Planning a Trip
Getting There -- You can reach Mar del Plata by plane, car, bus, train, or boat. The airport lies 10 minutes from downtown and is served by Aerolíneas Argentinas (tel. 800/333-0276 in the U.S., or 0810/222-86527 in Argentina; www.aerolineas.com.ar). Flights last just under an hour, and there are about three flights a day. Cabs will cost about $12 to $17 (£8.20-£12) into the center of town. The RN 2 is the main highway from Buenos Aires to Mar del Plata; it takes about 4 to 5 hours to drive between these cities. More than 50 bus companies link Mar del Plata with the rest of the country. Buses from Buenos Aires, which arrive at the central bus terminal at Alberti 1602 (tel. 223/451-5406), are comfortable and cost under $30 (£20) each way. They leave Buenos Aires at the Retiro Bus Station. A train run by the company Ferrobaires also connects Mar del Plata with Buenos Aires, and it's only slightly more expensive than the buses. It leaves Buenos Aires from Constitución, in the southern part of the capital, and runs three times a day. In Mar del Plata, purchase tickets at the train station, located at avenidas Luro and Italia (tel. 223/475-6076 in Mar del Plata, or 11/4304-0028 in Buenos Aires). Bus and train trips take about 4 to 5 hours.
Visitor Information -- The Centro de Información Turística, Bd. Marítimo PP Ramos 2270, at the Casino building (tel. 223/495-1777; www.mardelplata.gov.ar), has a knowledgeable, helpful staff offering maps and suggested itineraries. It is open daily from 8am to 9pm. There is also a branch at the airport. An additional website for tourism information is www.mdp.com.ar.
Getting Around -- La Rambla marks the heart of the city, the seaside walk in front of the casino and main city beach. This area is walkable on its own, with restaurants and other businesses clustered here and between the nearby bus station and Plaza San Martín. Farther south, the Los Tronces neighborhood houses the city's most prominent residences as well as Playa Grande (the main beach), the Sheraton hotel, and the Mar del Plata Golf Club. Mar del Plata has 47km (29 miles) of Atlantic coastline, so if you plan to go to that part of the city, you'll need to take a taxi or rent a car. Avis (tel. 223/470-2100; www.avis.com.ar) rents cars at the airport.