Beautiful, defiant and intense, Argentina is a natural wonderland, rising up into mighty mountains, plunging down into rolling grasslands, and breaking up at the fringes in a sprawl of headlands and beaches. Everyone knows about the Andes and the Pampas, but Argentina’s beaches are largely off the radar.
The country has almost 5000km (3106 miles) of coastline to enjoy, and while it isn’t as well known for its golden sands and warm waters as some other South American countries, there are some special gems here if you know where to look. Here’s our pick of the best beaches to seek out while you’re in Argentina.
1. Playa Unión, Trelew
The principal seaside playground near Trelew on Argentina’s central coast, Playa Unión is a long stretch of white sand with dramatic waves that attract surfers and windsurfers. The beach is backed by summer homes and restaurants serving crisp, fresh rabas (calamari), and the resort has plenty of shops, bars and cafes to enjoy.
This strip of sand is a popular spot for sports such as volleyball and soccer, but be warned that temperatures can exceed 30°C (86°F) in the summer months. Visitors flock to Playa Unión from April to December to spot toninas overas (Commerson’s dolphins), a species of dolphin that is endemic to the coast of Patagonia.
2. Balneario La Florida, Rosario
For a family beach day, Balneario La Florida is Rosario’s best beach. Its long strip of sand fronts the Paraná River near the Puente Nuestra Señora del Rosario bridge. There’s a bathing area with lifeguards where kids can swim safely, plus beach bars, a mini-market and a restaurant. Younger children will enjoy the play area; teens will appreciate the beach’s wi-fi.
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Useful amenities include changing rooms and restrooms (including bathrooms for people with disabilities), and there are picturesque food stands behind the beach selling river fish. Outside of peak season, the beach is unattended, and you can visit for free. There’s a parking lot, which is well-served by public transport and has bicycle racks.
Planning tip: Rosario is a handy base for exploring the winding channels and subtropical islands of the Paraná Delta; many local operators run boat trips and rent out kayaks for independent exploring.