What to do in Algarrobo, Chile?
Algarrobo is a village on the coast of Chile. Just 1.5 h away from Santiago de Chile it is a perfect holiday destination for people from the capital as well as foreign visitors. If you love the beach you will find plenty of sunbathing opportunities here. But what if lying all day in the sun is not what you expect from a vacation? Then Algarrobo is still worth a visit because of its great choice of activities.
Of course with the Pacific Ocean, there are plenty of opportunities for water sports. I love the sea and so the first activity I wanted to try was sea kayaking. Conveniently you are able to enter the ocean from the main beach of Algarrobo and spend some time paddling up and down the coastline with a wonderful view of the Algarrobo Bay and Algarrobo Norte. It is possible to go all the way to the remote Tunquen beach, a very secluded spot used as a shelter by hippies in the 70s. This is also a good place to take a break and have a picnic. Sometimes you have to fight strong currents so make sure you are in a relatively good shape.
For a couple of years now diving has been a great passion of mine. After doing some research I found Quintay, a small bay just 30 minutes away from Algarrobo, where several diving companies offer trips via boat and off the shore. You haven't heard about diving in Chile? I hadn’t either but after looking it up I found out that the Humboldt Current creates an astonishing underwater world. These waters are rich in plankton and offer soft corals, flower corals, towering sponges, crabs, sea-lions and plenty of fish for divers to enjoy. Around Quintay you will find plenty of amazing dive sites. Since it once was a whaling center several sunken ships are easily accessible for you to explore. There are also a few dive sites closer to Algarrobo but I haven't visited them yet.
After exploring the Pacific I wanted to move in the different direction and found a possibility to do this by accident. On a walk on the beach of Algarrobo Norte I saw a sign saying "Parapente" with a phone number. So after a friendly phone call I could get an appointment for the next day. The company picks you up at your accommodation and takes you to the starting point. You get a good introduction and see how the instructor prepares the parachute and then you are ready to set off. After paragliding over the Bavarian Alps I didn't really know what to expect but the scenery with the coastal mountains, beaches and the Pacific Ocean really fascinated me. On a clear day (luckily this was one) you can see all the way to the cities of Viña del Mar and Valparaiso. Also the price is fair so I can definitely recommend this trip.
Having had this experience I needed a day to relax before going on my last adventure which led me to the La Campana National Park. As you probably know Chile is full of breathtaking national parks. I think almost everybody has heard of Torres del Paine or Tierra del Fuego. La Campana can't compete with those two, but is for sure worth a visit. A big advantage is that apart of being close to Santiago the park is not overcrowded with visitors. Founded in 1967 La Campana is located in the center of the coastal mountain range and occupies a total territory of 8000 hectares. Here is one of the last places where you can find a Chilean Palm forest, which is in danger of extinction. With its many hills it is the perfect destination for hikers and the peaks of the La Campana also offer many spots for climbing.
IIf all these activities are not enough you can still go on a sailing trip, taste some of the famous wines from the Casablanca Valley or go surfing around Viña del Mar.