The sweltering heat of the Argentine summer demands vacation breaks in places where taking a dip is easy.
Mar del Plata, Pinamar and Cariló remain some of the first-choice options along the Atlantic coast for citizens, residents and visitors alike when thinking about hitting the beach. But Argentina is full of lesser-known gems that provide the chance for a refreshing dip and endless coastline to explore.
Take Empedrado, a small town in Corrientes on the banks of the Paraná River, where you can enjoy the water and walk along the waterfront at sunset.
Playas Doradas, in Río Negro, also has a sandy beach with its own unique draw: the sand, as a result of the fragmentation of quartz and silica, reflects gold –– hence the name of the town.
Another little-known beach in the country is Playa de Yuco in Neuquén, 30 kilometres from San Martín de los Andes. The waters are crystal clear, so much so that it resembles something more like a tropical Caribbean landscape. However, it's important to note that the waters are cold, though less so than at other lake destinations. If you enjoy a brisk dip, there's nothing to stop you from diving in to beat the heat.
Playa de Yuco, located in the heart of the Lanín National Park, and is an ideal place for those who crave a beach paradise isolated from the usual urban hustle and bustle.
Also in Neuquén, in Lanín National Park, sits Lake Huechulafquen. The entire lake can be circled in about an hour, and from there you can see mountains, trees and the Lanín volcano. For the most outdoorsy types, you can stay on a campsite in the park and have more time to explore the area.
For water sports lovers, Rodeo, a town in San Juan, offers many possibilities for kitesurfing and windsurfing. La Cuesta del Viento, or the Windy Coast, lives up to its name and provides the perfect breeze to soar over the water.
Another place where you can perfect your windsurfing skills is Uriburu, a village in La Pampa of only about 1,000 people. The Ojo de Agua lagoon –– only five kilometres away from the small town –– offers plenty of opportunity to windsurf, kitesurf, kayak and canoe. However, the area does not have camping sites, so it makes a better day trip than a complete vacation destination.
For the most adventurous, the Misiones jungle is also a good option. El Soberbio, a town in Misiones that lies on the banks of the Uruguay River and on the border with Brazil, makes a good stopping ground. The spot is the perfect combination of river passages, mountains, jungle and Los Saltos del Moconá waterfalls for the tourist that enjoys more than just a sandy beach.
Las Grutas, in Río Negro, is another popular beach in the middle of the country. In the north of Patagonia, situated in the San Matías Gulf, this beach is sheltered by several cliffs with intricate caves. While in Las Grutas, its easy to continue on to visit the surrounding beaches: Piedras Coloradas, with red rocks from the Precambrian period that give the place its name; or the bay of San Antonio, near the fishing town of San Antonio Oeste, where you can see sea lions and parrots.
To the south of Puerto Madryn is Playa Cerro Avanzado, so named because of the large hill behind it. Besides beautiful landscapes and beaches, Playa Cerro Avanzado is also a budding geologist's playground. The beach is full of sedimentary formations millions of years old, with preserved fossil remains of oysters and marine vertebrates.
Further up, in the Litoral area, is the city of Federación, in the northeast of the Entre Ríos province and on the banks of the Uruguay River. Besides its beaches –– which also boast ideal conditions for water sports –– there are many places to enjoy great dining options.