Lack of crowds, lots of great breaks is what represents Chile as a surf destination. From warmer northern spots like Arica and Iquique, or the chilly but less explored southern beaches with magnificent scenery.
In the north of Chile lies Iquique, a town with little less than 200k citizens. Here you will find some good, fat breaks in the middle of the city. Because they can change into heavy artillery it is recommended for the advanced surfer. It also has an ambitious bodyboard community.
You will find here more bodyboarders here than surfers.
Both left and right-hand waves.
Best conditions: south-south-west swell, a north-east wind, low-mid tide.
At the far end of mainland Chile, you’ll find the Carelmapu beach. Once there you will be disturbed only by birds flying around. Usually, you only meet several longboarders.
The vast beach has several breaks with which you can vary endlessly.
Best conditions: south-west swell, south-east wind, mid-low tide.
Maule is a well-known region for wine and its cool, laid-back rustic atmosphere. You can find two beach spots that attract surfers, one of which is Playa de la Piedra de la Iglesia in Constitución, where there are occasional surf and bodyboard competitions.
Also nearby, in the small bay at the Caleta de Curanipe, surfing is just catching on but will likely become more popular as word spreads.
Arica is the most northerly city in Chile. It is the world-class wave beach and hosts annual surf competitions featuring some of the world’s best surfers.
It is mostly suited for good and advanced surfers. However, anyone from beginners to intermediate can find more easy waves and learn from the best.
The most famous spot in Arica, also known as the ''Chilean pipeline''. Only recommended for very experienced surfers, with dangers of the shallow, sharp reef, sea urchins and aggressive sea lions.
Good for intermediate and experienced surfers, the best time to visit is during the summer months when it creates great tubular sections for maneuvering. The waves at La Isla break close to the rocks and it needs a medium-size swell to be at its best.
This where beginners and surf schools go to practice and get used to the waves in Arica. This black sandy beach is filled with fun waves for all levels.
Chile’s surf capital boasts great waves for both beginners and experienced riders, hosting the world championship at the iconic left-hand point break at Punta de Lobos.
Pichilemu was seriously affected by the 6.9 earthquakes in 2010 and the following tsunami that crushed much of the city.
Beginners can find surf schools along the beachfront that offer all the equipment and lessons. To surf here you will need a full wetsuit, hat, and boots, as the water is freezingly cold.
In this cozy village, you’ll have everything you need: a surf shop, a shop and a hostel.
The left-hand pointbreak has a will of its own and is messy in nature. But when a south-west swell arrives, the wave takes on beautiful voluptuous shapes. The bay is very windy, so it is also popular for kite-surfers.
Best conditions: south-west swell, east wind, low tide.