The Coast - North
THE COAST - North,lots of sun, popular beaches and some fascinating sports.....
I wonder whether we Argentines realize how rich we are living in a country with
over 3000 kms of ocean coast, extending from Buenos Aires along the whole of
Patagonia down to the very end of the southern cone, along the provinces of
Buenos Aires, Rio Negro, Chubut, Santa Cruz and Tierra del Fuego. Buenos Aires
coast is Argentines most popular place to spend summer holidays, long or even
The nearest ocean beaches are where the River Plate flows into the Atlantic
Ocean. The series of beaches starting with San Clemente, with its Mundo Marino
Acquarium, San Antonio Lighthouse and a well cared nature reserve, continue
into Santa Teresita, Mar del Tuyu, Lucila del Mar, San Bernardo, Mar de Ajo.
Further south come the most exclusive beaches of Pinamar (and nearby Valeria
del Mar following close) and the seaside resort Carilo with beautiful residential
areas. These are places where you can combine seaside life with walking in the
woods, playing golf, having tea with friends at first class cafes and sitting
next to members of highest political ranks and top business community. Carilo
has the virtue of being peace itself with houses hidden among trees, afternoons
and nights enriched with live music played by Argentine masters. And if you
really want to enjoy the place without having to turn your head meeting outstanding
personalities, go there in December or March. You´ll enjoy it fully. Pinamar
is more active and noisy with pleasures of its own, preferred by the young with
the additional of dancing halls. Both places provide for first class cuisine
and hotels. Villa Gesell is one of the oldest seaside resort towns on the Atlantic
coast, envisioned by a pioneer who started planting trees on sand dunes, where
no one believed that could be done. Villa Gessell has visitors of its own, who
have never quitted, with a life long preference for these beaches carrying a
bit of nostalgia for the years passed. This was once the seaside home to Argentine
Mar del Plata the "queen of seaside resorts" is still "the" city by the coast.
Also called "the happy city" with grand houses, beautiful buildings, 20 kms
of beaches, new five star hotels, seaside estancias, the pleasures of a spa.
None of these existed when Patricio Peralta Ramos began his project in 1874
in what was called by Juan de Garay "Costa Galana", the name now of a beautiful
five star hotel facing the sea. At the beginning of the 1900´s Mar del
Plata was already a distinguished summer resort where many of the wealthiest
families from Buenos Aires had their mansions in either Normandy, Tudor or Elizabethan
style and spent there long summers with family and friends.
Later in the 1930´s the classic chalets made of typical local stone were
built, apartment buildings followed, large hotels were added. Villa Victoria
(writer Victoria Ocampo´s house was built in 1905 and is now an active
cultural centre. In that same year Villa Blaquier and Chateau Frontenac, belonging
to the Leloir family were built, as well as the Anglo normand Villa Ortiz Basualdo
in 1909. It is now the Juan Carlos Castagnino Museum of Art exhibiting beautiful
art deco and art nouveau furniture, and some 300 works by Castagnino, the famous
local painter. Mar del Plata is an active seaside city in summer, in winter
a quiet provincial city enlivened by congresses, seminars and important events.
Mar del Plata center in summer is the place for those who cannot do without
noise and activity, who do not mind waiting or even queuing for lunch and parading
to reach the beach. But you can also enjoy an evening dining in a port restaurant
with views of the sea tasting best quality fresh sea food.
Miramar is a much quieter and street-safer place, chosen by families with small
kids who cycle to and from the beach or the woods. And if you really love quiet
beaches try Mar del Sud, where nobody but the gulls will disturb you. Long streches
of beaches all for yourself and you can even choose to walk back to Miramar
through the woods. Sheer delight for those searching more peaceful surroundings.
An absolute refreshing cure for stressful city dwellers.
And if you choose to combine sea with hills extend your stay and visit the hills
of Tandil. Stay a day or two at one of the estancias in the area. There is a
beautiful hotel there surrounded by birds and vegetation. Bask yourself and
have a feat.
Activities all along these sea beaches area include horse riding, windsurfing,
trekking, golf, fishing, volley beach, gyms on the beach, etc. Do not forget
to buy some "alfajores" and taste this Argentine invention of sweet cakes.