Second only to the Rambla Casino, with its stone sea lions, Mar del Plata’s favourite postcard image is that of the striking orange fishing boats that depart every morning from its port, about 3km south of the city centre. In the early evening you can watch them returning to the Banquina de Pescadores (Fishermen’s Wharf) full of crates bursting with sea bass, sole and squid, which are hauled onto the quayside by the fishermen. At the far end of the wharf is the Lobería, a colony of around 800 real-life sea lions – they are all males as you can tell by their distinctive giant manes and loud bark. These lobos can be observed from an incredibly close (and smelly) distance – a metre or so – all year round, though the colony shrinks in January and February, when large numbers head for the Uruguayan coast to mate. There are also a number of good seafood restaurants around the port, mostly grouped around the Centro Comercial. Buses from the centre of Mar del Plata head to the fishing port; both #551 and #553 can be caught anywhere along Avenida Luro.

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