While many people come to Argentina to indulge in meat, malbec, and maybe even a little bit of tango – but most forget about the beautiful beaches that line the coast.
Argentina has almost 5,000 kilometers of coastline, with some seriously stunning beaches. From November through March, you’ll find locals soaking up the sun by lake shores, dipping their toes in rivers and streams, and frequenting the white-sand beaches on the outskirts of cities large and small. If you’re visiting during these months, you don’t want to miss your chance to see some of the country’s most beautiful areas.
So pack your bags, don’t forget your bathing suit – and be sure to check out our guide to the best beaches in Argentina before heading out.
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1. Mar del Plata
Without a doubt, Mar del Plata is the most famous (and most populated) seaside resort in Argentina. Popular with porteños (residents of Buenos Aires) who have been coming here to escape the city’s heat and hubbub for over 100 years, it’s now equally well-loved by foreign tourists and locals alike.
That being said, you can almost always expect a crowd during the hotter months – but you’ll have your pick of white sand beaches to choose from.
The most popular is Playa Bristol, located in front of the city’s iconic casino. Even if you don’t decide to fight for a spot at this perpetually packed beach, it’s still worth taking a gander. If you can afford it, opt to book a spot at one of the private beach clubs where you’ll have access to swimming pools, sunbeds, and bathrooms.
If you’re looking for a beach that’s a little less crowded, check out La Caseta or Punta Mogotes. Surfers looking to ride some waves should head straight for Playa Grande.
Once you’ve had enough fun in the sun, head into the city to dine in one of the many restaurants and stick around to experience some of the best nightlife in Argentina.
If you’re looking for a quiet escape to the beach while you’re in Argentina, Cariló is the place for you. This area is the new top destination for the rich and famous, however, so be prepared to spend a bit more to access this exclusive area.
The beach is never overly crowded, mostly because of the area’s high price tag, so if you can afford it it’s well worth it. The golden sand and clear waters make this one of the best beaches in Argentina, and the pine forests that surround the area add to the overall tranquility of this elite place.
You could spend the whole day working on your tan and soaking in the views, head into town and shop at the small boutiques, grab a bite to eat at one of the fancy restaurants, or book a spa treatment for complete relaxation – again, not a place for budget-conscious travelers.
If you love the beauty of the Cariló area but not the high price tag, you can head to the city of Pinamar, just a few kilometers to the north. This beach has the same beautiful pine forests surrounding it, but will cost you a fraction of the price.
Because of the attractive scenery and relative inexpensiveness, Pinamar is a bit more popular (and therefore more crowded) than the Cariló beach, but it’s nowhere near as jam-packed as the beaches of Mar del Plata.
Golden sand and manageable waves make this beach a great place to relax, and the sunsets are truly epic. If you’re looking for a more upbeat beach experience, you could always rent a jet ski, try wakeboarding, or join the crowd of kite surfers that flock here during the summer.
The quaint town also boasts a fishing pier, many popular bars and restaurants, and an expansive area of sand dunes to the north on La Frontera beach.
Lago Nahuel Huapi and Lago Gutiérrez host some of the best and most beautiful beaches in Argentina. Located in the town of San Carlos de Bariloche in the Río Negro Province, the lakes provide a nice change of pace from some of the overcrowded shorelines that dot the Atlantic coast.
Besides the picturesque views over the lakes, the charming town of Bariloche is characterized by Swiss-style architecture and the incredible panoramic views of the Andes Mountains.
There are numerous beaches along the two lakes, so you’ll find at least one that will fit the bill whether you’re hoping to relax, hike, kayak, windsurf, or even scuba dive.
The most secluded and most scenic stretch of sand in Bariloche can be found at the Villa Tacul beach on Lago Nahuel Huapi. The shallow waters are turquoise blue, and the mountain views here are unmatched.
Lago Gutiérreze boasts some incredible scenery as well, especially along the west shore. Various trails dot the area, and if you’re feeling active, you can take a short hike to the Cascada de Los Duendes, a beautiful waterfall, and the epic lookout point, Mirado Lago Gutiérreze, just a bit further on.
Other popular beaches include Playa Serena and Playa Bonita on Lago Nauel Huapi and Villa Los Coihues on Lago Gutiérrez.
5. Las Grutas
Those looking for a unique beach experience in Argentina should head south to the small town of Las Grutas, located in northern Patagonia.
Las Grutas is uncharacteristically warm for being so far south, thanks to its location on the Gulf of San Matias. The water here is actually warmer than some of the beaches further north, making it worth the long trip from Buenos Aires.
The beaches are packed with beautiful white sands and surrounded by impressive cliffs riddled with caves. The unique scenery and agreeable weather have made Las Grutas a place that is growing in popularity, and we recommend checking it out before it becomes a full-fledged tourist destination.
You can also head up to the lesser-known Piedras Coloradas Beach, distinguishable by its ancient red rocks. San Antonia Bay is also worth a visit, as this protected area is home to migratory shorebirds, sea lions, and burrowing parrots. Make the trek to Puerto Madryn if you have the time for the chance to spot penguins, sea lions, elephant seals, and whales.
6. Playa Paraná
Playa Paraná is a stunning stretch of beach, with white sand and plenty of opportunities for adventure. If you’re not interested in swimming and sun bathing, you can snorkel with sea lions, kayak, or paddle board along the shoreline.
Located on the Nuevo Gulf, the water stays at pleasant temperatures during the summer months. If you’re visiting during the spring, you may get the chance to see southern right whales who come to the bay to breed.
The city also boasts a variety of museums and exhibits of Patagonian flora and fauna for those who’d like to learn some more about this region. The Valdés Penninsula, located nearby, is a nature preserve that has been dubbed a UNESCO World Heritage Site – making it well worth a trip if you’re staying in Puerto Madyrn.
7. Villa Gesell
Another popular beach located in the Buenos Aires region is Villa Gesell Beach. This quaint seaside village is well-loved by travelers near and far thanks to its soft sand and breathtaking sunsets.
This lively beach town was once a mecca for hippies, and still maintains its popularity with the local youth. To escape the boisterous youngsters, find a spot on the southern end of the beach near the fishing pier.
Besides classic beach day activities like swimming and sandcastle building, visitors to Villa Gesell can also partake in a series of water sports or spend the day at one of the many spas around the city. In the summer, you’ll likely be treated to concerts along the beach as well, making this place particularly popular with the younger crowd.
A swath of outdoor bars and restaurants is easily accessible from the beach, so you won’t have to go far if you work up an appetite. There’s a wooden boardwalk outlining the shore, making trekking through the sand easy – and it’s especially well used by joggers and dog walkers.
Located in the Buenos Aires region of Argentina, Miramar is a low-key beach destination that is popular for families. This area is also popular with hikers and cyclists thanks to the nature trails that run parallel to the shoreline. For those who don’t mind a little company, the main beach is a lovely one – with great waves and a few surfing schools on the north end.
Although less congested than some of the other resort towns on our list, Miramar does become crowded during the hot summer months. Those looking for complete solitude will have better luck heading south to the nearby Mar del Sur, characterized by rolling dunes, empty beaches, and good fishing.
9. Pehuen Co
If you’re looking for an authentic nature retreat away from the hustle and bustle of nearby cities, you’ll find it in Puhuen Co, located in the Buenos Aires region about an hour away from Bahía Blanca.
You won’t find any hawkers, cabana rentals, or even restaurants along the shore – which really makes it easy to appreciate the golden sand and beautiful blue waters. That being said, you’ll want to make sure you pack enough food, water, sunscreen, and any other provisions you may need to get through the day.
Although far from civilization, Pehuen Co is a popular beach during the summertime, and you can expect big crowds on hot weekends – which only slightly takes away from the “one with nature” atmosphere. Those looking to truly immerse themselves in nature can pitch a tent and stay overnight on these scenic shores.
10. Playa Larga
One of the most scenic beaches in Argentina can be found in the middle of the end of the world – known to locals as the city of Ushuaia. Aptly named, this town can be found at the southernmost tip of South America in the Tierra del Fuego Province.
The weather is chilly at best, even during the summer months, and “beach” might be a generous term for this rocky bay. Nevertheless, there’s nothing stopping the bold and the brawny from taking a dip here if they’re willing.
Although amongst the most beautiful, Playa Larga is also one of the hardest to get to; you’ll have to hike through an hour-long trail from the main road. Those who do make the trek will be rewarded with incredible views and crystal clear (albeit cold) water, and you’ll likely have the beach to yourself. The views alone are worth the hike, and if you’re lucky, you may even spot some whales, penguins, or petrels.
11. Lake Correntoso
The charming city of Villa La Angosta is a small town that’s home to some of Argentina’s best beaches. Located along the shores of the beautiful Lake Correntoso, the beaches boast soft sand and crystal clear waters.
The lake is notoriously chilly, so if you don’t feel like taking a dip you can always paddle along the water or simply work on your tan from the shore instead. There are also tons of hiking trails in the nearby area for those who want to work up a sweat before cooling off in the cold lake.
12. Mar de Ajo
Mar de Ajo is yet another popular beach destination for those who are staying in the Buenos Aires Province. The seaside city’s claim to fame is the ship graveyard. Although eerie in name, the collection of shipwrecks visible from the beach is an interesting sight to see.
Of course, the town is also famous for its soft sand beaches, popular with locals and tourists alike. Once you’ve had enough of the sun, head into the city and hit up the various casinos, arcades, and pizza parlors.
While technically not a beach, Tigre is a truly unique and relaxing experience in the Buenos Aires region.
Taking a dip in Paraná Delta might not seem like an obvious choice when you’re planning a beach vacation to Argentina, especially once you get a look at the water. But, the murky brown hue is just a result of mineral deposits at the bottom of the river – making it a unique spa experience!
The town of Tigre is the most popular place to bask in these coffee colored waters, and though the town itself isn’t much to look at, a quick water taxi will take you to a variety of tropical island resorts.
Playa Catalina is by far the most popular. Even if you don’t feel like swimming, you can enjoy a delicious meal or take a kayak out onto the river.
Tigre is extremely popular with the locals, so it’s perfect if you’re trying to find an authentic experience near BA during the summertime.