Written by Ana Astri-O'Reilly on 17 Mar, 2010
Best places for breakfast with a great view. Manolo (Bv. Maritimo Patricio Peralta Ramos 4800) is famous for its churros and its food offers good value for money: huge portions and good quality. Confiteria Boston (see review) is a must for croissants. Mirador Waikiki (AV.…Read More
Best places for breakfast with a great view. Manolo (Bv. Maritimo Patricio Peralta Ramos 4800) is famous for its churros and its food offers good value for money: huge portions and good quality. Confiteria Boston (see review) is a must for croissants. Mirador Waikiki (AV. Martinez de Hoz 4320) has fantastic panoramic views of the city and the sea. The best tables are on the deck. Expect long waits during the summer season. The secret to beating the crowds is simply getting everywhere very early, while everybody else is still in bed.Public transport is pretty good. Buses go everywhere, including to nearby towns like Santa Clara del Mar and Miramar. Again, during the peak summer season, buses get packed to the rafters when everybody and their wife decide to go to the beach, more or less between 12 pm and 3 pm, and when it is time to go back home, around 6 or 7 pm. It sure is a long crawl to the beach. You can’t pay for your fare in cash; you have to get a prepaid card. It costs AR$ 1 and each fare is AR$ 1.60. The card can be bought at special kiosks or at any outlet of the Riadigos pharmacy chain and it can be used on any bus line except the number 221. If you take the 221 bus, you must pay AR$ 1.70 to the conductor. If you can’t be bothered to do your own laundry, head to one of the many launderettes and have it done for AR$ 15 per load (about US$ 4). Most are part of the LaveRap franchise (I think it’s the biggest in the country). The price includes "servicio de valet", which means that you drop your laundry off and someone will wash it, dry it and fold it for you. How to get to Mar del Plata. You can fly, drive, or take a long distance bus or the train. There are many bus companies that service the city. LADE, Aerolineas Argentinas and Sol Lineas Aereas fly into Astor Piazzolla airport (airport code MDQ.) Trains leave from and to Constitucion Station in Buenos Aires. Mar del Plata offers a unique combination: sunbathing and shopping. There are many vendors hawking their wares at the beach: coffee, ice-cream, bikinis, sarongs, bracelets, jewellery and so on while you work on your tan. Shops like convenience stores, supermarkets, eateries, etc, are open all day every day, but the rest, nuh-uh. Most shops selling non-essentials like clothes or books generally open late, between 4 and 6 pm and close even later, at around midnight. The reasoning behind it is if it’s sunny, people would rather go to the beach, not shopping, and then go out later in the evening. They may open earlier on a rainy day. If you go to MDQ during January or February, you’ll probably have to wrestle people for a square foot of sand. These are the months when the majority of the population takes their summer holidays. So my advice is to stay away from the centrally located beaches (La Perla, Bristol) and head south, past the lighthouse, to La Morocha, La Serena or La Reserva. You’ll probably have to pay for the privilege of parking there but it’s a small price to pay! Close
Written by Robert Raymond Ingledew on 24 Apr, 2007
There are dozens of beaches in Mar del Plata, but Playa Grande and La Perla are my favorites. Other nice beaches include Punta Mogotes, El Divino Beach, and many more.
AVOID THE BEACHES NEXT TO THE CASINO: To tell the truth, the whole road from…Read More
There are dozens of beaches in Mar del Plata, but Playa Grande and La Perla are my favorites. Other nice beaches include Punta Mogotes, El Divino Beach, and many more.
AVOID THE BEACHES NEXT TO THE CASINO: To tell the truth, the whole road from Mar del Plata to Miramar (25 miles) is a succession of quiet beaches sought by people that want to be away from crowded beaches. The downtown beaches get really crammed in Mar del Plata and beaches near the Casino (Bristol, Popular, Punta Iglesia) are chosen by thieves because, just across the road they can sell what they have stolen. Businesses across from the casino ask very few questions and pay dimes for what you have to sell. Although there is excellent police surveillance on all beaches, I prefer to be away from the very crowded areas. I learned that when my camcorder and photo camera were stolen on Playa Popular three years ago, and fortunately recovered when some local people, alerted by my shouts, ran after the thieves and recovered them for me. I never knew how they discovered that I was the owner, but I recovered everything. It had been stolen when I was boarding one of the local buses. First lesson, never leave the beach on a local bus if you are carrying anything. Although this happened only once in eight years, I learned the lesson to avoid crowded areas, and watch your step when you are leaving the beach, especially if you have been using a photo camera or camcorder. In those cases, it is far safer to take a taxi. It will cost you a couple of dollars and you will be safe.
La Perla is the beach preferred by the local people, but it gets pretty crammed in summer, but that is very nice to visit in November, December, March, and April. There are a number of "balnearios" (bathing resorts), starting with Alfonsina (in honor of Alfonsina Storni), Saint Michele, San Sebastian, Alicante, and Terrazas del Mar, after which there is a succession of more beaches known as Perla Norte. Each one of these resorts has a small mall, where you can buy candies, ice-creams, or have a coffee or fruit juice, at prices that are slightly higher than in the downtown, but not outrageous, and, just crossing the street, you will find many more alternatives. The main square of La Perla is just in front of San Michele, and the four-star Hotel Amerian is only half a block away from the beach. In this area you will find a few restaurants (El Remanso used to offer the best price value, but presently it is closed). You can buy tours on this square; there are four or five stands of tour operators that sell city tours, half-day tours, and full-day tours to the whole area, but mostly during January and February. Starting at Terrazas del Mar, the beaches become far quieter, and if you want to go further north, there are local buses to Santa Clara del Mar, only ten miles away from Mar del Plata. The whole area is enjoyable, and from the hills above Alfonsina Storni, walking towards the casino and downtown beaches, you will find beautiful panoramic views of the downtown beaches and of La Perla itself. This beach is ideal for sunbathing on windy days. Unlike Playa Grande, that offers little protection from the wind, this area is very near the skyline and under the banks there are places where the wind will not bother you. There are good restaurants in the area, but check the price of the bottle of wine before you decide. Some tempt you with low prices, and make up the difference charging far higher prices for the drinks. My option for all-you-can-eat barbecue is Gran Mar, that is four or five blocks away from La Perla. There you have Chinese food, plus barbecue, and dessert, for around $5, the bottle of wine will cost less than $2, and the food is good.
Local bus services cover the whole coast from Santa Clara del Mar, Perla Norte, La Perla, Playa Bristol, El Torreón, Cabo Corrientes, Playa Grande, and El Faro. You will need a magnetic card for most of these buses; it costs $0.15, but they do not accept cash while one line. The 223, if my memory is correct only accepts cash. Since Spring can be windy in Mar del Plata, I use the local bus service, hopping from one beach to another, to find a nice beach where wind does not bother. The whole scenery along the coast is beautiful. Taxis are not expensive in Mar del Plata, but the distance to Playa Grande is maybe four or five miles.. You pay something like $0.65 initial rate, plus about one dollar for every mile.
PLAYA GRANDE is my choice, but avoid it on windy days because it is very exposed to the wind. It is the high-class bathing area, it is far safer, and is just in front of the best hotel in Mar del Plata (Costa Galana) and not far away from the Sheraton, my second choice. Buses 223, 571, and 573 will leave you there, and bus 511, which goes to the port, passes very near. In Playa Grande you have better, and more expensive, hotels, many pubs on the main street of that area (Leandro Alem), a nice park overlooking the sea, and the Coastal Avenue is beautiful.
You can also take the buses that go to Miramar and get off somewhere “in-between” both cities, like Chapadmalal, a very quiet tourist village. I will refer to suburban areas in another experience.
PLAYA VARESE is another quiet beach, and Punta Mogotes is nice, but Playa Grande and La Perla would be my first and second choices. Near here is the ApartHotel Torres de Manantiales, that offers by far the very best view of Mar del Plata.
THE FISHERMEN'S HARBOR in the port really deserves a visit. Budget cruises leave from here, navigate the sea for 45 minutes to over one hour, at a cost of $3 to $5 per person, and even the port itself is really enjoyable. You will see seals swimming in the water and dozens, sometimes hundreds, of small fishing ships.
To have a glance at the different beaches that Mar del Plata has to offer you, check out this site: http://www.mardelplata.com/playas/index.asp
The text is in Spanish, but at least you will enjoy the photos. Check also these sites:
Read first the outlook, and then click on photos.
Enjoy your stay in Mar del Plata. Close
Written by Robert Raymond Ingledew on 16 Oct, 2006
Mar del Plata has some fifteen miles of beaches, although the Atlantic Coast of the province of Buenos Aires as a whole has more than 200 miles of beaches along the coast. The Mar del Plata Beaches from North to South are: Camet La Perla…Read More
Mar del Plata has some fifteen miles of beaches, although the Atlantic Coast of the province of Buenos Aires as a whole has more than 200 miles of beaches along the coast. The Mar del Plata Beaches from North to South are: Camet La Perla Norte La Perla (Praia, San Sebastian, San Michel, Alfonsina) Downtown beaches (Punta Iglesia, Playa Popular, Bristol, Pescadores, Torreón). Then a half-mile rocky area continues, where there is an artisans fare, and after that we have Playa Varese, a quieter beach. After Playa Varese (nearly below the Torres de Manantiales Apart Hotel) we have Playa Chica and after another half-mile rocky area, we arrive at Playa Grande. After this come the port, including the fishermens harbor, and then beaches continue up to Punta Mogotes.
Between Punta Mogotes and the Lighthouse (el faro) there are a few private beaches, including Las Rocas, where surfing is practised. And I have only mentioned the most important ones. Playa Grande is the place where you will find more possibilities of practising sports, although surfing is prohibited until after 6pm. Las Rocas, passing Punta Mogotes is the place preferred for surfing. Playa Grande is the place where the South American volley competition is held, as well as the Reef South American surf competition, with its bikini-open contest. Buses 581 and 223 go along all the length of the Coastal Avenue and connect all beaches. Bus 511 goes to the beaches south of El Faro (the lighthouse), of which El Divino is the most popular and fashionable, since it is the only beach with a disco on the seaside. However, the discos are mostly located on Av. Constitución, of which Sobremonte is known to be the most popular. I have never been to any, I am not fond of night-life, so I am just transmitting what my friends in Mar del Plata have told me regarding nightlife.
Most pubs are located on the main street of Playa Grande (Leandro N. Alem), some 4 miles south of Av. Constitución. I have been told that most young people go first to the pubs until about 1am and then go over to the discos, from where they come back about 5 or 6 in the morning... that of course on Saturday nights, and most of the time during the high season. Buses run all night, but only magnetic cards are accepted during the night, for safety reasons.
Written by Robert Raymond Ingledew on 14 Oct, 2006
There is a rainbow trout fishing pond (the only one in this area) located on Km. 47.5 of highway 226 from Mar del Plata to Balcarce (the continuation of Av. Luro), at the site known as Puerta del Abra. The buses that go from…Read More
There is a rainbow trout fishing pond (the only one in this area) located on Km. 47.5 of highway 226 from Mar del Plata to Balcarce (the continuation of Av. Luro), at the site known as Puerta del Abra. The buses that go from Mar del Plata to Balcarce (El Rápido, platform 14 of the Mar del Plata bus station) leave you there. You only have to say you want to get off at "Laguna de las Truchas". You have to buy the ticket at their offices at the bus station before boarding the bus.
Being a trout fisherman myself, I went there many times. Some days I came back with five trout: but I went many time without catching any. If you use a fly that seems like a bee, and the trout are eating something else, like locusts, they will not even look at your lure... Light green, olive green, and yellow flies generally work... Small spinners (Meps 1 or 2, red, silver or light green) also give good results.
Fly-fishing is preferred, but you are allowed to fish as you wish. There is an admission fee (some $10) and you have to pay about $2 or $3 for each trout you catch, depending on the size. Most average about 2 pounds. You are only allowed to release trout back to the lagoons if you are fly-fishing. Otherwise you have to take home and pay for every single trout you catch.
The owner, José Palmiciano, dug these ponds with a bulldozer, it took a very long time. Now you can catch nice rainbow trout here, or visit the pond at no cost and maybe buy some smoked or fresh trout.
There have been a couple of floods over the past years, when many trout escaped down the stream, but the ponds are restocked every year. A visit to their fish-culture station (or trout hatchery) is also very interesting. They used to have some 30,000 trout of different sizes. They have a good place for preparing your barbecue, but they sell nothing there, not even a Coca Cola... so take your meal and drinks with you.
The bus ride from Mar del Plata takes 75 minutes at a cost of some $2 each way, and buses run about every hour.
Just have a look at the photos. It is a very nice spot for spending the day. And keep in mind that trout population is reduced drastically each time there is a flood, and that happens at least once every year.
Written by Robert Raymond Ingledew on 04 Oct, 2006
The main objective of adding this entry is to tell you which are the best places for taking photos of Mar del Plata from some panoramic viewpoints. I lived 8 years in these beautiful cities and have a clear idea of which are the…Read More
The main objective of adding this entry is to tell you which are the best places for taking photos of Mar del Plata from some panoramic viewpoints. I lived 8 years in these beautiful cities and have a clear idea of which are the best spots.
Therefore I am adding a couple of notes. There are at least 3 or 4 panoramic spots from where you can take fantastic photos of Mar del Plata. One of them is the Torres de Manantiales Apart Hotel, that towers over the whole city and beaches. No, you don't need to stay there to take beautiful photos. They have a bar/pub on the last floor (27) with two saloons that have the best views of Mar del Plata; one of them towards the downtown beaches and the other one towards Cabo Corrientes. Prices are moderate, although higher than in the downtown. You will probably pay two dollars for a coffee with croissants, but it has very comfortable seats, a fantastic view and live music after midnight on week-ends. This bar/pub normally only opens on Friday and Saturday evenings after 6pm, although it might open all evenings during the summer.
The second best view of Mar del Plata is from the hill passing the Casino towards La Perla beach. You have beautiful panoramic views in both directions towards La Perla, and towards Playa Bristol.
The third best view is from just in front of El Torreon, also on a hill, towards Bristol beach and the Casino.
And just try taking some photos from the end of the breakwaters at Bristol beach or from the fishing club. If you are filming, you will see the waves coming in, with the background of the beaches and the city.
The whole coastal avenue of Mar del Plata has beautiful green spaces that separate the built part from the beaches. I used to walk there every morning during the last year I lived in Mar del Plata.
And the Fishermen`s Harbor (dársena de pescadores) is another favorite spot for very nice photos. Buses 511 and 571 take you there, but bus 511 leaves you nearer.
If you want to get an excellent view of the skyline of Mar del Plata, just go up to Avenida Colon about 100, and you will see the avenue from a high spot where it starts, and about 3 miles of condos with an average altitude of 12 floors, although some buildings in the city have up to 36 floors.
The Torre del Agua (Water Tower), some 8 blocks away from the bus station towards Playa Grande (Gascón or Falucho about 1100) is another point where you can take nice panoramic views. It is a municipal agency that provides the water service to the city, and as such, it is open only from Monday to Friday during the morning. Admission is free and they have a 360 degree view point on the top floor. You may be asked to sign the guest book, no other requirement. You can go up the staircase or on the elevator.
One word of caution: Mar del Plata is cold, rainy and windy in the winter. So if you intend to go in the winter have a look at the weather forecast at www.weather.com or www.accuweather.com before you make up your mind.
A place you should not miss in the evening are the dancing waters in front of the Casino. This show is on Friday and Saturday evening, and offers a fantastic symphony of colors combined with classical music and dancing waters. I enjoyed it very much. But keep an eye on your photo camera or camcorder, and go back to the hotel on a taxi, in order to avoid any problems. If at all possible, do not go alone. I never had any problems there, but foreign tourists are always the first target of thieves, it will be dark...so don`t take any risks.
As far as possible, avoid the beaches near to the casino, because just across the road are the shops that buy used things, no questions asked... If a thieve can grab your camera, he only needs to run two minutes, get lost and sell your photo camera for a fraction of its value. Playa Grande is far nicer and safer. Buses 511 and 571 take you there, plus the buses that go along the coastal avenue (581, and 221 or 223, I am not sure just now).
Written by Robert Raymond Ingledew on 25 Apr, 2007
This is a beautiful tour that you will surely enjoy. It leaves Mar del Plata about 8am, makes its first stop at the Carilo Shopping Center in the midst of the forest to have a cup of coffee or browse around admiring the beautiful…Read More
This is a beautiful tour that you will surely enjoy. It leaves Mar del Plata about 8am, makes its first stop at the Carilo Shopping Center in the midst of the forest to have a cup of coffee or browse around admiring the beautiful residences and the forest. It then continues towards Pinamar going through Valeria del Mar and Ostende without stopping, in Pinamar it turns around next to the beach—it should stop here, but it does not—and makes a three-hour stop at Villa Gesell to enjoy the beach.
If you are only sightseeing, you will really enjoy this trip. If you want to take photos, I suggest you get off the tour at Pinamar, check where they will be at Villa Gessel, normally on street 105 and the beach, stay one hour at Pinamar enjoying this beautiful city and taking photos, take a local bus which run once an hour in summer to Villa Gesell, and then join the tour again at Villa Gesell. Or just go to Pinamar on the bus another day, the round trip will cost $6.
Of course, there is a simpler way of doing it. Take the local bus from Mar del Plata to Villa Gesell (2 hours travel, it runs about every hour and a half), take the local bus in Villa Gesell up to street 105, turn right towards the beach, walk along the beach in any direction, walk back three blocks to Avenue 3 and take the bus back to the bus station, board a local Montemar bus to Carilo. They run every hour or two, so check the timetable before you leave the bus station. Walk to the beach in Carilo, about half a mile from where the bus stops, come back to the bus stop in front of the shopping center, take a bus to Pinamar, walk a mile and a half to the beach, walk around, come back to the bus station, and take the bus to Mar del Plata, two hours and a half. Or, if you want to make it easier, take a remis or taxi from the Villa Gesell bus station to Carilo and Pinamar, bargain the price explaining you want to take some photos, and visit these two beautiful places for $20 to $30 for the round trip, including waiting time. The distance from Villa Gesell to Carilo is nine miles, and from there to Pinamar another eight miles.
Of course, if you stay one night at Villa Gesell, not expensive at all from March to December, but quite expensive in January and February, you can enjoy Gesell, take the local bus to Carilo, continue to Pinamar on the same bus and come back from Pinamar to Gesell on the same bus.
There long-distance bus that connects Mar del Plata with Villa Gesell and Pinamar but that does not enter into Carilo, is El Rápido.
I hope I have been clear enough. You must visit this beautiful area.
Finally, there are another two tours from Mar del Plata that you will enjoy, both in the opposite direction, towards the south and not towards the north. One is Necochea which is better to do on the bus, it is a two and a half hour trip. Enjoy the beach, the casino (if you are a gambler), the Miguel Lillo park with its beautiful lake, and then take a taki along a trail that borders the Quequén river to see black neck and white neck swans, coots, seagulls, and other birds. The port of Necochea is also interesting.
For the other tour, you only need to go on the local bus, that will take you there for a dollar and a half. This is Miramar, a nice beach with a skyline facing the sea. Miramar would be my last option, but is enjoyable if you have already visited Villa Gesell, Carilo, Pinamar and Mundo Marino.
Enjoy your stay in Mar del Plata. I know you will. Close
There are many options in Mar del Plata for cruising the sea, and the cheapest one leaves from the Fishermen's Harbor. It is the Fortuna II, at a cost of $3 per person. Navigation lasts 45 minutes to one hour, and the tour covers the…Read More
There are many options in Mar del Plata for cruising the sea, and the cheapest one leaves from the Fishermen's Harbor. It is the Fortuna II, at a cost of $3 per person. Navigation lasts 45 minutes to one hour, and the tour covers the area as far as Cabo Corrientes. While you are waiting at the dock to embark, take nice photos of sea lions, either swimming in the sea or taking sun in the dock. But be careful. Although they will not attack you, they could come running up the staircase, and some weigh over 500 pounds, they could throw you over without any intention of doing so; I nearly went through that experience, but fortunately a tourist yelled “Watch out” and I got out of the way just in time. You will also enjoy the scene of dozens, sometimes hundreds of small and medium fishing boats. It is an ideal place for taking beautiful photos. Really there are three ships or motorboats that do the same cruise, and they leave about every half hour: the Fortuna II, the Ciudad de Mar del Plata, and a third one, the name of which I do not remember. The second option is the Anamora cruise. It has a separate dock and leaves some 500 feet away from the fisherman's harbor. It is slightly more expensive, about $7, and goes as far as the Bristol beach, in front of the casino. It also navigates inside the Mar del Plata Submarine base. This trip lasts one hour approximately. The third option, and the nicest, is the Regina Australe Catamaran. It navigates as far as La Perla, but leaves from a dock next to Playa Grande. It also has an evening tour with dinner on board, that logically is more expensive: I have navigated on four of these ships and know that you will enjoy the tour. The Fortuna II bounces up and down with the waves, so might be the most enjoyable tour for teenagers, and the cheapest one. Of course, it will be more difficult to take good photos with the ship moving so much. The Regine Australe catamaran will navigate far more smoothly, and has a sundeck where you can sunbathe on a lounge chair. The Anamora is an "in-between" option, and is the only one that picks you up at the hotel and takes you back at no extra charge. If you want to board the Fortuna II, take bus 511 to the port and get off at the Banquina de Pescadores (Fisherman's dock). If you want to board the Anamora, take the same bus but ask them to get you off "para tomar el crucero Anamora". And if you want to go on the Regina Australe you must geto ff at Playa Grande and walk to the departure deck on the other side of the breakwater. Buses 571 and 511 will take you there. Any one of these tours is completely enjoyable. You will navigate in front of the city, see the skyline next to the sea, probably some yachts navigating, annd some fishing boats in the sea. Although the Regina Australe is the best—and most expensive—ship, it will not take you inside the fisherman's dock, so go to the port another day and enjoy the scene. Both the Fortuna II and the Anamora will stop in front of the sea lion's reserve inside the port, where you can take nice photos of the sealions. You might want to stop at the Fishermen's Harbor for a while and then return on any of the local buses. Both 511 and 571 pass in front of the bus station, then pass by the Casino, and go through the downtown (Luro and Independencia). I am sure you will really enjoy this trip. All boats have bar service on board, although a soft drink could cost you anything between a dollar and a half to two dollars.
Since I cannot find my own photos of the Regina Australe, I am giving you their link, so that you may see the ship:
Here you have the link for the Anamora, a smaller motorboat:
And here is a very short link for the Fortuna II.
Welcome to Mar del Plata, the Pearl of the Atlantic. Close
MAR DEL PLATA: THE ROAD TO BALCARCE AND TANDIL
Although Mar del Plata is not in a mountainous area, there are many attractions on Highway 226 that connects Mar del Plata with Balcarce and Tandil, and that intersects Highways 7 and 8 that continue to San…Read More
MAR DEL PLATA: THE ROAD TO BALCARCE AND TANDIL
Although Mar del Plata is not in a mountainous area, there are many attractions on Highway 226 that connects Mar del Plata with Balcarce and Tandil, and that intersects Highways 7 and 8 that continue to San Luis and Mendoza and beyond to Chile. Actually, if you turn left at Azul on highway 76, you can go down to Sierra de la Ventana, trout fishing area, and from there continue to Bahía Blanca, Puerto Madryn and many other attractive areas along highway 3.
The nearest places to Mar del Plata worth visiting, although all the whole area is beautiful, because it is a low hill area with sunflower crops, is Laguna de los Padres, with the Jesuit Pilar Indian Settlement, Sierra de los Padres, a beautiful country club-style village with low hills, and then Laguna La Brava, a silverside fishing paradise, where eight-pound silverside have been fished, although normally you will catch far smaller fish. There is a nice campground in the fishing club, with good shade and a convenience store across the road. There is also a pier, mostly for navigation purposes, since I doubt very much if you will fish anything from the pier itself. The fishing club also has a small silverside trout farming facility.
But the main attraction for my taste is Puerta del Abra, a rainbow trout fishing pond. I discovered this place by chance. I had lived two years in Mar del Plata, and knew nothing about it, until a taxi driver gave me the good news.
Jose Palmiciano was the pioneer of this enterprise. Originally, he had made a trout farm on the stream that goes through his property, but a flood of the river wiped away all his efforts, but he persisted. He worked for maybe two years with a couple of excavators and made from flat land a system of six lagoons that vary in size from one to ten acres. Since his small farm has water springs, where water comes out from earth at the ideal temperature for trout farming, 22ºC, he installed some 25 small tanks and stocked them first with young fish that he brought from the Government fish-farm station of San Martin de los Andes, near Bariloche). He grew them up in the different tanks, classified by size, and then stocked the lagoons with two-pound rainbow trout, charging a moderate fee for those who wanted to fish in the lagoons. I went a number of times, and once even fished a four-pound trout, twenty inches long.
This was not an easy job. A couple of times heavy rainfall flooded the lower lagoons and trout escaped, but he persisted, and there is still good fishing, although this does not guarantee that you will be successful. Sometimes, I went five times in a row without catching anything, and other times caught ten trout in a couple of hours. As you know, trout are very wise fish, so if you make noise or cast your shadow on the water, or if you are fly-fishing using the wrong fly, you may spend the whole day and catch nothing. And you need to watch what the trout are eating, whether locusts, bees, or something else. Trout fishermen know that. If trout are eating bees and you cast a green fly, you may not fish any. In any case the scenery is beautiful and the whole landscape is enjoyable, since the lagoons are just under the foothills that are 1200 feet high.
José also set up a very nice grill for tourists to use, included in the fishing fee. You can also buy fresh rainbow trout from him, if you were not successful. And he has a small lagoon, not for fishing, but for enjoying seeing the trout swimming in the pool and filming or taking photos of them. The visit to the fish farm is really enjoyable, and you have to pay nothing if you are only sightseeing. If you want to fish, you will probably have to pay some $7 to $10 as admission fee and then $3 for each trout you fish. Catch and release is only allowed in the fly-fishing modality, so if you fish with spinners or hooks, you must take home and pay for every trout you fish.
You cannot buy even a Coca-Cola at the site, so make sure you take everything you need for lunch, because there is no nearby convenience store, you will have to travel some 5 miles.
Very near here is a Balcarce satellite communications station, that years ago was the most modern one in South America, and maybe still is. I am not sure if visits are allowed, but you might want to check it out. It is only one mile away from the trout farm.
Some 15 miles further on, we find the McCain French fries processing plant (they supply McDonald’s) and make a left turn at the next crossroad to visit the city of Balcarce, home of Juan Manuel Fangio, former world champion in car racing. There is a museum in his honor that I have not visited, but that should have interesting things to see.
So far we have traveled some 55 miles. We will go another 55 miles along Highway 226 and will arrive at the city of Tandil, famous for its salami, but that has far more than that. It is a modern city with 100,000 inhabitants with its Via Crucis and Calvary (the most visited place in Argentina for Easter), its university, Cerro Centinela chairlift, and more. Tandil is famous for its salami. The city lives from agriculture, cattle raising, tourism, construction and, since it has so many different resources, it generally overcomes any crisis far easier than other zones in Argentina. It has some good hotels, like the four-star Libertador. I stayed at a nice hotel just across the road from the bus station, and had a nice room for less than $10. The Cerro Centinela chairlift is interesting; you will have a panoramic view of the city. A visit to the park up to the top of the hill, where there are fortifications constructed by the Spaniards, and to the artificial lake complete the picture. There is also a small zoo in the mountainside, where animals live freely. There are full-day tours from Mar del Plata to Tandil at a cost of $20, and I am sure you will enjoy the trip. There are also regular bus services all the way to Balcarce about every hour, and about every two hours to Tandil, operated by Empresa El Rápido. Buses are comfortable and leave from the Mar del Plata bus station. If you want to go fishing, the ticket will cost about $2 each way to Puerta del Abra; tell the driver you want to get off at Laguna de las Truchas (the trout lagoon). You will see the small lagoons on the right-hand side of the highway.
Welcome to Mar del Plata, the Pearl of the Atlantic. Close
Written by Robert Raymond Ingledew on 28 Nov, 2006
The Quequén river Wildlife Sanctuary is definitely off the beaten track, even though it is only 5 miles away from the downtown of Necochea, an important tourist center with beautiful beaches and one of the most important wheat exporting ports in Argentina, this city has…Read More
The Quequén river Wildlife Sanctuary is definitely off the beaten track, even though it is only 5 miles away from the downtown of Necochea, an important tourist center with beautiful beaches and one of the most important wheat exporting ports in Argentina, this city has 80,000 inhabitants. Nobody in the city ever talks about this wildlife sanctuary, probably they do not even know it exists; there is no real road along the river, only a trail where you can get stuck with the car if it has rained recently. But it is only 5 miles away from the bus station, upstream towards Las Cascadas. There are paved roads for getting there, and nobody worries about going along a muddy trail. And that is probably why the birds have been spared. Argentinians are only starting now to pay attention to conservationism. I wanted to go to Las Cascadas to take photos of the tiny waterfalls on the Quequen river, since I had been there in 1954, and remembered it was a nice spot. But I had no idea of what I was going to encounter along the way.
The taxi driver suggested going along the river banks, and I agreed. After a few minutes, the taxi driver stopped suddenly, as we saw literally a cloud of different birds. I thought they were seaguls, and was greatly surprised when I saw dozens of black neck swan, white neck swan, coots, and also seaguls. I had never seen so many black neck swan and white neck swan together even in the protected areas of the National Parks down south. And this is not a protected reserve. I jumped out of the car as fast as I could and started taking photos and filming. The whole area is beautiful and, as I will explain later, you stand a small chance (but a chance at last) of fishing rainbow trout in the river. Herons have reduced trout population in the river, and trout farming in the area is minimal, but some catches of 4 to 5 pound trout have been reported in the Quequén river. And you also have a far better chance (only if you are an experienced fisherman) of fishing loaches. You know, these fish seem to be wiser than trout, are very difficult to catch, and can be quite larger than trout.
You might want to give it a try. If you use lures, anything red catches their attention, but these cute fish are difficult to understand. Upstream from the falls (by now we are some 9 miles away from Necochea) there is a fish culture municipal station. Resources are limited, and the presence of herons in the area is a problem, but they put trout into the Quequen river every year. By the way, herons are beautiful birds, so have your photo camera prepared in case one turns up. There are 3 varieties of herons in this area. The visiting hours of the trout farm are in the afternoon; keep this in mind because it would be disappointing to go all the way there and find it closed. I was lucky, I arrived out of work hours, but was kindly invited to tour the facility and take photos, and the person in charge did not receive the tip I offered her. We received a half hour explanation on the trout breeding and reproduction cycle and were toured through the facility, that also has a small aquarium. The admission fee costs about one dollar.
The whole area is interesting. The river is nice (if you go before the sunrise as I did, you will be able to take beautiful photos), there are eucalyptus plantations, some pine trees and a real pastoral scenery. There are no organized tours to this place; just hire a taxi and tell the driver what you want to do. Do not go to Las Cascadas along the paved road, or you will miss practically everything I have been sharing with you. The whole trip with stops for photos will cost you some 10 to 15 dollars, more or less. I paid less, but that was two years ago. Enjoy the photos.
Written by Robert Raymond Ingledew on 24 Nov, 2006
The distance from Mar del Plata to San Clemente del Tuyu, where Mundo Marino is, is some 130 miles, but the long distance buses of El Rápido take 4 hours to get there, because there are many beaches along the road. Some of them are…Read More
The distance from Mar del Plata to San Clemente del Tuyu, where Mundo Marino is, is some 130 miles, but the long distance buses of El Rápido take 4 hours to get there, because there are many beaches along the road. Some of them are attended local bus services (221 bus) that go all along the coast from El Faro to Santa Clara del Mar; some services go as far as Mar Chiquita, a well-known fishing area, where soles, silverside, meagers and gray mullets can be fished. The first area we go along is La Perla, one of the main beaches in Mar del Plata, including the Alfonsina, Saint Michelle, San Sebastian, Praia, and other resorts, continuing along Playa Franka, (once upon a time a topless beach) a nice beach protected with cliffs, Santa Clara del Mar (see my separate report), and Mar Chiquita. This is a salt water lagoon where fishing is good and where boats are rented. After Mar Chiquita there are no more seaside resorts up to Mar Azul and Mar de las Pampas, and then we arrive at Villa Gesell, one of the most attractive beaches on the Atlantic.
From Mar de Las Pampas towards the north, most of the beaches are high-class areas, including Villa Gesell, Carilo, Valeria del Mar, Ostende, and Pinamar. The trip on the bus from Mar del Plata to Villa Gesell (El Rápido buses do not enter to the other beaches before Villa Gesell) is nearly 2 hours, and two hours and a half to Pinamar. These buses do no enter to Carilo. You have to change buses at Villa Gesell and continue on the local bus (Montemar) that goes From Villa Gesell to Carilo, Valeria del Mar, Ostende and Pinamar. Of all these beaches, Cariló is the most expensive one. A cup of coffee can cost you two dollars and five dollars with a piece of cake. If you want to be near these exclusive beaches, the best deal is to stay at Villa Gesell (Hotel Las Cuarenta in front of the bus station is a very good budget option) and take the local buses (Montemar) that run every hour. Villa Gesell is a beautiful town. North of Pinamar we have the beaches of Mar de Ajo (low-income beach), Mar de Ajó norte (better) San Bernardo (upper middle class), La Lucila del Mar (also upper middle class), Aguas Verdes, Costa del Este (another high-class beach), Mar del Tuyu (lower middle class), Santa Teresita (quite nice), and San Clemente del Tuyu, where you have the Mundo Marino (the only SeaWorld of Argentina, that is really worthwhile visiting) and also the only thermal baths on the Atlantic. While you can get around on the long distance buses, that are quite comfortable (El Rápido), if you want to visit all beaches on one day you might want to rent a car.
The cost of renting a small car starts at 35 dollars per day. Otherwise, you might want to take the tour to the 3 most important beaches (Carilo, Pinamar, and Villa Gesell). This tour does not take you to the beach at Carilo, but stops at the shopping center (a very nice location for taking photos) goes along Valeria del Mar, Ostende and Pinamar without stopping, but giving you an idea of what these places are like, and stops some 3 hours at the beach in Villa Gesell so that you can sunbathe, have a bath in the sea, and enjoy the beach. This tour costs some 15 dollars per person. Enjoy your stay in Argentina.