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architecture.JPG (12001 bytes)If there is one place Argentines choose to go on their summer vacations, Mar del Plata is it. Lying about 400 km south of Buenos Aires on the Atlantic Coast, Mar del Plata and its surroundings offer miles of some the best beaches in South America. Along with the natural beauty of the area's wind-swept dunes and dramatic cliffs, there are ecological reserves, fancy resorts, charming fishing villages, and of course the culture and vibrant nightlife of the city itself.

Compared to some of Argentina's other cities, Mar del Plata is young. It was founded in 1874 by a developer named Patricio Peralta Ramos, who turned the town into an industrial center. The true wealth of the city, however, has come with the overwhelming tide of tourism that has taken place in the last 50 years.  Though many of the resorts once catered to the rich, Mar del Plata today rests firmly in the hands of the middle class.

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