The Most Stunning Beaches in Viña del Mar, Chile

Playa Amarilla | © Saul Slash Hudson/WikiCommons
Playa Amarilla | © Saul Slash Hudson/WikiCommons
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 El Sol, San Martín 1130, Viña del Mar, Region de Valparaiso, Chile

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 Acapulco, San Martín 787, Viña del Mar, Region de Valparaiso, Chile

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.

Playa Caleta Abarca, Avenida España S/N, Viña del Mar, Quinta Region de Valparaiso, Chile

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.

Playa Las Salinas, Valparaiso Region, Chile

Backed by exclusive apartments set among a forested hill, the glamorous Playa Reñaca has been a major tourist draw for decades. Of all the region’s beaches, this trendy spot is the place to be seen, so be sure to look your best. A lively promenade featuring market stalls, ice cream parlors, shops, and cafés adds to the buzz.

Playa de Reñaca, Viña del Mar, Region de Valparaiso, Chile

A little further north from Reñaca is the lively seaside town of Concon, 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.

Playa Amarilla, Av. Borgoño 175, Concon, Region de Valparaiso, Chile

Finally, those in Concon looking for a 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.

Playa Negra, Av. Borgoño, Concon, Region de Valparaiso, Chile