With a coastline stretching for over 3,000 miles (4,500 km) you would expect more than a few great beaches. And this is exactly what you get in Chile, but possibly not quite as many as you'd expect. For one thing the bottom third of Chile is a virtual wilderness and the coastline an impenetrable, convoluted landscape of glacial fjords and snow capped islands.
Then there is the bit in the north; dominated by the Atacama desert this region is characterized by its desolate wind carved rugged coast. Much of this coast is hundreds of miles from the nearest proper road and even then, anything that could be described as a beach is pretty rare. However, there are one or two gems to be found.
So, Chile's best beaches are very much concentrated along the country's Central Coast, many within striking distance of the capital Santiago. One thing in common with all of Chile's beaches is the water is, well chilly! This is thanks to the Humboldt current which sweeps up the coast from the Antarctic.
Along this stretch there is a great variety of beaches ranging from city beaches to exclusive beach towns. There's also some great surf to be had including one of the world's best left-hand point breaks at Punta de Lobos.