Discover More, Argentina
We sent Paula a DK Eyewitness Travel Guide: Argentina to get her perspective on what it means to use a travel guide in her hometown.
Place you live: Mar del Plata, Buenos Aires.
Can you sum up Mar del Plata? Mar del Plata is a very energetic city in summer and quiet in winter. It has the most beautiful beaches in Argentina and in its vast territory you can find forests, museums and architecturally very different neighborhoods. It’s perfect for relaxing, connecting with nature and easy to understand why Mar del Plata was the most elegant city of Argentina in the XIXth century.
Can you sum up the people of Mar del Plata? Mar del Plata residents are, like most Argentinians, very friendly and sociable, and happy to help tourists. We say hi with kisses and hugs, and can talk about football for hours. Those who live here love going to the beach, wearing sportswear and drinking “mate” in the sun. The food is very important and is a mix of the great influence of our Italian and Spanish roots.
What was the experience like looking through the DK Eyewitness Travel Guide: Argentina? It was very nice to walk around my city like a tourist. I went to places that I already knew but with the historical information of the guidebook, it was much more interesting. The places indicated in the guidebook are the most important to visit and it’s very updated. For example the MAR Museum, that recently opened and is an important exponent of national art.
Did you find anything new or inspiring about your area? It reminded me that the nearest cities of the coast, like Pinamar, Chapadmalal and Villa Gesell are very nice to go to. They are as cute as they look in the photographs in the guidebook, but sometimes are so close that one forgets.
How did the Guidebook influence the photos you went out to take of your area? I went to each of the sites proposed by the guide and even visited other cities like Buenos Aires and Patagonia. The guidebook took me to photograph places where I had been but had not paid much attention. Its directions are very clear and it was very easy to find the most beautiful spots of the cities I visited.
Tell us about the photos you shot for this project? I tried to show parts of the city that represent what a real citizen sees every day when they go for a walk, or on the way to work. I also found it important to show the natural context of the Argentine landscape that is very large and contrasting with mountains or beaches or urban centers.
Describe a perfect day in Mar del Plata? A perfect day in Mar del Plata would start with a nice and traditional Argentine “mate” shared at home. Then to the beach. I personally recommend those beaches located at the south of the city that are the most peaceful and beautiful. Then lunch on the coast, near the lightouse, and when the sun goes down go to the street Guemes or Alem for drinks. The afternoon is ideal for exploring a museum like Villa Victoria Ocampo, an old house of a famous writer with beautiful architecture, or the forest Peralta Ramos, where you can drink a tea. At night, the Colón theater is the most important artistic space, where you can see a play or listen to music. For dinner have a good “parrilla” of Argentine meat, squid rings in the Port or vegetable “empanadas” for a vegetarian option.
What do you love about Mar del Plata? I love being close to nature, being able to finish my workday and see the ocean all year round, even in winter when it is more beautiful and quiet. I like that the distances are short and you can get anywhere quickly, even on a bike. I go to all the international festivals organized in Mar del Plata like the Film Festival, TRImarchi design festival and the Jazz Festival.
What do you dislike? Traffic is a problem because people drive badly and never respect the pedestrian. In winter, the cultural offering is very little.
What would be surprising about Mar del Plata to an outsider? The unpredictable weather. It can get very hot during a summer day, but at night sometimes the temperature drops or it even rains. It’s good to have this in mind for when you need to prepare the travel bag!
If Mar del Plata was a person or character who would they be? Mar del Plata would be a child in summer, funny and restless. And a grandfather in winter, calm and happy.
What was your impression of the DK Eyewitness Travel Guide: Argentina? I really liked the Portrait of Argentina section that summarizes, very well, our tastes and traditions. Argentina is a large country with many different regions, but the DK Eyewitness Travel Guide: Argentina knew how to organize each part, so the traveler and the native don’t miss anything. The guide provides very interesting information and highlights details of places that I had never found in another guide before. I love the illustrations and maps that make exploring easier.
DK Travel and Global Yodel have teamed up to bring you an amazing giveaway. We have a couple 10 packs of DK Travel guidebooks as well as a couple big art prints to give away. Who wants them? Jump over here to win.