PINAMAR, 80km south of San Clemente, takes its name from the surrounding pine forests that were planted amongst dunes by the town's founder, Jorge Bunge, in the 1930s. This attractive setting is now somewhat overwhelmed, however, by the town's mix of high-rise buildings and ostentatious chalet-style constructions. Long the favourite resort of the Porteño elite, in the 1990s the town became almost synonymous with the high-living lifestyle of the Menem era, and the exploits of the politicians and celebrities who holidayed here were staples of the gossip mags. Pinamar fell out of popularity for while following the high-profile murder of a journalist here in 1997 and the economic recession, but it has bounced back with a vengeance, and you now once again stand a good chance of bumping into senators in shorts.
To the south, Pinamar stretches out along the coast, swallowing up the neighbouring resorts of Ostende, Valeria del Mar and Cariló. Generally speaking, the further away you get from the centre, the quieter and more upmarket your surroundings become; these resorts can be easily reached as a day-trip, but they also have their own, interesting accommodation options.