Algarrobo beach

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.

Algarrobo beach

Algarrobo beach for children

Beach for children near Santiago

Algarrobo beach for children

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.

Cafe Mandrake Algarrobo

Cafe Mandrae, Algarrobo

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.

A Toda Costa Restaurante

A Toda Costa menu

Algarrobo beach restaurant

Algarrobo beach restaurant for children

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.

Pueblo de Artesanos Humedal San Jerónimo

Pueblo de Artesanos Humedal San Jerónimo

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.

Horse riding Algarrobo

Finally, at home in our lodge we relaxed among the local nature. Spot the stick insect!

Las Dichas Lodge Algarrobo

Las Dichas Lodge

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.

Cabana Algarrobo

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.

Best beaches:

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.

 

Looking for other day trips from Santiago? Check out Valparaiso , Lo Pirque and Llay Llay Alpaca farm too.

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