El Puerto de Santa Maria (El Puerto in short)  is a small sized city (82306 inhabitants in 2005) located in the Cadiz Province in the Andalucia region of Spain. It lies on the North-East shore of the Cadiz Bay and is easily reachable from the city of Cadiz in a short boat trip aboard "El vaporcito" (or "El vapor del Puerto")
Buses leave from Madrid's Estacion Sur de Autobuses in Mendez Alvaro and are operated by Socibus/Sercobus. There are several a day (including an overnight service) and stop at other towns and cities along the way.
There are several local buses operated by PuertoBus that tend to operate every 30-40 mins, check their website for routes and schedules. A single-fair ticket costs 1€ but there's also multi-fare options which offer discounts.
Taxies are also available and not too expensive (average cost from the train station to any area in the city center will be around 4€). However, if you are going heading toward Fuentebravia or other areas outside the city limits the prices are higher. There are designated taxi stops at several locations or you can call via telephone (local number is 956 85 85 84).
If you have a car then be advised that several of the streets downtown have been closed to traffic, except for local residents. Parking is usually not a problem in most areas except during the Summer months (June to September). Downtown there are several public parkings which are reasonably priced.
The main part of town is not very big, crossing from one end to another is no more then 45-50 mins. Except in the noon hours during the Summer period, when it can be hot, it is probably best to walk around. There are bicycle stands around the town but be sure to secure your bike well.
The area between El Puerto, Jerez and Sanlucar is well known for being Sherry country. The main wineries in El Puerto are Bodegas Osborne (famous for its bull logo that has become a Spanish icon), Bodegas Terry, and Bodegas 501.
In the old part of town you can also visit the Castillo San Marcos built by Alfonso X around 1264.
There are also several beaches to take in the sun or have a swim. La Puntilla is the closest to the downtown area located to the west. Valdelagrana is a bigger more popular beach, especially in the Summer, south across the Guadalete river. Both these beaches are on the Cadiz Bay which means less waves and warmer water. Along the open ocean you can find La Muralla (near the Puerto Sherry marina/development). This is a nice little beach which is somewhat protected from the sometime strong winds (known as Levante). Further along is a series of beaches streching from the Vistahermosa to Fuentebravia developments.
Near Valdelagrana there is a nature reserve known as Los Toruños that offers bicycle and kayak rentals, as well guided tours of the area.
Enjoy some of the wonderful beaches that El Puerto has to offer. Among them: La Puntilla, Las Redes, Valdelagrana, Fuentebravia. Pristine white sand beaches, well serviced and not as crowded as their mediterranean counterparts in "La costa del Sol"
This is one of the 3 cities of the Sherry wine (together with Jerez and Sanlucar de Barrameda), so make sure you try it in all its possible incarnations: Fino (dry), Oloroso, Dulce, Pale cream. Also try the excellent brandys.