I’d honestly never thought much about surfing in Argentina until I found myself on a family trip through Chile and Uruguay. That’s when I decided to take a chance and see what the place had to offer. You won’t find much information on surfing in Argentina, which is surprising because Mar Del Plata has a thriving surf scene, but most tourism here is driven to Buenos Aires, which is a five-hour drive north. So for my visit, I got in touch with a few local professional surfers who were incredibly helpful in setting me up for success as far as chasing waves and staying in a convenient area.
My first impression of Mar Del Plata was that is looked very European. It was interesting walking barefoot through a metropolitan area in just a pair of board shorts on my way to the beach each day and sure enough, the surf ended up being reliable and fun. I found some great rights in Playa Grande that were punchy and long and I surfed good waves all by myself outside of Miramar, which was within 40 minutes of Mar Del Plata. There were dozens of waves, many of them with very few surfers out.
After each session, I’d walk back to my hotel and would often be stopped by a random local offering to share a drink on the beach. It was a cool gesture and really interesting getting to know random people wanting to share a simple but meaningful piece of their life and culture with me. Interestingly enough, many Americans don’t go to Mar Del Plata, so I was the first American many of them had ever met. The Argentines are some of the most generous people, sharing their waves, culture, mate, and asados with me wherever I went.
Although there is a strong surf scene here, the only accommodation I found that was surf-focused was the Playa Grande hostel, right in front of the main surf break. I was surprised that no other hotels were catered to traveling surfers, since on a good day there are quite a few people in the water.
Argentina blew my expectations out of the water. Food, lodging and rental cars are incredibly cheap if you’re coming from the United States. And as far as the social scene, I knew they’d have tango dancing and great parrillas but I wasn’t expecting to score rippable waves in board shorts and have locals invite me over for mate and asados every day. The people were as friendly as any group of locals I had ever met in my travels, setting me up for a successful trip and taking care of me throughout my entire stay.
Editor’s Note: Follow the Denning’s famly travels on Instagram here.