Balneario is a Latin American
Latin America
Latin America is a region of the Americas where Romance languages  – particularly Spanish and Portuguese, and variably French – are primarily spoken. Latin America has an area of approximately 21,069,500 km² , almost 3.9% of the Earth's surface or 14.1% of its land surface area...

 seaside resort
Seaside resort
A seaside resort is a resort, or resort town, located on the coast. Where a beach is the primary focus for tourists, it may be called a beach resort.- Overview :...

, although they may also occur along great lakes, rivers and at hot springs. In Spain balneario typically only refers to spa town
Spa town
A spa town is a town situated around a mineral spa . Patrons resorted to spas to "take the waters" for their purported health benefits. The word comes from the Belgian town Spa. In continental Europe a spa was known as a ville d'eau...

 resorts. Whatever the case these resorts offer recreation, sports, entertainment, food, hospitality and safety services, retail and cultural events. These balneario towns are characterized by being flooded by masses of tourists during the summer seasons.


Balnearios may be as simple as a beach or as complex as a planned city. Acapulco
Acapulco is a city, municipality and major sea port in the state of Guerrero on the Pacific coast of Mexico, southwest from Mexico City. Acapulco is located on a deep, semi-circular bay and has been a port since the early colonial period of Mexico’s history...

 and Puerto Vallarta
Puerto Vallarta
Puerto Vallarta is a Mexican balneario resort city situated on the Pacific Ocean's Bahía de Banderas.The 2010 census reported Puerto Vallarta's population as 255,725 making it the sixth-largest city in the state of Jalisco...

 are balneario city-destinations, for example, while San Alfonso del Mar
San Alfonso del Mar
San Alfonso del Mar is a private resort located in Algarrobo, Chile, about west of the capital Santiago. It is notable for having the Guinness world record for the largest and deepest swimming pool in the world. It has been attracting tourists since it opened in December 2006.-Pool and resort:San...

 is a more planned resort community and Viña del Mar
Viña del Mar
Viña del Mar , is a city and commune on central Chile's Pacific coast. Its long stretches of white sandy beaches are a major attraction for national and international tourists. The city is Chile's main tourist attraction. Known as "La Ciudad Jardín" , Viña del Mar is a Chilean Municipality located...

 is a city that also happens to be a balneario. Balnearios are characterized by having beaches, hot climates, being seasonal destinations, attracting foreign tourists, and having boom periods surrounding festivals. The word comes from Spanish and the difference between a "playa" - beach and a balneario is services.

Some balnearios have been closed in recent years due to high levels of pollution and trash. These popular usually public resorts are often politicized. This is since they provide recreation for the masses at any income level due to their a la carte availability of amenities. Some politicians will even support their expansion during recessions because of how volatile the repercussions would be to not support them. New balnearios of the hot springs kind and others are often touted as job creating business expanding measures by local councils.

Playa versus balneario

A beach is simply a stretch of shoreline, usually sandy, while a balneario has amenities. It is a specific recreational destination with features such as bathrooms, lifeguards, changing rooms, and picnic tables.

Famous balnearios

  • Mar del Plata, Argentina
  • Rio de Janeiro, Brazil
  • Viña del Mar, Chile
  • La Serena/Coquimbo, Chile
  • Punta Cana, Dominican Republic
  • Acapulco, Mexico
  • Cancún, Mexico
  • Puerto Vallarta, Mexico
  • Progreso, Mexico
    Progreso, Yucatán
    Progreso is a port city in the Mexican state of Yucatán, located on the Gulf of Mexico in the north-west of the state some 30 minutes north of state capital Mérida by highway. As of the Mexican census of 2005, Progreso had an official population of 35,519 inhabitants, the fifth-largest community...

  • Playa del Cármen/Cozumel, Mexico
  • La Paz/Cabo San Lucas, Mexico
  • San Bernardino
    San Bernardino, Paraguay
    San Bernardino is a town and distrito in Paraguay, located on the shores of Ypacarai Lake in the Cordillera Department...

    , Paraguay
    Paraguay , officially the Republic of Paraguay , is a landlocked country in South America. It is bordered by Argentina to the south and southwest, Brazil to the east and northeast, and Bolivia to the northwest. Paraguay lies on both banks of the Paraguay River, which runs through the center of the...

  • Punta del Este, Uruguay
  • Lake Titicaca
    Lake Titicaca
    Lake Titicaca is a lake located on the border of Peru and Bolivia. It sits 3,811 m above sea level, making it the highest commercially navigable lake in the world...

    , Peru
    Peru , officially the Republic of Peru , is a country in western South America. It is bordered on the north by Ecuador and Colombia, on the east by Brazil, on the southeast by Bolivia, on the south by Chile, and on the west by the Pacific Ocean....

    Bolivia officially known as Plurinational State of Bolivia , is a landlocked country in central South America. It is the poorest country in South America...

The source of this article is wikipedia, the free encyclopedia.  The text of this article is licensed under the GFDL.