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Surfing In Chile

Surfing? Yeah it’s here too! There are some great beaches for surfing in Chile in fact there have been World Surfing Championships here. The Chilean pacific coast has great waves for surfing but it is a bit cold in the central beaches so you might want to bring or rent a wet suit. The best breaks are found in the Middle and Northern coast.

The best beaches for surfing in Chile from north to south are these:


There are a few great beaches worth catching a wave in this part of the country and the word is getting out. Arica is now popular for this sport and hosts high profile championships every now and then. Found here is the famous waves called ¨El Gringo¨ and ¨El Buey¨ known by most suffers not by the height but for the difficultly that presents to surf it. The season for the best breaks are in July and the best beaches in this area are:

Playa Las Machas

This beach is located on the Panamerican highway (North) towards Peru. Once you pass the Chinchorro beach, which is 2 kms from downtown Arica, you’ll find the sufer’s haunt. This beach has strong currents very close to the shore so it’s perfect for those who want to learn how to surf and is VERY dangerous for those who want to swim. From Arica you can take a bus number 12 or the 18 from the crossing General Velásquez and Chacabuco Streets. If you want to rent equipment you have to rent it in town.

Ex Isla De Alacrán

This is located south of the Club de Yates across from the Morro of Arica. It used to be an island separated from the land by a canal that is 460mtr wide, but in 1964 it was united to the continent. This is one of the best beaches for surfing in Chile since it has waves over four meters tall. There have even been waves seven meters tall like ¨El Buey¨. This beach has held international championships.

The surf shops in town include El Gringo Surf Shop, Solari Surf Shop and the Huntington Surf Shop.


Iquique´s coastal road if full of great areas for surfing in Chile, finding the warmer waters in the northern beaches (the ones closer to Arica).

Here there is surfing all year round all though the best waves are found during winter, in July.

The early morning breaks have less competition since most of the Chilean’s sleep in. The temperature of the water is between 16-20ºC all year round. The main beaches for surfing in Iquique are:

Playa Cavancha

This white sand beach is the primary tourist beach since it’s located in the middle of modern residential arquitecture. It is surrounded by palm trees that shield the wind. This warm sea is ideal for swimming all year round, including night swimming. You will also see surfers in the water along the entire beach but concentrated between the Regional Intendencia and this beach. It is found 2 kms north of Iquique.

Playa Huaiquique

This beach is located 5 kms on the southern coast of Iquique. The waters start to get a little bit colder. This beach is also used for surfing in Chile. You can take a ¨colectivo¨ from downtown during the summer season.

In Iquique the Vertical store rents and sells equipment and also offers surfing lesions. The Mormaii Escuela de Surf y Bodyboard also offers surfing lesions that include equipment.

This town is located in the central area of Chile, in the O´Higgins region. The name means small forest in the indigenous language mapudungun.
Here you’ll find a big park at the beach where the first casino in Chile was built in 1906 and 1909 that stayed open until 1932.

Today Pichilemu is very popular for doing water sports, especially for surfing, among other activities especially during the summer season. During the low season (winter) this town is visited mostly by outside tourists that are surfers and are looking to catch a great wave that are so famous. There are also competitions held at the beaches during April and November.

La Puntilla

This is one of the beaches that is famous for surfing in Chile. It’s the tip of the central beach of Pichilemu and it is located in front of the Ross park. The ground under the water is rocky right under the waves. There is a circular current that formed a type of lagoon where there is a bank of sand.

The preferred type of wind for surfing is called Surazo and it runs in a south/southwest direction. The waves here are long (1 kms long approximately) that run toward the left at a medium to rapid speed with some tubular areas. The waves are between 1 and 4 meters high which is ideal for people who are learning how to surf. Around the end of November there is a championship held every year.


This is located on the southern part of the city and is characterised by the rock formation where the waves break, this is the attraction of this beach.

500 meters south of the Punta La Puntilla you find a black sand beach with spectacular rocks ideal for watching a sunset. This beach is where all the surfers come to practice their sport and it is recommended for the more experienced surfers. The wave runs towards the left and its very tubular, not as long as the waves in La Puntilla but its more intense.

Here you can surf when the wave reaches a height of 2 meters, a wave that is less high the wave doesn’t always break and if it does then it breaks to close to the rocks which makes it dangerous. The waves can be up to 4 meters tall.

Punta De Lobos

This beach is located 7 kms south of Pichilemu following the coast. To get here you must take the road that boarders the ocean and at km 6 you turn right, there is a sign that will indicate the road you must turn off on. Punta de Lobos is a tall peninsula that boarders a very popular beach and it is common to see sea lions at this beach.

The waves at this beach are the best for surfing in Chile, even in South America. The waves that run toward the left are famous all over the world, and are ideal for surfing all year round. Between April 11and 15th there is a 4 star category competition held every year.

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