The Most Beautiful Beaches in Chile

Pan de Azucar National Park sees the starkness of the Atacama desert rub up against the mighty Pacific Ocean
Pan de Azucar National Park sees the starkness of the Atacama desert rub up against the mighty Pacific Ocean | © Erlantz Perez Rodriguez / Alamy Stock Photo
Lucy Pierce

With an enormous 4,270km (2,653mi) of coastline, Chile boasts an embarrassment of beautiful beaches. Though not tropical in the same way as nearby Brazil and Colombia, Chile nonetheless offers some gorgeous stretches of sand for every type of traveler. Here are some of the very best.

1. Bahía Inglesa

Boutique Hotel

Bahia Inglesa, a relaxed beach town, Caldera, Chile
© Dave Stamboulis / Alamy Stock Photo

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.

2. Playa Chorrillos

Natural Feature

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.

3. Playa La Virgen

Natural Feature

Playa La Virgen. Region de Atacama, Chile.
© Nicholas Tinelli / Alamy Stock Photo

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.

4. Playa Anakena

Natural Feature

Easter Island - Anakena Beach. Image shot 05/2009. Exact date unknown.
© Zoonar GmbH / Alamy Stock Photo
In the heart of the Pacific Ocean, Easter Island spoils visitors with its pristine white sands and crystal-clear waters that are the perfect location for both relaxing and diving. Surrounding the beach are coconut trees and moai statues, whipping up a real tropical ambiance.

5. Pan de Azucar

Natural Feature

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.

6. Caleta Cóndor Beach

Natural Feature

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?

7. Zapallar

Natural Feature

Sunset over Zapallar. Image shot 2014. Exact date unknown.
© Kent Nancollas / Alamy Stock Photo

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.

8. Punta de Choros, La Serena

Natural Feature

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.

9. Playa del Cole Cole, Chiloe

Natural Feature

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.

10. Playa El Laucho, Arica

Natural Feature

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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