fascinating.
Whatever you are planning to do in Mar del Plata during the summer there are many people and a great feeling in the whole city. A vibe that lets you remember your short weekend out of town for a long time.