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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 short,  weekends.

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 hippy community.

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.   

 

 

 

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