This place is perfect for people who want to relax, as well as those who love to engage in water sports, whether it’s sailing, surfing, windsurfing or kayaking. Once you’ve exhausted yourself, there’s no place more beautiful than here to bask in the sun on the shining white sand. What’s more, the sea is warm, and due to its northern location, the summer is longer than in the south.
The rugged coastline of the Atacama region really does set the scene for some dramatic cliffs, offering great views over the beach. It’s hard to access, so you will have it practically to yourself. Once you’ve walked down the rocky cliff, you will be greeted with a long stretch of grey sandy beach.
The name comes from a rock formation that is said to look like the Virgin Mary. With blue-green waters and soft white sand, this is one of Chile’s best beaches. The beach is 7km (4mi) south of Puerto Viejo, with the area’s coastline particularly stunning.
Walk through the barren land where guanacos and foxes graze in the Pan de Azucar National Park. Once you reach the mirador overlooking the beach through a tangle of cacti and plant life, the Pacific extends as far as the eye can see. The village of Caleta Pan de Azúcar is a great place to do some snorkelling.
Hidden in the indigenous reserve of the Huilliche community is this extraordinarily beautiful beach, reached by trekking through the vast greenery. It’s usually deserted and has a white sandy beach and azure waters; what more could you want?
Just 170km (106mi) north of Santiago is the town of Zapallar, surrounded by small fishing towns and long stretches of beach. Many of the surrounding beaches, such as Playa Grande and Aguas Blancas, have great surfing, while Maitencillo has several species of birds to spot.
Not far from La Serena is Punta de Choros, known primarily as a great place to see marine wildlife within the Humboldt Penguin National Reserve, which consists of the islands Gaviota, Choros and Damas. In addition, it’s said that it’s the best place to dive in Chile, with a variety of biodiversity and good visibility.
You can find Cole Cole beach in the Chiloe National Park. This long stretch of beach has golden sand, but beware, the water is freezing cold. Walking along the beach is extremely peaceful, surrounded by hills covered in shrubbery. Climb up to the viewpoint and look back over the stunning scenery.
Just 2km (1mi) south of Arica is Playa El Luacho, where you can take a dip nearly all year round. The umbrellas provide shade for those who are just relaxing, while the waves are tailormade for surfers.
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meet our Local Insider
HOW LONG HAVE YOU BEEN A GUIDE?
WHAT DO YOU LOVE ABOUT YOUR JOB?
It's the personal contact, the personal experiences. I love meeting people from all over the world... I really like getting to know everyone and feeling like I'm traveling with a group of friends.
WHAT DESTINATION IS ON YOUR TRAVEL BUCKET-LIST?
I have so many places on my list, but I would really lobe to go to Africa. I consider myself an “adventure girl” and Africa feels like the ULTIMATE adventure!
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Since you are here, we would like to share our vision for the future of travel - and the direction Culture Trip is moving in.
Culture Trip launched in 2011 with a simple yet passionate mission: to inspire people to go beyond their boundaries and experience what makes a place, its people and its culture special and meaningful — and this is still in our DNA today. We are proud that, for more than a decade, millions like you have trusted our award-winning recommendations by people who deeply understand what makes certain places and communities so special.
Increasingly we believe the world needs more meaningful, real-life connections between curious travellers keen to explore the world in a more responsible way. That is why we have intensively curated a collection of premium small-group trips as an invitation to meet and connect with new, like-minded people for once-in-a-lifetime experiences in three categories: Culture Trips, Rail Trips and Private Trips. Our Trips are suitable for both solo travelers, couples and friends who want to explore the world together.
Culture Trips are deeply immersive 5 to 16 days itineraries, that combine authentic local experiences, exciting activities and 4-5* accommodation to look forward to at the end of each day. Our Rail Trips are our most planet-friendly itineraries that invite you to take the scenic route, relax whilst getting under the skin of a destination. Our Private Trips are fully tailored itineraries, curated by our Travel Experts specifically for you, your friends or your family.
We know that many of you worry about the environmental impact of travel and are looking for ways of expanding horizons in ways that do minimal harm - and may even bring benefits. We are committed to go as far as possible in curating our trips with care for the planet. That is why all of our trips are flightless in destination, fully carbon offset - and we have ambitious plans to be net zero in the very near future.