Mar del Plata is a city in the Buenos Aires Province, situated on the Coast of the Atlantic Ocean 400 km away from the Argentine Capital, The City of Buenos Aires. Mar del Plata is part of the Partido General Puerredón, and is with its 540.000 inhabitants the 7th largest city in Argentina.
Since the beginning of the 20:th century, Mar del Plata has been a popular destination for the vacationing Buenos Aires upper-class. So much did they enjoy Mar del Plata, that they started to develop the city as a European style season resort, with architecture based on the influences of the picturesque and art-deco. Today, a "Mar del Plata-style" architecture is commonly seen in the area, representing small samples of the luxurious summer residences of the high society, intended both for rental to summer tourists, and as homes for the local residents. These small, picturesque houses have given Mar del Plata very distinctive urban characters.
During the 1960s, the increase in tourism caused large apartment buildings and skyscrapers to appear, interrupting the otherwise so traditionally peaceful landscape of Mar del Plata and dominating the city center.
Currently, the city of Mar del Plata is the most important touristic city in Argentina and offers the widest range of hotels in the country, attracting its tourists with ocean views, swimming pools, and a variety of nightly entertainment such as theatres and clubs. In the year 2006, more than seven million visitors came to Mar del Plata, multiplying its population more than ten times. With its long beaches, lining the coast from north to south, Mar del Plata is not only known for its tourism, but also has one of the larger fishing port of Argentina. It is an industrial city, with a well-developed packaging industry; one of the pioneers of automatic tea bag packing came from Mar del Plata.