Beaches aside, Mar del Plata's tourist action hinges around the port area, 7 km (4 mi) south of the city center. A cluster of tacky but fun seafood restaurants form the Complejo Comercial Puerto. A half-mile walk toward the sea along 12 de Octubre brings you to a stretch of souvenir shops and fishmongers, beyond which lies the Barranca de Lobos. This is the port proper, home to hundreds of brightly painted fishing vessels and a colony of lobos marinos (sea lions)—their powerful stench announces their presence well before you sight them. The huge creatures often haul themselves out of the water to sun themselves on the breakwater as happy crowds of holiday makers snap photos.
Av. Martínez de Hoz at 12 de Octubre, Mar del Plata, Buenos Aires, Argentina