1. Anakena Beach, 2. Zapallar Beach, 3. Caleta Cóndor Beach, 4. Vina del Mar Beach, 5. Bahía Inglesa Beach, 6. Playa Tunquén, 7. Isla Damas, 8. Playa Reñaca, 9. Playa El Canelillo, 10. Playa de Ramuntcho, 11. Playa La Virgen, 12. Playa Blanca, 13. Playa La Rinconada, 14. Isla Negra Beach, 15. Playa Cole Cole (Chiloé National Park). Chile has some fantastic beaches, with a coastline of over 6,000 miles (9,656 km). From windswept beaches in remote northern deserts to snow-strewn beaches in Chile's southern fjords, the country has a plethora of one-of-a-kind and breathtaking beaches just waiting to be discovered. Toplist has compiled a list of the Top 15 Best Beaches in Chile for you.
- Anakena Beach
- Zapallar Beach
- Caleta Cóndor Beach
- Vina del Mar Beach
- Bahía Inglesa Beach
- Playa Tunquén
- Isla Damas
- Playa Reñaca
- Playa El Canelillo
- Playa de Ramuntcho
- Playa La Virgen
- Playa Blanca
- Playa La Rinconada
- Isla Negra Beach
- Playa Cole Cole (Chiloé National Park)
It’s not every day that you can combine a day at the beach with a visit to some of the world’s most iconic archaeological sites, but that’s exactly what you get at Anakena beach on Easter Island.
Anakena is home to a group of moai, which are the massive carved stone figureheads that are synonymous with Easter Island. Anakena’s Ahu Nao-Nao stones are a collection of seven such statues located right on the beach. I’d say they’re overlooking, but they actually face inland. It is unusual for any of these moai to be positioned facing the sea.
Anakena is also historically significant because it is thought to be where Hotu Matua, the first settler of the islands, disembarked. This king is said to have lived in one of the many caves along the beach. Anakena’s beach is made of white coral sand and is one of only two sandy beaches on Easter Island. This pacific beach is palm-fringed and almost as deep as it is wide.
The coconut palm trees at Anakena were actually reintroduced from Tahiti, as nearly all of the trees on the island were felled in order to make and transport the Moai. The story of Easter Island and how the islanders nearly wiped themselves out is one of history’s greatest ironies, and it serves as the basis for the film 1994 Rapa Nui. Anakena has plenty of facilities, including a car park, changing rooms, toilets, and a picnic area among the palm trees – just keep an ear out for the sound of falling coconuts!
Photo: Isla de Pascua
The small town of Zapallar is located on Chile’s Central Coast, about three hours north of Santiago. The wealthy and famous of Chile like to spend a weekend by the sea in one of the fabulous old villas that cling to the hillside overlooking the beach. As a result, visitors are especially well catered for, with some excellent shops and cafes. The town has an exclusive feel to it and makes no claims to be a vacation destination.
The beach is a fine crescent of golden sand nestled in a densely forested bay. Zapallar beach is often deserted during the week and out of season, but it gets quite crowded during the summer months. While there is plenty of frolicking on the beach, the water is never quite as inviting as it appears, with the Humboldt current keeping the water temperature appropriately frigid. The Humboldt current is also to blame for the clouds that appear to hover over the beach for much of the day. The good news is that this usually dissipates by mid-afternoon.
Photo: Jacada Travel
Photo: Zapallar Travel Guide
Caleta Cóndor Beach
What is possibly Chile’s most beautiful beach is located at the mouth of the Ro Cholguaco river in the Los Lagos region of southern Chile. A swath of bone white sand meets the turquoise waters of the Pacific Ocean, all framed by dense, lush forest. Caleta Cóndor has the appearance of a paradisiacal tropical beach, but the temperature doesn’t quite support this, and it can be quite chilly(!) out of season. In fact, the water temperature never approaches tropical levels.
Caleta Cóndor is set in the indigenous territory of Territorio Mapa Lahual. This mountainous, forested region contains some of Chile’s most remote (and beautiful) scenery. As a result, getting to the beach is a bit of a challenge, which is great news because Caleta Cóndor is still relatively unspoiled. Access is via a two-hour boat ride from the tiny port of Baha Mansa, which is difficult to reach in the first place.
Photo: World Beach Guide
Vina del Mar Beach
A number of Chile’s best beaches can be found in the coastal resort of Via del Mar. Within easy reach of the capital, Santiago, Via del Mar is a popular weekend and summer break destination.
The weather in Via del Mar is frequently described as Mediterranean, which means warm and dry. This does not, however, apply to the ocean, which is afflicted by the Humboldt current’s icy water. As a result, while the air temperature may be in the 70s (20C+), the water temperature is unlikely to be much higher than the mid-60s.
The most well-known beaches in the area are Reaca, Las Salinas, Amarilla, Miramar, and Casino. Reaca is probably the most well-known of the bunch, and for good reason. This beach has fine golden sand and fun waves for everyone.
Vina is Chile’s fourth largest city and has some beautiful beaches. While the seasoned international traveller may find the town to be lacking in amenities, there is always plenty to do on and around the beaches.
Bahía Inglesa Beach
Baha Inglesa is a small resort village in northern Chile, bordered on one side by the Atacama desert and on the other by the Pacific Ocean. There are several beaches in the area, but the stretch of beach directly in front of the village is the most well-known – and allegedly one of the most photographed in Chile.
This small beach, known as Playa La Piscina (swimming pool beach), has beautiful white sand punctuated by numerous rock formations that give the beach an enclosed feel. The water is a lovely clear turquoise color that contrasts nicely with the sand. While the sea here is generally calm, it is also known for being on the chilly side.
The small seaside resort becomes somewhat lively during the summer months, and the beach, which is the main attraction, is always busy. This is also the time of year when there will most likely be a lot of jellyfish, so it may not be the best time to visit. Given that it becomes a ghost town in the winter, it is probably best to visit during the shoulder season.
The name, Baha Inglesa, translates as “English Bay,” and refers to the 17th century buccaneer Edward Davis, who harassed Spanish shipping in this area.
Despite being only a day trip from Valparaiso, the beach at Tunquén remains relatively undeveloped and wild, unlike virtually any other in the region. This is a good-sized beach with a length of about 2 kilometers, and even if it did get crowded (which it doesn’t), there would be plenty of space to avoid the crowds.
Behind the beach are dunes and a number of homes, all of which rely on solar power because there is no mains electricity here. This is a very exclusive enclave, with politicians and well-known artists among its residents. To the north of the beach is the mouth of the Estero Casablanca, which flows through a vast area of wetlands and is a haven for bird life and rare plants.
Playa Tunquén is a popular surfing and fishing spot. If you intend to travel to Chile for swimming, fishing, diving and sunbathing, Playa Tunquén is an appropriate destination.
Photo: World Beach Guide
The beaches on Isla Damas are quite unusual for Chile, and you might think you’ve landed on an island somewhere in the Mediterranean. The environment is arid, with low shrubs clinging to the sandy soil. The island has two beaches: La Poza and Las Tijeras, both of which have fine white sand and clear turquoise water. They are also on the sheltered side of the island, with a view of the mountains on the mainland a few miles away. This calms the water and makes it safer (though still chilly) for bathing.
Isla Damas is one of three islands that make up the National Humboldt Penguin Reserve, located 5 kilometers west of Punta de Choros. Unlike the islands of Choros and Chaaral, however, Damas is the only one where you can disembark. There is also a small camping area.
As one might expect, there is a plethora of wildlife in this area. Sea birds, dolphins, sea lions, sea otters, and Humboldt penguins can all be seen here, but to get up close and personal, you’ll need to take one of the many boat trips that depart from the beach.
Playa Reaca’s city beach is a place to have fun. It has fantastic parties, crowds, and a variety of enjoyable activities. This is a popular tourist destination in northern Chile, and it lives up to its other name, “Long Beach,” with a long stretch of fine golden sand. The beach is actually divided into six sections, each with soft sand and warm water.
Despite its urban setting, Playa Reaca is a beautiful beach with plenty of natural charm. Sea lions, for example, can be found sunning on the rocks. It is also a beach where you will have no trouble finding restaurants, lodging, and activities. For years, it has been one of the liveliest spots in town, and people love to have a good time here.
Playa El Canelillo
Playa El Canelillo is a beautiful slice of paradise for relaxing, with white sandy beaches and turquoise waters. Because the water is generally calm, you can swim in the shallow areas. However, it can get a little chilly. Because this is such a beautiful beach, it can get crowded during the summer months.
A large area of pine forest to the back of the beach provides a sense of seclusion. As the temperature rises, you can smell the pine trees and forget that Algarrobo is only a short distance away.
Climb the hill behind the beach for the best views, especially at sunset. There are also excellent walks from Playa El Canelillo to either side of the headlands. Hike around to Pajaros Ninos, a small island connected to the mainland by a large yacht marina.
There are numerous local restaurants and cafes where you can sample regional cuisine. There are numerous lodging options nearby, some of which offer views of the bay.
Photo: Wikimedia Commons
Playa de Ramuntcho
Playa de Ramuntcho is located on the Hualpén peninsula, close to Talcahuano. It’s about a 15- to 20-minute hike from Caleta Lenga, the area’s main beach. This is without a doubt the most beautiful beach within easy driving distance of Concepcion, and it feels a million miles away from the hustle and bustle of city life.
The beach is located in a relatively sheltered bay that is surrounded by jagged rock cliffs. These are heavily forested, giving the cove a sense of seclusion. When you first see it, it is breathtaking, and it is a lovely place to spend a few hours. Unfortunately, the beach is not as clean as it appears; there is frequently litter here and there, and the water can be polluted. When combined with the cold water temperatures all year, Playa de Ramuntcho is not the best place to swim.
Despite being difficult to find and located at the end of a dirt track, this beach can become crowded with beachgoers and locals trying to sell items, so it is best to visit early in the day. Playa de Ramuntcho is still a great place to visit for a walk on the beach and to take in the scenery, perhaps as part of a longer hike in the area.
When visiting the Hualpén peninsula, it is worthwhile to visit Chome and Perone Coves. Chome has a long history of whale hunting, and this tour will delve into some of its history. You’ll enjoy this if you like nature and beauty.
Playa La Virgen
Playa La Virgen, with its white sand and turquoise waters, is set among the earthy hues of the vast Atacama Desert. The name of this secluded beach comes from a nearby rock formation that is said to resemble the Virgin Mary. Locals believe that the Virgin Mary protects the area.
Beach bungalows made of natural materials such as mud, stone, reeds, and wood are built onto the hillside that backs up to the beach. There are also camping areas with some of the most spectacular views of the beach. There is only one restaurant on Playa La Virgen, and it is said to have good food and service.
Despite its location on the outskirts of a desert, this is a popular beach with other visitors. The water is generally safe to swim in, but it is cool. For many years, this desert beach was one of Chile’s best kept secrets, and many city dwellers have never heard of it.
Playa Blanca is one of Chile’s most beautiful beaches, with its white sand and crystal clear waters. This picturesque crescent of sand is backed by hills and is located in the small town of Tongoy, near Coquimbo. The massive sand dune at the bay’s northern end is one of its most notable features.
Despite its remote location, Playa Blanca is a popular vacation destination for Chileans, and the town has a number of excellent restaurants. Because of its remoteness, it is an ideal location for stargazing; if you enjoy this, make a trip to the Observatorio Astronomico la Silla and the Cielo Sur Observatory.
Playa La Rinconada
The stunning surroundings of the Atacama desert surround Playa La Rinconada. It has fine white sand that stretches out to clear waters and is warm enough to swim in during the summer months (from December to February). This is a one-of-a-kind setting with a diverse range of flora and fauna, including fish, crabs, gulls, and more.
It’s about 65 kilometers north of Antofagasta, so you can take a break and admire the impressive sculpture that marks the Tropic of Capricorn on your way there. Mejillones, a fishing village a few kilometers from Playa La Rinconada, is worth a visit while you’re there. The beach is overlooked by the hill of Cerro San Luciano, from which the best views of this beautiful and wild area can be obtained. Sea turtle colonies at Mirador Las Tortugas are also nearby and well worth a visit.
During the summer, the climate will be desert-like, with little rain. This beach is frequently used for camping, and it is a relatively quiet and laid-back location. Visitors come here to unwind and take in the natural beauty. The views are breathtaking, and it’s a great place to watch the sunset, which illuminates the ancient cliffs.
La Riconda is also a popular spot for water sports like windsurfing and boating. Long hikes in this incredible location will leave you in awe of the majestic beauty.
Photo: Turismo en Antofagasta
Isla Negra Beach
Isla Negra is located approximately 70 kilometers south of Valparaiso. The phrase “black island” is somewhat misleading because it is not an island at all. The name is derived from a rocky outcrop on the beach.
Much of what you’ll learn about Isla Negra revolves around its most famous former resident, Nobel Prize-winning poet and politician Pablo Neruda. He did, in fact, name the area, with his home overlooking the beach. The Casa de Isla Negra, or Black House, is now a museum. Here you can see his various eclectic and quirky collections, the majority of which are related to the sea – old anchors, sea shells, ship’s bells, and so on.
Isla Negra’s beach is located just below Neruda’s house. A sand dune dotted with rocky outcrops that separate the sand from the ocean. Isla Negra Beach is a great destination for you during your trip in Chile.
Playa Cole Cole (Chiloé National Park)
Playa Cole Cole is a beach that few people visit because it is tucked away in the Chiloe National Park and surrounded by jungle. Because this location is difficult to reach, visitors frequently plan to spend the night in a tent on the beach and return the next day. With its long crescent of pristine white sand, crystal-clear blue waters, and lush green hills as a backdrop, we believe it is well worth the journey.
There is a 15.8 km walk from the road to the beach from Cucao, and you must also register with the Chiloe National Park before beginning your journey down the dirt path. How to Get to Playa Cole Cole is an adventure in and of itself, and you will cross a small lagoon while keeping an eye out for a hill. You’ll need to climb this hill before reaching the beach below.
This beach can be found on Chile’s largest island, Chiloe. It has a diverse wildlife population and offers a variety of trekking tours. You can even ride your horse to this breathtaking location. This island has so much to offer that you could easily spend a week exploring it.
Camping and basic services are available at Cole Cole, but otherwise, you must say in Cucao, which is a hike away.
Photo: Patagonia Chile Adventures