Heading south from Mar del Plata, the first resort you come to is popular Miramar, 45km further down the RP-11, a largely modern town, dominated by some rather grim high-rise buildings. A more appealing alternative to busy resorts 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. Although it is increasingly courted by in-the-know Porteños looking for something a little different, the atmosphere remains tranquil, with a safe community feel and the occasional party to inject some life. Its beaches are far less frequented than those to the north and if you venture a shortway 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 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; he also rents out bungalows.

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