Mar del Plata

Beach in Mar del Plata

Mar del Plata is located about 400 km south of Buenos Aires, Argentina. In the summer months, December through March, the beaches are crowded with Porteños on holiday. Outside the summer months, the city is much less crowded. However there are 700,000 residents who live there year round. It is a very large city with lots to do, and not only in summer months.

Weather

Mar del Plata has an oceanic climate with humid and moderate summers and relatively cool winters. Summer maximum temperatures average around 27°C (81°F) although there are many days between 30°C (86°F) and 35°C (95°F). However, strong onshore or southerly winds can keep temperatures cool, down to 20°C (68°F) with nights even falling below 10°C (50°F). Summer is generally the peak season and traditionally, Easter is the last weekend before the peak season ends. Spring and fall bring variable weather with possible heat waves or cold nights. Winters are cool and damp with occasional frost. Snowfall does occasionally occur as well as the Sudestada, which brings long periods of precipitation, cloudy weather and rough seas. Cold Pampero winds that bring polar air masses from Antarctica can bring temperatures below freezing.

 Climate Jan Feb Mar Apr May Jun Jul Aug Sep Oct Nov Dec
 
Daily highs (°C) 26.3 25.8 23.7 20.5 16.8 13.8 13.1 14.4 16.0 18.5 21.7 24.4
Nightly lows (°C) 14.3 14.1 12.5 9.1 6.4 4.1 3.8 4.0 5.3 7.6 10.1 12.7
Precipitation (mm) 100.1 72.8 107.0 73.3 73.5 54.9 58.9 64.0 56.4 83.4 75.3 104.0
Sunshine (hrs/day) 9.3 8.3 7.5 6.5 5.4 4.0 4.1 5.3 5.8 6.8 7.4 8.7

Sources: NOAA and UNLP (sun only). See weather forecast at Servicio Meteorológico Nacional


Get in

By air

Aerolineas makes the 90 minute flight several times a day during the high season.

By train

3 trains daily arrive from Buenos Aires. The train station is about 2 km from the boulevard.

By road

Buses are faster than trains, and incredibly clean. It's 5.5 hours from Buenos Aires (Retiro Station) and costs 265 pesos (about 25 U$D in January 2014).

Manuel Tienda Leon Colectivo service is available at the Buenos Aires Airport for around 170 Pesos one way. The trip is 5 hours through the Argentine Pampas and scenery wise it is very boring - bring a book or a pillow.

Get around

Taxis are very cheap,is about 5 USD each 4 kilometers (year 2010) take into account that Argentina has +/- 20% annual inflation, prices change in ARS but remain the same in USD. Cabs drivers are plentiful, and pretty honest. There is a local bus network very large, you need a bus card in order to use it, it can be bought in terminal bus or in bus office (usually in downtown) and reloaded in drugstores. Another transportation service is Remisse, is like a cab with a discount, you have to call "the remiseria", a sort of small terminal with an operator at phone. Almost for sure, no one speaks English, so be ready to make signs or talk in Spanish with the drivers. If you want to walk, Mar del Plata is perfect, it has 28 kilometres of coast with lights and pavement and is pretty safe.

See

Catedral de los Santos Pedro y Cecilia

Do

Buy

Eat

Great fish. The "Puerto" of Mar del Plata is a nice zone to know and try "mariscos", "rabas" and as many possibilities as you can.

"Alfajores" (a cake sandwich with dulce de leche)are found all over Argentina, and go perfect with cafe con leche. Many say the best are at the Havanna shops that are all around MDP. They make great gifts to bring home.

The Argentines love dulce de leche, which is a cream caramel, and put it on almost anything sweet. Medialunas (mini-croissants) and dulce de leche are a staple breakfast. Dulce De Leche Granizado Ice Cream (Helado) combines chocolate flakes into caramel ice cream. The best by far is found in the Alem section of town.

Parillas (mixed grills) are also ubiquitous and with the great exchange rate, eating steak almost every day is very possible. Sirloin Steak is referred to as Bife de Chorizo, not to be confused with the sausage of the same name. One of the best parillas in MDP is Palacio del Bife. Palacio del Bife is excellent, although pricey. Bargain bites can be found in casual restaurants, such as those found on the pedestrian strip, San Martin .

Empanadas in Argentina are great for the first few days, but once you realize that unless you plan well in advance, this is the only food you can get during the daily siesta for lunch. Bariloche on Calle Mitre has some of the best around.

After you've entered a beef coma and can't take any more steak, Amigos Del Mar sushi restaurant is the only Japanese food in Mar Del Plata. There are several oriental "Tenedor Libres" (cheap buffet style restaurants) and some trendier restaurants in Alem that claim to do Chinese or Japanese food but just don't cut it.

The most traditional place to eat in the "Happy City", as Mar del Plata is also called, is "Manolo". This low-key restaurant has three branches (one on Rivadavia street, one right on the coast, and the newest one on Alem). Food quality is great and almost anything you order is to share. Great seafood too. A very nice alternative to the pier... especially if you're on foot. You can't leave Mar del plata until you've tried "churros" from this establishment. They are the best!!! Don't expect anything fancy (tiny paper napkins and waiters always in a rush), but be sure to leave with a full, happy stomach.

Drink

Alem street is the heart of nightlife in the city. You will find countless pubs, bars, nightclubs in about a 6 square block area. The discos are located north of town: for 90 pesos, Sobremonte is quite an experience. Chocolate and Gap also are a lot of fun on the right night.

Sleep

Monument to South American sea lion

Mar del Plata boasts over 500 hotels, the majority falling into the two- and three-star category. As usual, things get cheaper the further inland you go, but you can still get a reasonable rate two or three blocks from the beach.

Budget

Mid-range

Splurge

Go next

If the crowds and thumping beats of Mar del Plata are too much for you, head up or down the coast to some more sedate coastal towns.

This article is issued from Wikivoyage - version of the Friday, February 19, 2016. The text is available under the Creative Commons Attribution/Share Alike but additional terms may apply for the media files.