Introducing Atlantic Coast
Argentines can justly claim Latin America’s highest peak (Cerro Aconcagua), its widest avenue (Buenos Aires’ 9 de Julio) and perhaps its prettiest capital, but its beaches aren’t tropical paradises strewn with palm trees. There’s no white sand here, the winds can be fierce and the water is cloudy rather than turquoise. Despite all this Argentina’s beaches are hardly unpleasant places in summer, and each January and February they reliably attract tens of thousands of well-heeled porteños (residents of Buenos Aires) escaping the capital’s unrelenting heat. In fact, so many people flock to the shore that at times you might have a hard time finding a free spot to spread your towel.
So if you don’t mind the lively summer crowds, the Atlantic Coast offers a wonderful escape. And if you want to avoid the summer crowds, simply visit in the shoulder months of December and March, when the weather is still warm enough to enjoy the beaches and their activities. In the dead of winter, however, coastal towns here take on an abandoned feel and the foul weather can become downright depressing. Mar de Plata is an exception – the coast’s largest city offers something to do all year round.
Accommodation prices vary widely along the coast, depending on the season. They rise sharply from mid-December through February, when reservations are crucial (and a few places require minimum-nights stays). Prices then start declining in March but rise again during Easter, after which most places close down until November. At the places that do stay open, bargains can be found during these cooler months.
Any prices and opening hours listed here are for the January to February high season. In other months, opening hours (especially at tourist offices and restaurants) are much shorter.