As a glamorous seaside resort packed full of high-rise apartments, boutique shops, and fancy restaurants, Viña del Mar in Chile is a stark contrast to the dilapidated yet colorful neighboring port city of Valparaiso. Aside from its opulence, it’s the picturesque beaches that attract well-heeled holiday makers to Viña in droves, with endless sandy stretches providing the perfect spot to pull up a towel. Here are some of the best beaches to seek out.
Playa del Sol, Viña del Mar
As Viña’s primary foreshore, this two-mile (three-kilometer) stretch was redeveloped in 2010 to provide outdoor gyms and a sizeable bike path to keep residents fit and happy. Other features include attractive gardens along the promenade, numerous beach bars for sunset cocktails, and the occasional military installation from the adjacent navy base. Be warned: rip rides can be deadly, so swim at your own risk, especially during the colder months, when lifeguards may not be on duty.
Playa Acapulco, Viña del Mar
On the other side of the wharf from Playa del Sol is Acapulco beach, a spot that gets a lot of attention due to its proximity to the downtown restaurant district. With rows of high-rise apartments inching right up to the sand, the gentle waters of Acapulco fill up with holiday-makers in high season.
Playa Caleta Abarca, Viña del Mar
Right opposite the famous flower clock, Playa Caleta Abarca gets its fair share of visitors, too. Perfect for families, its location in a cove ensures the beach remains largely protected from strong ocean currents, making it a relatively safe spot for a dip. Nearby facilities include a children’s playground, leafy gardens and plenty of bars for the adults.
Another great option for families with small children, Playa Las Salinas is protected from strong winds and currents by surrounding headlands, which makes it considerably calmer and safer than other nearby beaches. It’s an easy 20-minute trip from downtown Viña.
Backed by exclusive apartments set among a forested hill, the glamorous Playa
A little further north from Reñaca is the lively seaside town of, equally affluent, though a little less crowded than its neighbors. The most famous beach is Playa Amarilla, aptly named for its beautiful yellow sand. Concon is not exactly secluded, however, with plenty of nearby holiday rentals and restaurants attracting visitors to its lively promenade. Factor in about 30 minutes for travel to and from Viña.
Finally, those ina more secluded spot to swim should check out Playa Negra, whose fine black sand is the result of millennia of volcanic activity. This relatively small beach has very few nearby amenities, which discourages the masses and makes for the ideal peaceful swimming spot, even in the summer months.