Friends and family in the Northern Hemisphere, I see you with your long coats and Facebook statuses about snow and hot chocolate. I am currently sitting in the air conditioning, while outside it is 93 degrees Fahrenheit on the first day of summer in Buenos Aires.
You might be planning ski trips right about now, but everyone down here is all about the beach. Christmas time marks the start of beach escape season, and it seems as though everyone and his/her mom (really, though) is discussing the various towns along the water they’re migrating to and for however long. The way people talk about it, you would think the entire city is fleeing to any nearby strip of sand for the month of January.
I was a little ahead of the seasonal curve and spent last week in the Uruguayan beach hamlet and fishing village of Punta del Diablo. It was picturesque in a way unlike any other beach I have visited, with its tiny, colorful houses, rolling dunes and blue, blue skies. I returned sunned and relaxed, and also set on returning to a beach again this summer.
Below is a list of some of the most popular summer beach destinations for porteños (those from Buenos Aires). Mar del Plata (aka MDQ) and Pinamar are both within Argentina, and locals pile into buses to get there. For the beaches in Uruguay, most people take a ferry then bus.
To give you an idea about the various beaches and how they differ, I included some quotes and insight, both good and bad, heard from friends and acquaintances over the past couple of weeks. Of course, it is all hearsay and everyone’s opinion differs, so if you are planning a trip of your own, I recommend doing your own research, too.
Seeing as I just had a relaxing beach week, I am thinking my next sandy destination is one of the beach party havens. I have to get the full spectrum of the beaches people here love, after all.
Punta del Diablo, La Paloma, La Pedrera
Prettiest and most tranquil
The “real” Uruguayan beaches
Punta del Este
Should really just be considered part of Argentina, so many people from Buenos Aires flock there
Expensive, and people with lots of money
Beautiful, stylish people and parties
Mar del Plata
Best beach for people 25-35 (ish)
Most “joda” (partying) out of all the beach towns
Crowded beaches, not the prettiest
Like Mar del Plata, but slightly older
Like Mar del Plata, but slightly nicer and more expensive
Other beaches to consider: Carilo, Miramar, Mar de los Campos and Villa Gesell, all in Argentina. Many are in wooded areas, too.
Generally, people agree Uruguay has the prettiest beaches between the two countries, but that is not to say people do not stand by their own country’s sand and waves.
–Karina for TKGO