|provincia: Buenos Aires|
Mar del Plata is istuated on the coast of the Atlantic Ocean, 400 km south of Buenos Aires. Mar del Plata is one of the major fishing ports and the biggest seaside beach resort in Argentina. With a population of 614,350 as per the 2010 census, it is the 7th largest city in Argentina and the second largest in the Buenos Aires province after the province's capital, La Plata.
In the 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. A first colonization attempt by the Jesuit Order near Laguna de los Padres ended in a disaster (1751).
A pier and a factory for salted meat were built in 1857, but the business only lasted a few years. In 1874 the now abandoned factory and the surrounding terrain was used for
the foundation of Mar del Plata. Around the same time, the first docks were built. The railway line from Buenos Aires, built by the Buenos Aires Great Southern reached Mar del Plata
in 1886 and the first hotels started their activity. The seaside Casino complex opened in 1939 and Highway 2, the main road to Buenos Aires, also dates from this period.
The massive tourism, triggered by the welfare politics of the Perón admnistration and the surge of the middle class marked a huge growth in the city's economy in the late 1940s and
early 1950s. After 1970, tourism declined slightly whle other industries such as fishing and machinery increased. A resurge of tourism in the early 1990s, followed by a deep crisis,
was followed by a recovery in the first decade of the 21st century. In November 2005 the city hosted the 4th Summit of the Americas.
The Torreón del Monje ('Monk's Tower') [left]
was built in 1904 on the cliff of Punta Piedras. It hosted a café, spa facilities, a viewpoint, a confectionery and a pigeon shooting facility. The esplanade next to the tower
was inaugurated in 1909. The building was remodeled in 1929. The Torreón del Monje is listed as a National Historical Landmark.
Cabo Corrientes [right], sometimes also called Cabo de dos corrientes ('Cape of two streams'),
is located between the beaches Chica and Varese. Off the coast, two streams of the Atlantic meet, a warm stream originating near the tropical coasts of Brasil,
and a cold stream from the Antarctic.