Pinamar merges seamlessly with Ostende, Valeria del Mar and finally CARILÓ, the area’s most exclusive resort. While Ostende and Valeria del Mar effectively act as quieter barrios of Pinamar, Cariló has more of a separate personality, a fact made clear as Calle Bathurst, the paved main street of Valeria del Mar, abruptly turns to a sand track with a sign announcing the entrance to Cariló’s exclusive “parque” on Calle Divisadero. An idyllic pine forest full of luxury hotels, spas and designer shops, this is where Argentina’s rich and powerful come to get pampered, hidden away from the rest of society. While apart hotels and rental homes are a tasteful distance from each other, and development in the village is controlled by tight laws, the amount of new construction has spiralled in recent years – too fast for some locals – and you’re likely to hear the distance noise of building work among the tweeting birds.
Cariló nevertheless remains a tranquil place, albeit one significantly more expensive than other resorts nearby. If you can afford it, and don’t mind the rather snooty attitude of some of its regulars, its varied and thick vegetation, quiet, sandy streets and gourmet restaurants can make it a very agreeable destination. Stressed-out professional Porteños come to Cariló to desenchufarse (literally, unplug themselves), but if you fancy some activity, horseriding and polo lessons are possible at the Estancia Dos Montes (t02254/480045), just west of the village. Alternatively you can organize sandboarding on the plentiful dunes through Turismo Aventura (t02267/15676835) or whizz around the sand on a 4WD buggy with Buggycar (office in Pinamar; t02254/492809).