People often associate Argentina with tango, wine, steaks, and the buzzing capital of Buenos Aires. However, very few travelers make it to Argentina beaches.
There’s even a joke that the best beaches in Argentina are located across the Rio de la Plata, in Uruguay. This is a shame, as Argentina has more than 4000 km of stunning Atlantic coastline, offering everything any traveler might wish.
In this ultimate guide, we share the eight best beaches of Argentina that you can’t miss. Whether you are looking for wildlife, surfing, a party, or a relaxing holiday, the beaches of Argentina will have something for you.
With miles and miles of coastline on the Atlantic Ocean, Argentina has more beaches than you might expect, despite not being a major beach destination.
You won’t find many long, white sand beaches here, but if you’re looking for a place to escape, rugged shoreline, and stunning vistas, you’ll find them in spades in Argentina.
Best Beaches in Argentina
1. San Clemente del Tuyú
Just a 3-hour drive from Buenos Aires you’ll find the stunning beach of San Clemente del Tuyú. This small beach town is a cute and quiet spot with a very local feel.
San Clemente del Tuyú provides a great break from the hustle and bustle of Buenos Aires and also some of the other beaches along the northern part of the Argentine coastline, which can get crowded and busy during peak travel times.
Taking a weekend trip from the capital is among the best things to do in Buenos Aires.
An absolute must in San Clemente del Tuyú is to try the local specialty of smoked “Lisa”. This white fish is freshly caught in the area each day and can be bought in different stores around. You won’t find many bars or restaurants in San Clemente del Tuyú but you will find a local spot and a place to relax.
The beach here is big and wide, but the ocean is unclear and wavy. For this, San Clemente del Tuyú is a popular spot for kite surfers and gets busy on the weekends with Argentines traveling to practice the sport.
If you plan to windsurf, make sure you have international travel insurance that covers this type of adventure sport.
If you are traveling by campervan or enjoy camping, you can stay directly on the beach. Just remember to bring some useful campervan accessories in case you get stuck in the sand.
Further south down the coast, one of the most popular Argentina beaches you’ll find in the area is the beautiful and popular beach area around Pinamar. Unlike laid-back San Clemente del Tuyú, this whole area is completely packed during the high season and gets booked out.
Pinamar is a medium-sized town that offers a long and beautiful stretch of beaches, restaurants, bars, cafes, and shops. With its popularity and high-end vibe, everything here is more pricy than in some smaller and less hyped places.
Only a few miles from Pinamar, you have the charming and unique town of Cariló. A small forest home surrounds the town and small city center, and you’ll find some very beautiful vacation houses to rent.
3. Mar del Plata
Mar Del Plata is probably the biggest party beach destination in Argentina and each summer young crowds flock to the city to enjoy the beach and fun nights out. Many wealthy Buenos Aires residents head here during the summer for a few months of rest and relaxation.
The ocean is beautiful, and the city has a Miami vibe along the oceanfront. Mar Del Plata is a great and popular surf destination and has some great, chill surf bars and clubs around.
While in Mar Del Plata an absolute must is to grab some churros from Manolos. These are freshly made throughout the day and are a popular treat among travelers and locals. Expect to wait in line if you go during the afternoon.
Lastly, Even though Argentina is one of the safest countries in South America, Mar Del Plata is unfortunately notoriously famous for petty crimes.
Be extra careful with your stuff, especially when out and about during the evening, and take care if you’ll be using a car while traveling.
Just a short drive from Mar Del Plata, you have the smaller (and cheaper!) Argentina beach option of Miramar. This little town is a hot spot for those who wish for a town with a little fewer crowds and walkable distances.
Though the city is not as beautiful, the beach is excellent and the town offers a lot of activities and events in the summer months. This place is also a great surf spot and offers beach vibes and parties at the bars along the beachfront.
Miramar is very seasonal and is almost dead outside the high season. Here practically every restaurant and bar closes and the place gets a very ghosty feel if you visit outside of the high season, though this is a draw if you’re looking for some solitude and enjoy visiting the beach in the winter.
5. San Antonio Este and San Antonio Oeste
Argentina beaches in Patagonia are perfect for any wildlife lover, so the beaches in San Antonio Este and San Antonio Oeste provide a truly unique experience for travelers off the beaten path.
Don’t expect white sand here – the beaches are mainly composed of beached seashells, though this reflects the amount of life in the ocean right out front. Here everything is about seafood, fishing, sunsets, and enjoying nature around. It’s not uncommon to unintentionally spot dolphins, sea lions, or even whales while enjoying your breakfast.
Out of these two neighboring beach towns, San Antonio Este is the most unique and beautiful, but San Antonio Oeste is a much bigger town with more conveniences. You’ll need a car to travel between the two towns, as the drive is around 40 minutes.
6. Las Grutas
Located just a few miles from San Antonio Oeste, Las Grutas – in Spanish, “the caves” – takes its name from the unique caves in this beach town. Every day the tide of the ocean pulls back and reveals the magnificent rock formations under the sea and along the whole front of the town.
This means that the long stretch of beach is full of pedestrians enjoying the magical sunsets, the natural pools, and the curves of the caves.
The city itself is cute and offers many things during the high season, though in the off-season you can expect most things to be closed. Furthermore, Las Grutas is good for surfing, and surfers often get the chance to spot dolphins or sea lions in the water.
Lastly, for anyone interested in a hike and a different experience there are other beaches and simple beach towns if you walk about 5km south along the beach. These towns are famous for fishing and restaurants, and are accessible by simple gravel roads.
7. Puerto Madryn and Peninsula Valdes
If you’re looking to hit the beaches of Argentina in search of wildlife, it doesn’t get much better than Puerto Madryn. Travelers flock to the city in season for the whales, dolphins, orcas, penguins, and much more.
In Puerto Madryn, you have the possibility of spotting dolphins, sea lions, whales, and flamingos from the shoreline. Make sure to visit Playa La Cantera, a famous nursing spot for certain types of whales.
For the full wildlife experience, travelers head out to Península Valdes. This natural reserve is a perfect place to slow down and appreciate nature. Be sure to check that you can visit during the “season,” as migrating orcas, penguins, whales, and other animals are not here year-round.
There are a few incredible resorts and hotels on the reserve, as well as a few places that are good for camping. Rangers circle the whole UNESCO-protected reserve to ensure that everyone is visiting the area respectfully of animals and of fellow travelers.
Read More: 12 Unexpected Adventure Travel Destinations
Ushuaia is famously known as the most southern city in the world and is often visited for its unique activities and stunning natural beauty. As a popular skiing destination in winter and beach destination in summer, there are plenty of great things to do in Ushuaia, and it offers a great experience all seasons of the year.
Here you watch the mountain finishing almost at the edge of the ocean with the charming town in front. Ushuaia offers unique experiences like riding the old steam train or grabbing a dog-pulled sled in winter.
Expect colder weather because of the southern location but also incredible views in this unique spot, at the tip of South America.
Argentina Beaches Not to Miss
The overlooked but beloved Argentina beaches on this list provide travelers with an unmatched travel experience. Local and in-the-know foreign travelers flock to the coastline in high season, creating a boisterous, exciting beach season along the coastline.
Add one of these best beaches in Argentina to your itinerary for an unforgettable and unique experience in Argentina!