Mar del Plata
La Feliz (The Happy [One]), Mardel, La Perla del Atlántico (The Pearl of the Atlantic)
|Founded||February 10, 1874|
|• Mayor||Guillermo Montenegro|
|• City||79.48 km2 (30.69 sq mi)|
|Elevation||38 m (125 ft)|
|Time zone||UTC−3 (ART)|
|Phone code||+54 223|
Mar del Plata is a city on the coast of the Atlantic Ocean, in Buenos Aires Province, Argentina. It is the seat of General Pueyrredón district. Mar del Plata is the second largest city in Buenos Aires Province. The name "Mar del Plata" is a shortening of "Mar del Rio de la Plata," and has the meaning of "sea of the Rio de la Plata basin" or "adjoining sea to the (River) Plate region". Mar del Plata is one of the major fishing ports and the biggest seaside beach resort in Argentina. With a population of 682.605 as per the 2022 census [INDEC], it is the 5th largest city in Argentina.
As part of the Argentine recreational coast, tourism is Mar del Plata's main economic activity with seven million tourists visiting the city in 2006. Mar del Plata has a sophisticated tourist infrastructure with numerous hotels, restaurants, casinos, theatres and other tourist attractions. Mar del Plata is also an important sports centre with a multi-purpose Olympic style stadium (first used for the 1978 World Cup and later upgraded for the 1995 Pan American Games), five golf courses and many other facilities.
As an important fishing port, industry concentrates on fish processing and at least two large shipyards.
The area is also host to other light industry, such as textile, food manufacturing and polymers. There is a well-developed packaging machines industry, its quality being recognized in international markets. One of these companies was one of the pioneers in the automatic packaging of tea bags, exporting its original machine-designs abroad. Another company also exports its products and has sold royalties to other countries.
During the mid-1980s, Mar del Plata saw the birth of electronics factories, focused mostly on the telecommunications field, with two of them, Nexuscom and DelSat, succeeding in the international market. By the 2010s, a local technology company, PCBOX, was manufacturing and developing personal computers, tablet computers, smartphones and action-cams.
Also during the decade of 2010, the development of the software industry resulted in the formation of 92 companies and 440 microbusiness. One of these companies, Making Sense, opened offices at San Antonio, Austin and Boston, in the United States. Along with the American COPsync, Inc, the company developed in 2013 the software for VidTac, an in-car video system for law enforcement, and the internet landing page application Lander, bought by the Silicon Valley company QuestionPro in 2016.
Since the 2000s, a local company builds and develops oil industry equipment, with customers in the United States, Russia, Oman and Egypt.
Located southwest of the city there are quartzite quarries. The stone is traditionally used in construction. There is a huge area of farms in the rural areas surrounding the city, specialized mostly in the cultivation of vegetables. In 2012, Mar del Plata became a wine-producing area, when a wine company from Mendoza province produced 20,000 lt from a vineyard at Chapadmalal beach from grape varieties such as Sauvignon blanc, Chardonnay, Riesling and Gewürztraminer. Since then, the local winery turned into a tourist attraction. Microbeweries flourished during the 2010s, amounting by 2016 to one third of the national production.
Although the area had suffered from a high rate of unemployment from 1995 to 2003, Mar del Plata has seen 46,000 new jobs created from the third quarter of 2003 to the third quarter of 2008, representing an increase of 22%.
The 2008 Davis Cup Final was held in Mar del Plata. After being shut for a decade, the Gran Hotel Provincial (one of the largest hotels in Argentina) was reopened by the Madrid-based NH Hotels, in 2009.
Mar del Plata continues to lead Argentina's room availability: of 440,000 registered hotel rooms nationwide in early 2009, the city was home to nearly 56,000 (5,000 more than Buenos Aires).
See also: Transport in Argentina
Mar del Plata is served by Astor Piazzolla International Airport (MDQ/SAZM) with daily flights to Buenos Aires served by Aerolíneas Argentinas and weekly flights to Patagonia served by LADE.
Due to COVID-19 pandemic, flights were reduced just to two daily flights to Buenos Aires served by Aerolineas Argentinas.
Highway 2 connects Mar del Plata with Buenos Aires and Route 11 connects it through the coastline, ending at Miramar, 40 km (25 mi) south of Mar del Plata. Route 88 connects to Necochea and Route 226 to Balcarce, Tandil and Olavarría.
The city has a bus and train station serving most cities in Argentina. There are two daily trains to Buenos Aires' Constitución station using new trains operated by Trenes Argentinos. These services are part of the General Roca Railway, owned by the government company Nuevos Ferrocarriles Argentinos.
|Mar del Plata Norte||BA Great Southern||1886-2011||Closed (1)||BA Great Southern (1896-1948) |
Ferrocarriles Argentinos (1948-1993)
|Mar del Plata Sur||BA Great Southern||1910-1949||Closed (2)||BA Great Southern (1910-1948) |
Ferrocarriles Argentinos (1948-1949)
|Railway & Bus||Trenes Argentinos||2011–present||Active||Trenes Argentinos (2011–present)|
Main article: History of Mar del Plata
Pre-Spanish era: The region was inhabited by Günuna Kena nomads (also known as northern Tehuelches). They were later (after the 11th century) strongly influenced by the Mapuche culture.
1577–1857: First European explorers. Sir Francis Drake made a reconnaissance of the coast and its sea lion colonies; Don Juan de Garay explored the area by land a few years later, in 1581. In 1742, during the War of Jenkins' Ear, eight survivors of HMS Wager, part of Admiral Anson expedition and led by midshipman Isaac Morris, lived through a ten-month ordeal before being decimated and captured by the Tehuelches, who eventually handed them to the Spaniards. After holding the Englishmen as prisoners, they returned Morris and his surviving companions to London in 1746. First colonization attempt by Jesuit Order near Laguna de los Padres ended in disaster (1751).
1857–1874: The Portuguese entrepreneur José Coelho de Meirelles, taking advantage of the country's abundance of wild cattle, built a pier and a factory for salted meat near Cabo Corrientes, but the business only lasted a few years.
1874–1886: Patricio Peralta Ramos acquired the now abandoned factory along with the surrounding terrain, and founded the town on February 10, 1874. Basque rancher Pedro Luro bought a part of Peralta Ramos land for agricultural production. First docks also erected around this time.
1886–1911: The railway line from Buenos Aires, built by the Buenos Aires Great Southern reached Mar del Plata in 1886; the first hotels started their activity. The upper-class people from Buenos Aires became the first tourists of the new born village. They also established a local government that reflected their conservative ideals. Build-up of a French style resort. On 19 July 1907, the provincial legislature approved a bill that declared Mar del Plata as a city.
1911–1930: The residents, mostly newly arrived emigrants from Europe, demanded and obtained the control of the Municipality administration. The socialists were the mainstream political force in this period, carrying out social reforms and public investment. The main port was also built and inaugurated in 1916.
1930–1946: A military coup reinstated the Conservative hegemony in politics through electoral fraud and corruption, but at local levels they were quite progressive, their policies viewed in some way as a continuity of the socialist trend. In 1932, the construction of National Route 2 was completed, which connected Mar del Plata to Buenos Aires. Before this, a dirt road connected Mar del Plata to Buenos Aires using a different route, required almost two days to travel by car. The seaside Casino complex opened in 1939, was designed by architect Alejandro Bustillo, dates from this period.
1946–1955: Birth of the Peronist movement. A coalition between socialists and radicals defeated this new party by a narrow margin in Mar del Plata, but by 1948 Peronism came to dominate the local administration. The massive tourism, triggered by the welfare politics of Perón and the surge of the middle class marked a huge growth in the city's economy.
1955–1970: After the fall of Perón, the socialists regained the upper hand in local politics; the city reached the peak in activities like construction business and building industry. There was massive emigration from other regions of Argentina.
1970–1989: Slight decline of tourism demand, counterbalanced by the increase of other industries such as fishing and machinery. General infrastructure renewal under the military rule. The centrist Radical Civic Union becomes the main political force after the return of Democracy in 1983.
1989–2010: Though the Peronism replaced the radicals in central government amid a national financial crisis, the latter party continued to rule in Mar del Plata. Some resurgence of mass tourism in the early '90s was followed by a deep social crisis in town, with an increase of poverty, jobless rates and emigration. By contrast, the first decade of the 21st century shows an amazingly quick recovery in all sectors of the ailing economy.
In November 2005 the city hosted the 4th Summit of the Americas.
Mar del Plata is the most popular destination for conventions in Argentina after Buenos Aires. Mar del Plata has a wide range of services in this sector. The summer season hosts over fifty theatrical plays.
The local Government sponsors a Symphonic Orchestra.
Mar del Plata has a wide variety of clubs located by district: the area of Escollera Norte (known for its quantity of pubs and nightclubs) and Constitution Avenue.
See also: Mar del Plata style
The development of the city as a seasonal summer resort in the early 20th century led upper class tourists from Buenos Aires to build a European-inspired architecture, based mainly on the picturesque and later on the art deco styles. This gave Mar del Plata the nickname of the Argentine Biarritz. The building industry became the main non-seasonal activity of the town by 1920.
During the 1930s, 1940s, and beyond, local architects and builders, like Auro Tiribelli, Arturo Lemmi, Alberto Córsico-Picollini and Raúl Camusso recreated and transformed the picturesque values into a middle-class scale, marking the beginning of a vernacular architecture, called Mar del Plata Style, consisting in small samples of the luxury-laden summer residences of high society, built for the summer visitor as well as for the local resident.
These chalets were built with stone façades, gable roofs covered with Spanish or French tiles, prominent eaves and front porches. This gives the town some distinctive urban character compared with other Argentine cities, despite the fact that the growing mass of tourists in the '60s imposed the construction of large apartment buildings and skyscrapers as the predominant architectural style downtown.
Mar del Plata has an oceanic climate (Cfb, according to the Köppen climate classification), with humid and moderate summers and relatively cool winters, although polar air masses from Antarctica are frequent. The average daily mean temperature in January is 20.4 °C (69 °F). It is 7.5 °C (45 °F) in July. The West-Southwest winds can take the temperature below 0 °C (32 °F) between mid May and early October, while the Southeast ones (the so-called Sudestada) are stronger, producing coastal showers and rough seas, as well as strong squalls, but the cold is much less intense. There is fog in the last days of fall, and springtime is often marred by sea winds and sudden temperature changes.
The city's summer maximum temperatures fluctuate broadly around the average of 26 °C (79 °F): while there are many days between 30 °C (86 °F) and 35 °C (95 °F) (although less than in other areas of the Pampas region), strong on-shore or southerly winds can also keep temperatures closer to 20 °C (68 °F), and nights can sometimes be very cool even in midsummer (falling below 10 °C (50 °F) sometimes). However, the summer nights are usually cool to pleasant, with values between 12 °C (54 °F) to 16 °C (61 °F). Traditionally, Easter is seen as the "last" weekend to go to the beach on the Argentine Atlantic Coast, and average maximum temperatures are around 22 °C (72 °F) at that time. While some years can have the last few days of about 30 °C (86 °F) around that time, it is also possible to experience daily highs of 15 °C (59 °F). Winter temperatures average 13 °C (55 °F) during the day and 4 °C (39 °F) at night; they sometimes climb to 22 °C (72 °F) especially in August, but there are also days where highs stay below 6 °C (43 °F) and temperatures fall some degrees below 0 °C (32 °F) at night.
Spring brings the most variable weather, with heat waves bringing highs of more than 30 °C (86 °F) followed by highs of 10 °C (50 °F) to 15 °C (59 °F) and perhaps a late-season frosty night all perfectly possible in October and November.
There are about six days of frost each year in the city center, and almost 27 recorded at the airport. The average dates for the first and last frost are May 23 and October 4 respectively. Snowfall is not uncommon, but snow accumulation on the ground is rare, a phenomenon that takes place every six years or so, according to the last 40 years of data. Among the best known such occurrences in the last decades were the 1975 and 1991 snowstorms, but there were also snow accumulations in 1994 and 1997 in the highest hills area of Sierra de los Padres, in 1995 along the southern coast; the other two during the first hours of July 10, 2004 and July 15, 2010, and again in Sierra de los Padres and the southern coast on September 11, 2015. There were flurries in September 1986, June 2007, July 2011 and August 2013.
The record high is 42.4 °C (108 °F) on January 14, 2022 while the record low is −9.3 °C (15 °F) on July 6, 1988. The wet season occurs between October and April, especially in summer (December to March), with values over 90 millimetres (3.5 in) in each of those months. The average annual rainfall is 926.1 millimetres (36 in).
|Climate data for Mar del Plata (1991–2020, extremes 1888–present)|
|Record high °C (°F)||42.4
|Average high °C (°F)||26.4
|Daily mean °C (°F)||20.3
|Average low °C (°F)||14.5
|Record low °C (°F)||3.0
|Average precipitation mm (inches)||91.1
|Average precipitation days (≥ 1.0 mm)||6.6||6.6||7.0||7.4||5.7||5.9||6.4||5.8||5.7||7.2||7.7||6.4||78.4|
|Average snowy days||0.0||0.0||0.0||0.0||0.0||0.0||0.1||0.1||0.0||0.0||0.0||0.0||0.2|
|Average relative humidity (%)||73.9||77.2||79.5||79.9||82.0||81.6||81.8||79.5||78.6||77.7||75.4||72.7||78.3|
|Mean monthly sunshine hours||288.3||234.5||232.5||195.0||167.4||120.0||127.1||164.3||174.0||210.8||222.0||269.7||2,405.6|
|Percent possible sunshine||63||60||54||58||51||41||42||46||47||51||52||59||52|
|Source 1: Servicio Meteorológico Nacional (snow 1991–2000)|
|Source 2: Meteo Climat (record highs and lows), Oficina de Riesgo Agropecuario (June record low only), UNLP (sun only 1971–1980)|
|Climate data for Mar del Plata|
|Average sea temperature °C (°F)||20.0
|Source: Climate Data
"Clima Mar del Plata" (in Spanish). Climate Data.
Mar del Plata is the head of the department of General Pueyrredón. The current Mayor of the city and department is Guillermo Montenegro, of the Juntos por el Cambio party.
The town council has some legislative powers. The term of office for both the Mayor and council members is four years.
In 1919, Mar del Plata became the first town in South America to have a Socialist Mayor, a son of Italian Immigrants, Teodoro Bronzini. The Socialist Party would dominate the city political landscape for most of the 20th century.
Mar del Plata has had 109 Mayors and Commissioners from 1881 to the present.
There is an extensive but interesting work by the American political scientist Susan Stokes about the democratic process in Mar del Plata since 1983 in comparison to other regions of Argentina. One of the main thesis of her articles is that the social and economic development of Mar del Plata was quite atypical, with a strong prevalence of middle-class values that discouraged the policy of clientelism that is the common background in other urban environments of Argentina.
The area has many Schools and Universities, some of these are private or public. It once had a German school, Johann-Gutenberg-Schule. There is a wide variety of schools dedicated to the education of art:
Also, there are two Conservatories (Classical and popular music), a Vocational School of Art, and a Municipal School of Classical and Modern Dance.
Mar del Plata's most popular football (soccer) teams are Aldosivi, Alvarado and Kimberley. Aldosivi plays in Primera division, Alvarado and Kimberley in the Torneo Argentino B.
Peñarol and Quilmes de Mar del Plata are the most popular basketball teams. Peñarol have won eight official tournaments (Súper 8, FIBA Americas League, five National Leagues, InterLigas, and Copa Argentina). Mar del Plata hosted the 2011 FIBA Americas Championship, where the city's basketball fans supported Argentina's national basketball team to win the gold medal. All games were played in the 8,000 seat Polideportivo Islas Malvinas.
For many years, the city hosted a strong international chess tournament.
Mar del Plata hosted six matches in the 1978 FIFA World Cup at the Estadio José María Minella, which was built for the sporting event. It also hosted 6 games in the 2002 FIVB Volleyball Men's World Championship at the Polideportivo Islas Malvinas.
The city also hosted the 1995 Pan American Games, the 2001 Rugby World Cup Sevens, the 1969 World Wrestling Championships, the 1998 Padel World Championship, the 1996 Artistic Skating World Championships and 6 editions of the Inline Speed Skating World Championships (1966, 1969, 1975, 1978, 1983, 1997).
The city is home to Argentine Bandy Union.
In 2003 Mar del Plata hosted the 2nd Parapan American Games that featured 1,500 athletes from 28 countries competed in nine sporting events. This was the last Parapan American Games that was not tied to the Pan American Games.
The 20th World Transplant Games were held in the city from 23 to 30 August 2015.
Mar del Plata was the starting point for the 2012 Dakar Rally.
Mar del Plata is twinned with:
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