Mar del Plata is the most important summer party and seaside resort in Argentina. In summer, hundreds of thousands of vacationers come to its beautiful sandy beach on the Atlantic coast.
What San Carlos de Bariloche is to the lake region in Patagonia, Mar del Plata is to Argentina's Atlantic coast. The vibrant tourist stronghold is the largest and most visited seaside resort in Argentina and is one of our top 10 attractions in Argentina.
The popularity of the former port and salt town began in 1886 when Mar del Plata was one of the first coastal cities to be connected to the Argentine railroad network. Two years later, the first hotel was built and by 1890, the "Silver City" was THE in resort for beach vacations in Argentina. In the meantime, the city, which today is also called "Happy City", has about 300,000 inhabitants, whose number almost triples during the high season.
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PICTURES: Mar del Plata
Climate and best time to visit Mar del Plata
The climate in Mar del Plata is typically oceanic - humid and without extreme temperature fluctuations. If you come to Mar del Plata to swim, you naturally want good weather. This is most likely to be the case from December to March, when the average maximum daytime temperatures are around 25 °C and at night it rarely gets colder than 15 °C.
On the other hand, the precipitation rate is highest in these months, and one or two showers can fall every day over the city on the picture-book beach. The sea offers with a water temperature of refreshing 17-20 ° C in any case cooling.
Sights in Mar del Plata
Most vacationers come to Mar del Plata to swim, relax and unwind. On the 20-kilometer-long sandy beach, sun worshippers meet mermaids and those seeking relaxation meet surfers, sailors and sport fishermen. The entire coastline stretches for about 50 kilometers, with other sandy beaches, bays and cliffs inviting visitors to stroll, bike, swim and snorkel.
As befits a real seaside resort, however, Mar del Plata also has enough sights and attractions to offer entertainment as a change from a beach vacation. In the center of Mar del Plata, the neo-Gothic Cathedral of San Pedro y Santa Cecilia, the main church of the diocese of Mar del Plata since 1957, is particularly impressive.
Mar del Plata water tower
The stone water tower, whose top is illuminated at night, is also an unmistakable photo motif. The tower, which is about 48m high, can be climbed and offers a magnificent panoramic view of the city.
El Paraíso Botanical Garden and Zoo
Mar del Plata Zoo, which covers about 8 hectares, was opened in 1994 and is located a few minutes by car from the city center. It is also a botanical garden and thus resembles a huge park populated with native and exotic animals.
The dense forests are home to 120 different species of trees, including the evergreen prickly pear, Caribbean fruit trees and myrtles, for which Nahuel Huapi National Park is also famous.
300 different species of animals can be admired at the Mar del Plata Zoo. Most of them are allowed to roam freely, which is a very special experience, especially for children.
Aquasol water park
Also ideal for children is the huge Aquasol Water Park, which guarantees a day of fun and action for the whole family with slides, wave pool and other attractions. Not for nothing is its slogan "The best day in the summer". The bravest in particular will feel like they are in free fall on the almost vertical Kamikaze slide, and thanks to the Flying Fox, the park can also be experienced from a bird's eye view.
The wave pool is the only one in Argentina and the largest in South America. The natural lake, from which the water for the pools is obtained, can be navigated by kayaks and used for recreation.
Museum of Contemporary Art
The Museo de Arte Contemporáneo in Mar del Plata has been in existence since 2013 and since then has enjoyed large numbers of visitors. Thanks to its opening on December 27, the city was briefly littered with statues of sea lions. The sculptures were created by Marta Minujín and some of them are still there.
Particularly impressive is the enormous giant made of 80,000 wrapping foils of alfajores, a typical Spanish pastry. In addition to the diverse exhibitions of local contemporary artists, the museum is the venue for concerts of all kinds and other cultural events, especially in the summer.
Mar del Plata Marine Museum and Aquarium
The modern Museo del Mar on the Stella Maris hill is only a 15-minute walk from the city center. In addition to beautiful aquariums, it impresses with an impressive collection of 30,000 shells in all shapes and sizes, thanks to the passionate collector Benjamín Sisterna.
Marine fans should also visit the Mar del Plata Aquarium at the Punta Mogotes Lighthouse. Visitors to the small but worthwhile aquarium can observe sharks and schools of other marine animals up close, dive to unknown depths in the 3D cinema and try their hand at being a dolphin trainer. Penguins, turtles, crocodiles and sea lions can also be seen in the approximately 12-hectare aquarium.
Juan Carlos Castagnino Art Museum
Also on Stella Maris Hill is the Mar del Plata Museum of Art, named after local painter Juan Carlos Castagnino. The attractive building dates from the early 20th century and was modeled after the imposing Loire castles in France. Its typically Belgian-style rooms display some 450 paintings, drawings, photographs and sculptures by artists from Mar del Plata and the surrounding provinces.
Centro Cultural Villa Ocampo
In the turn-of-the-century villa of the famous writer Victoria Ocampo, it is possible to recreate the life of the wealthy aristocracy in the early 20th century. The predominantly wooden rooms, where the Ocampo family spent their summer months, are still preserved in their original form. In today's Mar del Plata Cultural Center, the creative spirit of the author has also been preserved.
Entertainment and going out in Mar del Plata
Mar del Plata's nightlife is considered the most exuberant in Argentina. It doesn't get quiet until the early hours of the morning. Restaurants, bars, clubs and discos turn night into day. Spontaneous beach parties of tourists and locals contribute to the fact that it is never boring in Mar del Plata. The biggest party mile is the Avenida Constitución about 3 km north of the city center.
Gambling fans are also in good hands in Mar del Plata - the Rambla Casino is the largest casino in Argentina and was even the largest casino in the world at the time of its construction.
In November, Mar del Plata even challenges the cultural supremacy of the nearby capital Buenos Aires. The Mar del Plata International Film Festival attracts thousands of visitors every year and is one of the most famous festivals in Latin America.