The best beaches in Chile for swimming, surfing and camping


With over 4,300 kilometers of coastline stretching along the Pacific Ocean, Chile boasts some of the most spectacular beaches in South America. From pristine white sands and turquoise waters to rugged cliffs and dramatic rock formations, Chile offers a diverse array of coastal landscapes waiting to be explored. Whether you’re seeking a tranquil spot for swimming and sunbathing, epic waves for surfing, or a seaside escape for camping under the stars, here are some of the best beaches in Chile to add to your bucket list.

1. La Serena: Sun-Kissed Sands and Serene Shores

Located in the Coquimbo Region of northern Chile, La Serena is renowned for its long stretches of golden sand, calm waters, and year-round sunshine. Playa La Serena and Playa Cuatro Esquinas are popular spots for swimming, sunbathing, and family picnics, while nearby Playa Totoralillo offers excellent conditions for surfing and bodyboarding. For a unique camping experience, head to Punta de Choros, where you can pitch your tent on the beach and fall asleep to the sound of crashing waves under a blanket of stars.

2. Pichilemu: Surfing Mecca of Chile

For surfers seeking epic waves and a laid-back vibe, Pichilemu is the place to be. Located in the O’Higgins Region of central Chile, Pichilemu is renowned for its world-class surf breaks, including Punta de Lobos, Playa Hermosa, and Infiernillo. Whether you’re a seasoned pro or a novice looking to catch your first wave, there’s something for every level of surfer here. After a day of surfing, relax on the beach with a cold beer and watch the sunset over the Pacific Ocean, or set up camp at one of the nearby surf camps for a true surfers’ paradise experience.

3. Matanzas: Windsurfing Capital of Chile

Nestled between rolling hills and dramatic cliffs along the central coast of Chile, Matanzas is a windsurfing and kitesurfing haven. With consistent winds and flat water conditions, Matanzas offers ideal conditions for windsurfers and kiteboarders of all skill levels. The long sandy beach is also perfect for swimming, beachcombing, and building sandcastles with the family. After a day of watersports, unwind at one of the beachfront restaurants or campsites, where you can enjoy fresh seafood and panoramic views of the ocean.

4. Zapallar: Hidden Gem of the Central Coast

Tucked away along the central coast of Chile, Zapallar is a hidden gem known for its tranquil beaches, crystal-clear waters, and upscale atmosphere. Playa Zapallar and Playa Cachagua are popular spots for swimming and sunbathing, with gentle waves and pristine sands ideal for families and beachgoers seeking relaxation. For a more adventurous experience, explore the rocky coastline and hidden coves by kayak or paddleboard, or hike along the scenic coastal trails for breathtaking views of the Pacific Ocean.

5. Chiloé Island: Untouched Beauty and Coastal Charm

Off the coast of southern Chile, Chiloé Island offers a unique blend of natural beauty, cultural heritage, and coastal charm. Playa Cucao and Playa Punta Pirulil are two of the island’s most picturesque beaches, with sweeping views of the rugged coastline, towering cliffs, and abundant wildlife. Set up camp on the beach or stay in a rustic cabin overlooking the ocean for a peaceful retreat surrounded by nature. Don’t miss the chance to explore the island’s iconic wooden churches, colorful fishing villages, and pristine national parks while you’re here.

6. Bahía Inglesa: Caribbean Vibes in Northern Chile

For a taste of the Caribbean in the heart of the Atacama Desert, head to Bahía Inglesa in northern Chile. With its crystal-clear waters, palm-fringed shores, and vibrant coral reefs, Bahía Inglesa is a tropical paradise unlike anywhere else in Chile. Spend your days snorkeling among colorful fish, paddleboarding along the coastline, or simply soaking up the sun on the beach. After dark, relax at one of the beachfront bars with a refreshing cocktail and watch the stars twinkling overhead.

7. Playa Blanca: Paradise Found on Robinson Crusoe Island

Located off the coast of central Chile, Robinson Crusoe Island is a remote paradise known for its pristine beaches, lush rainforests, and rugged terrain. Playa Blanca, with its powdery white sands and turquoise waters, is the perfect spot for swimming, snorkeling, and beachcombing. Camping is allowed on the island, so pitch your tent on the beach and spend the night listening to the sounds of the ocean and the rustling of palm trees. Don’t miss the chance to explore the island’s rich biodiversity, including endemic flora and fauna found nowhere else on Earth.

Tips for Beachgoers and Campers

  • Check the weather forecast and tide times before heading to the beach.
  • Wear sunscreen, sunglasses, and a hat to protect yourself from the sun.
  • Stay hydrated and drink plenty of water, especially during hot weather.
  • Respect the environment and leave no trace when camping on the beach.
  • Follow local regulations and guidelines regarding beach safety and camping restrictions.

In conclusion, Chile offers a wealth of stunning beaches waiting to be explored, from the rugged coastline of Chiloé Island to the tropical paradise of Bahía Inglesa. Whether you’re seeking world-class surf breaks, tranquil swimming spots, or secluded camping retreats, there’s a beach in Chile to suit every taste and preference. So pack your swimsuit, grab your surfboard, and get ready to discover the beauty and adventure of Chile’s coastal wonders.

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