Chile

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.

  • Vina del Mar beach, Chile

    Vina del Mar // Valparaiso

    The coastal resort of Viña del Mar is home to a number of Chile's best beaches. Within easy reach of the capital, Santiago, Viña del Mar is a popular spot for weekends and the summer break when it really comes to life.

    The weather in Viña del Mar is often described as Mediterranean, meaning it is generally warm and dry. However, this does not... read more »

  • Isla Damas beach, Chile

    Isla Damas // La Serena

    The beaches on Isla Damas are quite unusual for Chile and you could be mistaken for thinking you had mistakenly landed on an island somewhere in the Mediterranean. The landscape is arid with low shrubs clinging to the sandy soil. There are two beaches on the island; La Poza and Las Tijeras both of which have fine white sand and clear turquoise... read more »

  • Anakena, Easter Island Jesse Kraft

    Anakena // Easter Island

    It's not often you get to mix up a day at the beach with a viewing of some of the world's most iconic archaeological monuments, but this is exactly what you get at Anakena beach on Easter Island. Anakena is home to a set of moai; these are the huge carved stone figureheads that Easter Island is famous for. The Ahu Nao-Nao stones at Anakena are a... read more »

  • Zapallar beach, Chile David Zipper / <a href="http://creativecommons.org/licenses/by-sa/3.0/deed.en">CC BY</a>

    Zapallar // Santiago

    The small town of Zapallar is located on Chile's Central Coast a few hours drive north of the capital, Santiago. This is where Chile's wealthy and famous like to spend a weekend by the sea in any one of the fabulous old villas which cling to the hillside overlooking the beach. As a result visitors are particularly well catered for with some good... read more »