The best Viña del Mar beach is easy to reach and the neighboring seaside resorts of Concon and Reñaca have beautiful beaches, wide expanses of sand looking out to the Pacific, but be warned: the water is cold!
Thank the Humboldt Current welling up water from the ocean floor, but that same current also accounts for the marvelous seafood you'll eat when you're ready to leave the beach.
Past the Higuerilla Cove is this fair-sized beach with moderate waves. The dark-colored sands, fine in texture and rich in volcanic minerals, gave the area its name.
Although this beach doesn't have the amenities of others, it is still a good place to take the family. Despite its distance from the center of Viña del Mar, the good public transport connections make it easily accessible.
Since the mid-60s, this popular coastal resort has been one of the most important tourist attractions in the region. The 1.3-km beach becomes more popular all the time.
A vibrant sidewalk scene offers a wide selection of craft stalls, restaurants, ice-cream parlors, discotheques, cafes and shops. The local population has divided the beach area into numerous sectors, starting with "El Familiar", a family zone, and ending in "El Cementerio", the zone where everyone goes to see and be seen.
This small beach is especially popular among families. Like many other beaches in the area, it is partially protected from coastal winds by the rocks that surround it. The sand is somewhat coarse. Please note:
Take care if entering the sea: although it looks calm enough, the undercurrents are lethal, and the waters quite deep just a short way out. However, this is a beautiful and peaceful place to spend a day in the sun.
Established in the mid-19th century, this is one of the city's principal beaches. The surrounding cove offers protection from fierce ocean rip currents, allowing for safe swimming.
The beach gets quite crowded and vibrant in the busy summer months. Visitors can meander down the promenade or relax on one of the benches. There are also children's play facilities, parking and a local discotheque. The quaint little gardens are also fun to stroll through.
"Once upon a time, this beach on the outskirts of Concón was one of the most exclusive in the sector, due to its distance from downtown and to the lack of public transport. But today, it has been swallowed up by urban growth, and receives more than its fair share of visitors, especially during the summer. It's larger than most of the neighboring beaches, and has a good promenade and plenty of nearby restaurants."
Protected from the winds by rocks and the surrounding buildings, this beach is a favorite spot for families, especially those with young children.
Weaker swimmers can often enter the sea here, thanks to the calmer waters and weaker currents. Built in 1930, the beach was named after the ponds where sea salt was dried and then collected in the 19th century.
During the summer, this beach fills with sun-worshippers; in the other seasons, it is a serene setting for fishing or walking. It is bordered by a playground on one side and Salinas Beach on the other.
Adjacent to land belonging to the Chilean Navy, the beach is dotted with some of their antiquated artillery. Beware: This is not a safe swimming beach. The strong pull of the surf's undercurrent can be lethal if you go too far into the water.
A peninsula protects this small beach from the coastal winds, making the waters generally calm and safe for swimming. It was highly popular before the appearance of the Reñaca resort, and it still receives a lot of visitors during the busy summer months.
It is a favorite of families with young children. There are parking facilities nearby, and on the other side of the road is a fairly good selection of restaurants and shellfish bars, in case you're feeling peckish.
This long strip of beach, characterized by its coarse sands and gentle waves, is located between Peru Avenue and Vergara Wharf. Proximity to the center of Viña del Mar and the restaurant sector has made it highly popular among visitors.
Sunbathe, cool off in the sea, or go for a walk. The best time for walking is at sunset when you might well witness local anglers casting into the ocean. The pretty gardens behind the beach are also pleasant to walk in.
Recent developments to this beach include a pedestrian walkway dotted with gardens, and the inevitable handcrafts market. Similar in many ways to Acapulco Beach, of which it is really just an extension, it stretches from the Vergara Wharf up to the Maritime Sanatorium.
The smooth, even streets have become a favorite hang-out for roller skaters, particularly on the weekends, when they weave in and out of the meandering pedestrians.
Article updated October 31, 2016 by Ayngelina Brogan