Algarrobo is perhaps my favourite beach in Chile. Last weekend we spent a glorious few days basking in the sun, running from the waves and making sand angels.
We would have stayed on the beach all day long, but my husband needed his dose of caffeine. Luckily, an Expater friend had told me about a great cafe on the seafront, serving all sorts of fancy coffees.
The views were pretty awesome too.
After several whines of ‘I’m huuuuungry’ we headed to a restaurant with a playground. It was so lovely we decided to spend the whole day there.
The next day we checked out the local artisanal market. There were lots of games and activities for children, but I have to take credit for the rather creative face paint.
Then on the way home, we stopped off for a little pony trek. Of course the kids wanted to go on the horses, not the ponies, and I wasn’t picking any battles.
Finally, at home in our lodge we relaxed among the local nature. Spot the stick insect!
Algarrobo is a place to reconnect with nature. It’s a place to escape the city smog. It’s a place where kids can just be kids. Algarrobo is a very special place indeed.
Need to know:
Where to stay:
We stayed at Las Dichas Lodge which I found via booking.com. It’s a lovely cabana and just a five minute drive from the beach. While there is a log burner, it does get very cold at night, even in the summer so be sure to pack warm PJs!
Fellow Expaters also recommend a charming guest house called Cinque Colori.
Where to eat:
As for restaurants, be sure to check out A Toda Costa. The food is good, the service is brilliant and the location is fantastic. It’s a wonderful place to go with kids.
As for cafes, Mandrake Cafe is great. They serve all sorts of speciality coffees, like chemex and aeropress and all that jazz. The tea is rather damn good, too.
Things to do:
We went horse riding, we visited the artisanal market (pueblo de artesanos humedal) and we just enjoyed the local surroundings. Near the horse trekking there also bouncy castles, quad bikes and paintball.
There is also an island just off Algarrobo where you can spot penguins (islote pajaros ninos). We didn’t have time to visit, but locals tell me you have to go in season, and still be prepared that you might not see penguins anyway.
Expater buddies recommend Playa el Canelo. It is quite a trek down to the beach itself, so not ideal if you’re travelling with a baby stroller. As long as you’re not visiting in the height of summer (December – February), chances are you’ll have the place to yourself. It’s surrounded by woodland and you really feel you’re among the nature.
When to go:
We visited in September during Fiestas Patrias and it was wonderfully quiet. I hear that Algarrobo can get busy in December / January time, but even then if you head to the beach in the mornings, most likely you’ll still find it quiet.
How to get to Algarrobo beach:
Like most of Chile, you’re best bet is to hire a car and drive there. It’s an hour and a half’s drive from Santiago, without traffic. If you’re visiting on the weekend, aim to leave in the early morning and return in the early afternoon to avoid traffic.