Chile is known for being one of the more expensive countries in South America, and is occasionally skipped by travelers as a result. However pricey, there are always budget options available. Most of the country is easy to get around as main roads are paved and the transportation is abundant. With having such geographical diversity, Chile is considered a ‘continental island.’ With the Atacama Desert in the north (the world’s driest desert), the Andes to the east, the Pacific Ocean to the west, and Patagonia in the south, Chile has so much to offer. With the capital rapidly developing, there are still plenty of areas of Chile that seem to be forgotten and are remnants of a simpler time.
The little forgotten surf town of Pichilemu offers a scenic getaway from hectic Santiago. Only three and a half hours away from the capital, Pichilemu is easily accessible via bus or car. Mostly surfers looking to escape the crowds come to this cold-water surf spot. Situated inside the mountains, the constant breeze makes this pretty chilly for a beach destination. The main town and beach are located in the Pichilemu town center, but the famous surf break is located six kilometers down the road at Punta de Lobos (Point of the Wolves). The Quiksilver Ceremonials are held here each April/May. While Pichilemu town offers surf suitable to beginners, Punta de Lobos is for experienced surfers only.
Pichilemu has a small town center that offers all modern conveniences. Along with the beach and surf, the Pichilemu Institute of Language Studies attracts many visitors. Chilean Spanish is renown for being spoken quickly and with distinguished slang, so learning Spanish here is common. There are several local restaurants and markets throughout the town, and everything is easily within walking distance. Don’t forget to try a traditional empanada de pino (ground beef, onion, raisins, olive, boiled egg), as it is a typical Chilean delicacy. There is a family-owned shop that travelers refer to as ‘The Empanada Master’ on the way into town where empanadas are baked in an outdoor oven and are simply amazing!
Accommodations are located at both the main town and the surf spot, so you should decide which area you want to stay in. Keep in mind that while Punta de Lobos offers accommodation and access to the cliffside surf point, it is not a town and does not offer any other amenities. Most locals are familiar with the famous surf spot’s proximity to the town and are happy to shuttle people back and forth on their way. All you have to do is ask! Collectivos (shared taxis) are also available for one-way rides for a small fare.
Photo Credits: Author’s Own