A Tale of Three Cities: Mar del Plata

Mar del Plata, about four to five hours south of La Plata, is an interesting combination of La Plata, Buenos Aires, and its own beach city spunk. The city is slightly larger than La Plata in population, making it no small town, and is a large tourist destination, especially during the summer months (December-February). Like Buenos Aires, the streets are named for important figures and dates in Argentine and South American history, but the combination of maps and friendly locals made getting around a breeze. The city emits a very energized and upbeat vibe, especially in its plazas and beaches. Among grass and tree lined paths, there are statues, street vendors, and even expressions of modern art. Especially in the south, around this time the weather begins to turn from summer to fall, making the beach much less crowded than in its peak season, but nevertheless full of life. As one of the last definitively nice-weathered weekends, the water was still swimmable but the most common beach activity other than swimming, and really the most common activity no matter where you go, is a game of soccer. Even I, having never played on a soccer team or formally learned the game, thoroughly enjoyed running up and down the beach and occasionally into the water while chasing after our borrowed ball. On top of being incredible exercise, the game is a great way to make all kinds of friends, some invited like our Argentinian friends at the hostel, others like the beach dog who inserted himself into the game (and played a major role in scoring both teams’ only goals). Whether you are dancing down the beach by moonlight or watching the sun rise over the ocean in the early morning, the positively carefree attitude of Mar del Plata surrounds you, leaving absolute contentment, hilarious pictures, and good memories in its wake.

Mar del Plata beach

Mar del Plata beach

Josh, Lathem, Mareike, Evan, Me, and Mathilde posing in front of an art piece

Josh, Lathem, Mareike, Evan, Me, and Mathilde posing in front of an art piece

Marcos, Evan, Mathilde, me, and Froukje in front of a church

Marcos, Evan, Mathilde, me, and Froukje in front of a church

Froukje, me, Kim, and Marcos trying to immitate the wall art

Froukje, me, Kim, and Marcos trying to immitate the wall art

Entire international squad first arriving to the beach

Entire international squad first arriving to the beach

Sun rising over the water

Sun rising over the water