With 4,300 kilometers of coastline, Chile is a paradise for water sports, especially surfing. In the country's northern regions, the waves are shorts, tubular and crash over the rocks that line the coast. In the central and southern regions, they're long, strong and perfect. To find them, just head to the country's coastal cities, surfing towns and the legendary Easter Island or choose from a number of pristine, isolated beaches.
In Arica (northern Chile), you can enjoy the internationally renowned El Gringo break. Iquique welcomes surfers with pleasant water temperatures and waves that break against a shallow reef. Cavancha Beach is the best-known destination here, facing the city's seafront esplanade, where you can also enjoy windsurfing, sailing and water skiing.
Another essential northern break is La Cúpula, located two kilometers south of the city of Antofagasta. A left break with a rocky bed, it's removed from the crowds, near the imposing Atacama Desert and offers plenty of scenic wildlife.
According to experts, the longest and most tubular break in Chile is found 200 meters north of the town of Matanzas near Santiago. It's a left break with a sandy surface. Getting there is tough, but it's well worth it. You can find lodging in the town.
Located 260 km from Santiago, Pichilemu is a surfing Mecca and the site of a world championship. You can also enjoy kitesurfing here. Just outside Pichilemu, you'll find Punta de Lobos, the most famous break in Chile. Breaking left, it's nearly a kilometer long, with waves that reach heights of over five meters. There's also Puertecillo, the most consistent and sheltered break, and Topocalma, which is ideal for more expert surfers.
Further south, in the Biobío region, there's Buchupureo Beach. Situated right next to a lovely farmhouse, it's not too touristy and offers a perfect left break over a sandy beach.
The hundreds of lakes scattered among southern Chile's majestic mountains and lush forests are also great for water sports. Favorite destinations in this region include Lakes Villarrica, Ranco, Caburgua and Llanquihue.
|Antofagasta and Calama||Copiapó|
|La Serena and Coquimbo||Central Coast|