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The most popular beaches close to Buenos Aires are Mar del Plata and Punta del Este (Uruguay).
Mar del Plata could be described as a version of Buenos Aires but with beach. Many porteños run away as soon as the summer starts and some others prefer to wait till the crowd comes back to the city. During the day you can enjoy different beaches as Punta Mogotes (familiar atmosphere), Playa Grande (the fanciest beach) or La Perla (located in downtown, very popular). And, at night, streets such as Güemes or Alem get full of young people that want to enjoy a couple of drinks or some “boliches” (nightclubs). You cannot leave Mar del Plata without having visited Manolo, a famous restaurant known for it’s churros (a fried-dough pastry-based snack) or having had tea at conifería Boston. If you really want to have great sea food, you must go to the port of Mar del Plata. Apart from seeing lots of seals, sleeping along the shore, you’ll find the best restaurants with many great deals. If you’re feeling like going for a walk around a nice neighborhood, you can visit the residential barrio of Los Troncos. You’ll see the most amazing houses, one more beautiful than the other one. And last but not least, if you want to see an old-school, traditional casino, you can go to the one located on Rambla Bristol.
Mar del Plata is located 400 kms away from Buenos Aires. You can easily get there by bus and it takes around five hours. You can check for prices and bus options at Plataforma 10 or go to Retiro Station to buy the tickets. As far as the accommodation goes, you have many options such as renting a house, going to a hotel or staying at hostels around the city.
On the other hand, Punta del Este is considered the most elegant beach in the Argentinean/Uruguayan coast. Many famous people from all over the world decide to spend their summer there. It is very different to Mar del Plata and in summertime, both beaches seem to compete against each other. The prices are higher than in Buenos Aires or Mar del Plata, which gives Punta del Este a touch of exclusivity. The most popular beaches are Brava or Mansa, which in English would be translated as “rough” and “quiet” and are named like this because the waters are literally like that. So depending on your personal taste, whether you want to have waves or not, you can choose between these two different beaches.
You can visit Casa Pueblo, an icon of Punta del Este which is an artwork by the Uruguayan painter and sculptor Carlos Páez Vilaró. It sits atop Punta Ballena, as one of the main attractions of the peninsula. The artist began working on the project in 1958, and took 36 years to be completed.
Gorriti Island, consists of 21 hectares of surface, it’s daily visited to enjoy its two beaches: Garden Port and Honda beach. It consists of a natural port, with ships anchoring close to it, and it also became a popular area to practice water sports. Punta del Este Lighthouse is 45 metres tall, and the crystal panels which are part of its illumination system were brought from France. It works by electricity, with acetylene gas as emergency backup. It is possible to climb the 150 steps of its spiral staircase. To get to Punta del Este you can either go by ship or by plane.
So what will you choose? Popular Mar del Plata or exclusive Punta del Este?