Villa Gesell Combines Chalets and ATVs

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cimg1967.jpgVilla Gesell is the most unusual beach I’ve experienced. A destination for Argen-teens, Villa Gessel might be the one beach in the world where ATVs and litter share a pine-lined shore with mountain chalets.

prop2638.jpgI was told Villa Gesell was a beautiful beach but I can’t say I agree with that description. It is worth the trip for the oddity of its architecture. Pine forests in the area seem to have attracted a number of central European immigrants through the years and they’ve built their homes in their traditional models – triangular-roofed chalets complete with gnarled-wood railings and attic nooks. On the beach. Writing it doesn’t quite do the visual justice – you have to see it in person to believe it. After an afternoon on the beach with ATVs speeding by, I kept thinking “Heidi Goes to Baja” could be a fairy tale novela filmed at Villa Gesell – sexy, right? A bus ride through the back roads of Villa Gesell showed sand roads and barefoot kids in contrast with the majestic chalet condos and two-story homes.

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Villa Gesell is known as a teen destination for youth-packed night clubs. There is also plenty of local and imported crafts shopping, seemingly to keep the parents occupied while the youngsters party and ride all terrain vehicles. The main street is lined with crafts shopping – gift shops and sidewalk markets with handmade baskets, woodwork, and clothing. There are cafes with outdoor seating and a number of budget hotels and hostels. Residents refer to their neighbor, Pinamar, as “overpriced and snobby” but I found it the more normal of the two beach getaways on the Atlantic Coast. Still, it’s no “Heidi Goes to Baja” and when will you next get the chance to see a mountain chalet on the shore? Villa Gesell gets points for weirdo architecture, stray dogs, and ATVs on its brown sand beaches.villa-gesell2-argentina.jpg

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