Jan 8, 2009
A group of friends and I are trying to plan a weekend trip to the beach. We're all a bit new to Argentina, so if anyone has any advice about where to go it would be appreciated. We would most likely leave early Saturday and come back late Sunday. I know Mar del Plata is an obvious one, but I've also heard Pinamar (?) is nice and closer. We're all in our early 20s and can't afford to spend too much. Really we just want swimmable water. Any suggestions?
Hi Julia. I've lived in Pinamar and am currently living in Miramar which is a 30 minute drive from Mar del Plata.

Pinamar is really beautiful! But more expensive than other coastal towns, It's full of beautiful upper class vacation homes, recently the mayor blew a bunch of money on new roads and construction. I've heard alot of Argentine celebrities go there. So expect to pay more $$$.

Mar del Plata is great if your staying maybe a week, because there is lots to explore, but for a one night trip I dont really recommend it. Its very noisy this time of year, ( biggest coastal city) it has various beaches, half of which are overcrowded and not that clean. The other half I think you'll have to drive further out and maybe pay a fee. Paid parking is expensive. Dont get me wrong, Mar del Plata has alot of good points, .e.g. the nightlife is great, but a longer vacation there is better I think.

I do recommend Miramar. The season is winding down so the beaches are not that crowded anymore. The waves are big here too in certain areas, so good for boogie boarding or surfing :) Only thing I'll mention is Miramar is quite a family vacation place, so there will be more kiddies on the beach here, that never bothered me though, as they tend to stick to where the waves are calmer. Miramar also has the famous Bosque Energetico, which if you have time is a cool place to say you've been:

Mar del Sur is another 20 minute drive South, Its a very small town, hardly any people. The beaches are covered in different coloured stones and rock formations which are beautiful, you can spend hours looking and sifting through all the stones.. There is only one area though where people can swim. And only one restaurant.

This site has alot of info on coastal towns, have a browse :

I´ve driven from Miramar to Buenos Aires on various day trips to sort out documents in Capital. It is a 6 hr drive. I think only an hour more than Pinamar. If you do decide to come to Miramar and need any advice on how to get here or anything send me a msg! Hope this helps. Cheers!
Thanks for your advice. Miramar does sound nice. Do you know of any cheap hotels or hostels? How is the nightlife?
I've been getting a few PM's so here is a little more info about Miramar for everyone:

In regards to hotels/hostels, I'll be honest. I only know where some of the nicest/most expensive ones are because I drive past them. I've never actually stayed in any. Here is a link to a list of the hotels/hostels here, the best thing to do would be to email/phone some of them up.
If I find out any more info I'll post it up here.
I'll mention there area few camp sites opposite the beaches here too.

Nightlife: The Nightlife here is not crazy at the moment. On weekends theres a small artistan fair on, Theres two Arcades, two Cinemas, One theatre, The Casino. Loooots of good restaurants though. Some of them have performers on weekends too. The center is really pretty to walk in at night. The beach is also very well lit.
If you come here in peak season - January the place is Loco! They erect stages and expand the fair. Tourist madness.

In regards to clubs, there arnt really any. I think there is one the locals go to but when I want to go clubbing I take a 30 minute drive to Mar del Plata.
There are buses that leave every 30 minutes to Mar del Plata too, last I checked until 3 in the morning. (you'll have to confirm, it changes with the season). The cost is 5.00p per ticket one way.

Travel: The best way to come to Miramar would be by bus. The train is much cheaper, but you get what you pay for so to speak (also I heard this season the train was only going as far as Mar del Plata - dont know why).
The coach company I always use is Condor Estrella. They have always been on time, never any problems. The fare right now is $160.00p return.

What to do:

Well firstly what I mentioned in my first post there is the Bosque Energetico:
The magnetic balancing sticks thing is real and quite creepy.

Theres La Criolla. Has a small hedge Labyrinth, teahouse, pond with Koi ( my fav place for tea, owned by a German lady, the teahouse serves lots of German deserts and cakes)

Theres an area with sand dunes that you can hire quad bikes and go crazy.

Theres also peddle cars that are very typical of Miramar. They are quite fun you hire one for an hour and peddle all over the town.

There's horse-riding on the beach. With or without a guide.

There are people that offer deep sea fishing. Its quite expensive though. $100p for an hour. The boats are not fancy.

There are buses that go to Mar del Sur. Like I mentioned above.Take the camera, pretty stones and rock formations. Also theres an ancient hotel there that you can get a tour in, the guide has information in english.

Theres a place that offers " Adventure of the Four Elements " so to speak:
You can scuba dive in a tank of fish. practise rock climbing on some obstacles, go for a 4x4 drive on sand dunes. I'm not sure how great they are.

Otherwise if your happy with boogieboarding/surfing that will keep you occupied all day.

All over the coast there is whats know as the public part of the beach and then theres the "Banearios" They are little buildings by the beach that offer "carpas" (tents) to leave your things in/provide shade, equipped with table and chairs and sun loungers. You pay from 40 to over 100p for the day depending on how fancy the baneario. They all have loos and showers, some offer a small restaurant service, you can order drinks. I had a killer fruit salad at one. Some of them have games for hire too, e.g. volleyball.

Parking mostly free everywhere! There is paid parking available though if you prefer to park inside a complex. or simply cant find a space. By the beach there are some sanded areas to park where someone can look after your car, you will be charged a small fee.

One more thing. The weather by the coast is always very unpredictable. Clouds come and go. The day could start out gloomy and cold then go sunny and blue in 20 minutes and vice versa so even though its "summer" pack a windbreaker jacket. Some days can be really windy.

Okay I think that about covers most of it!!! If anyone has any problems u can PM me and I'll give you my cell number for emergencies, or if you need more info.

Forgot to also mention that over here unlike BA people are very lax with their business hours. Alot of places close at 1pm to 5pm because everyone is on the beach.
La Criolla, I found out, changes their business hours sometimes according to how hot the day is...which is annoying. This goes for some restaurants too. If you need to do any shopping the best time is in the morning or after 7. Cheers.
Mar del Plata, is a long drive from Buenos Aires, but has the bonus of retaining a lot of it´s graceful
old charm.
My vote is for Mar Del Plata... it is slow this time of year... lots of bars and restaurants it is a real city.... it depends on if you are looking for..... I love MDP off-season cheaper to stay and cheaper in general than BA... it is a little buenos aires with a beach..... still got bars, shopping, the casino.. restaurants.. etc etc it depends on what you are looking for..... if you are looking for a small beach place just to chill this time of year Villa Gesell is nice... but many things close off season...