The Central Coast: Places to Explore

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  • Algarrobo

    The largest town south of Valparaíso, Algarrobo is the first in a string of balnearios spread along the coast to the south. Though Algarrobo isn't the prettiest, it has a winding coastline with...

  • Concón

    How to explain the lovely name Concón? In the language of the Changos, co meant "water," and the duplication of the sound alludes to the confluence of the Río Aconcagua and the Pacific. When the...

  • Isla Negra

    "I needed a place to work," Chilean poet and Nobel laureate Pablo Neruda wrote in his memoirs. "I found a stone house facing the ocean, a place nobody knew about, Isla Negra." Neruda, who bought...

  • Maitencillo

    This town is a mass of cabanas and eateries spread out along the 4-km (2½-mi) Avenida del Mar. Two long beaches are separated by an extended rocky coastline that holds the local caleta. To...

  • Papudo

    In a letter dated October 8, 1545, Spanish conquistador Pedro Valdivia wrote: "Of all the lands of the New World, the port of Papudo has a goodness above any other land. It's like God's Paradise:...

  • Quintay

    Not too long ago, migrating sperm whales could still be seen from the beaches at Quintay. The creatures were all but exterminated by the whaling industry that sprang up in Quintay in 1942. Whaling...

  • Reñaca

    Thousands of Chileans flock to Reñaca every summer for one, and only one, reason—the crashing waves. You need merely contemplate this wide stretch of golden sand pounded by aquamarine waves,...

  • Valparaíso

    Valparaíso's dramatic topography—45 cerros, or hills, overlooking the ocean—requires the use of winding pathways and wooden ascensores (funiculars) to get up many of the grades. The slopes are...

  • Viña del Mar

    Viña del Mar has high-rise apartment buildings that tower above its excellent shoreline. Here are wide boulevards lined with palms, lush parks, and mansions. Miles of beige sand are washed by...

  • Zapallar

    An aristocratic enclave for the past century, Zapallar doesn't promote itself as a vacation destination. In fact, it has traditionally been reluctant to receive outsiders. The resort is the...

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