Contributor Review – Jaime Follett
Local Expert. Visited 2023
Playa Escondida, which means “hidden beach” in Spanish, is a stunning and secluded stretch of coastline located approximately 45 minutes south of Mar del Plata, Argentina. As its name suggests, the beach is hidden away from the hustle and bustle of city life, nestled amidst rolling sand dunes and surrounded by lush vegetation. What makes Playa Escondida particularly special, however, is that it is also one of the few nude beaches in the region, attracting naturists and sun-seekers from far and wide. Playa Escondida is a true paradise for those looking to escape the crowds and enjoy the freedom of going clothes-free. There aren’t many nude beaches in Argentina but this beach certainly makes up for that!
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Mar del Plata is considered one of the best places for families, teens and couples to visit when summer comes. This is due to its diversity in terms of activities, beaches and nightlife. Beaches located on Playa Grande are usually crowded, so those who can, rent a parasol or a tent in nearby beach resorts. The aspect of Playa Escondida that makes it the best option of them all, is its low-key and serene atmosphere. Tourists that visit the beach are stunned by this vibe, and are really friendly and respectful. Summer time is preferred among visitors, but you can also stop by during other seasons, just be aware that the amount of services offered may be reduced and take the weather into account.
Playa Escondida is actually surrounded by rocky cliffs, giving it the sense of privacy that visitors look for. Due to this, the beach is not that long, so the experience should be the same no matter where you decide to lie down. Vendors along the beach are not allowed, and you are asked not to settle down around nudist tourists when you prefer not to take your own clothes off, making sure that everyone feels comfortable. There aren’t many other places to visit around Playa Escondida, except for some small restaurants and shops. A couple of kilometers away from this beach, on the way to Mar del Plata city, you’ll find Chapadmalal and its beautiful beaches such as Luna Roja. You’ll also find other beach resorts, like Club de Mar Manantiales which is recommended by most tourists. El Calamar Loco, is also highly recommended, as well as La Casa del Abuelo Estafeta, if you’re looking for a classic asado (barbecue) from Argentina.
For first timers, once you get to the beach it might feel a little bit overwhelming to see everyone naked, but that feeling won’t last. The beach’s characteristics, the environment and the remarkable service provided by the people who work there, make comfort and tranquility not an issue. Argentine society is amazingly social and welcoming, when the sun starts to set, everyone gets out their “mate” equipment to share with their groups. This is a traditional hot beverage in the country, based on dried yerba mate leaves and hot water. Within the group, one’s in charge of pouring water in the mate cup and handing it out, making it a sort of ritual. But of course, if mate is not your style, cocktail drinks and beers are always available at the bar. It’s common in Argentina to find an “After Beach”, which means drinks and music, so be ready to dance for a bit after night falls!
It’s important to know that you can get to the beach both by car or public transport, being the bus. In Argentina, buses charge you using a card called SUBE, which can be purchased and charged in most drugstores or candy shops ( Tip: Make sure to ask how much could the trip’s fare be, and calculate how much money you should spend on the card).
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The best way to get to Playa Escondida is by hiring a car and driving 45mins south from Mar del Plata. Unfortunately for a day trip it gets a little tricky without your own transport but it is still well worth the effort and easy enough to escape to this hidden beach.
By bus - take Bus Line 221 towards Mar del Sud and get off at the intersection of Route 11 and Playa Escondida's access road, which is approximately 1 km away from the beach. From here, it's a short walk to the beach. This should cost around 100 pesos in each direction. Make sure to have the correct cash on hand. In Argentina, buses charge you using a card called SUBE, which can be purchased and charged in most drugstores or candy shops ( Tip: Make sure to ask how much could the trip’s fare be, and calculate how much money you should spend on the card).
By taxi - a taxi from Mar del Plata to Playa Escondida should be relatively easy to arrange, but expensive. Expect to pay around 1200 pesos in each direction or possibly more during busy summer weekends. Additionally, if you choose to take a remis (a type of private taxi), the prices may be slightly higher. It's always a good idea to confirm the price with the taxi or remis driver before starting your journey, to avoid any confusion or unexpected expenses.