The evocatively named MAR DE LAS PAMPAS, just south of Villa Gesell, is a haven of tranquil pine forests and pampas grass. The beach is not as deserted as you might expect, since it is easily accessible from Gesell, but inland you can lose yourself along sandy tracks that meander around dunes and woody valleys. The pine forest setting is not dissimilar to Cariló, although the resort retains a less snobby, more down-to-earth feel – for now. There is no real gap between it and MAR AZUL, distinguished from its neighbour only by its more regular lanes and lesser development. The two are currently enjoying a reputation for maintaining the bohemian spirit of Villa Gesell, with blues musicians playing at local pub Mr Gone on Mar Azul’s main drag, Avenida Mar del Plata, and Blue Beach, a balneario, cultivating a chilled-out atmosphere, although the resorts are all a bit too VIP to be truly counterculture.