Heading south from Mar del Plata, the first resort you come to is MIRAMAR, 45km further down the RP-11. A largely modern town, it sells itself very much as a family-oriented resort and consequently most visitors tend to have children in tow. Miramar’s beachfront is dominated by some rather grim high-rise buildings, although it’s not a bad place to entertain children for a couple of days, and has a tranquil vibe outside the peak months of January and February.
A more interesting choice than Miramar if you want a complete break from the bustle of places like Mar del Plata is tiny MAR DEL SUD, a further 16km southeast. One of Argentina’s least-developed beach resorts, Mar del Sud is in many ways one of its most appealing. It is becoming increasingly popular with in-the-know Porteños looking for something a little different, but the atmosphere remains tranquil, with a friendly, community feel and the occasional party. Its beaches are far less frequented than those further north, and if you venture a few hundred metres away from the small clutch of beachgoers grouped around the bottom of Avenida 100, you won’t have much trouble finding a stretch of soft sand to yourself. The town’s pleasantly unassuming buildings are dominated by the crumbling faded-pink walls and steeply pitched roof of the ex-Boulevard Atlantic Hotel, an elegant, French-influenced construction built in 1886. It’s now a wonderfully creepy old building, its once glamorous rooms taken over by doves and scattered with chunks of plaster. Guided visits are possible during the day on request from Eduardo Gambo, who runs the place and is something of a local personality, and also rents out bungalows.