Hey Guys.... so, my GF is not Hindi and we don't have the baddest whip on the block, but we're currently driving around Argentina (NW at the moment). I haven't seen the ocean in weeks and it's winter here but I'm hoping to get some waves in eventually. I know Argentina sucks for surf, but it has a lot to offer otherwise, and I'll be driving into CHILE....<br /><br />My main question is, can anyone help me out with some spot/shop tips? I'll possibly be around Anto-***asta in Chile, and definitely around Santiago in a week or so. I'm definitely a beginner (and the GF more so) and I don't paddle out when it approaches head high/OH, so any beginner friendly spots that mitigate these monstrous Chilean winter swells would be great.<br /><br />I will try not to die on the road from all the machete wielding Latin American cartels. Hablamos Espanol.
Sounds like a fantastic trip, Slashdog. Wish I could assist re: Cile. If you go up the line the other way, into Uruguay, ping me. Good surf to be had at Punta del Diablo. And the Uruguayan people are honest & welcoming. Great country.
Hey man, never surfed Argentina, but I lived in Chile for a bit, definitely some waves around that aren't too crazy. I wasn't up near Anto***asta much at all, but generally my understanding is the (well-known) waves up there are pretty heavy for the most part. Santiago is obviously inland, but you head due west, you'll hit the Valparaíso/Viña del Mar area. They have a few different breaks there that aren't too intense. All these places are listed on popular sites around the web if you want more info/directions.
Reñaca is immediately north of Vina, it catches a lot of swell so it may be too much for your liking if a good swell is running. You can hop a micro from Vina or Valpo to Renaca to get up there, the best waves are all up toward the northern part of the beach inside the two offshore boulders. If there's swell, you'll see the bodyboarders on it.
If you're a beginner, you should hit up Con Con, which is just north of Reñaca. Ask someone how to get to Playa La Boca, it's the main beach in town and is a bit more sheltered than Reñaca. The further south you are on the beach, the smaller it will likely be as the headland will block some of the perennial SW swell. Very very gnarly water quality here, there's a refinery immediately up the river from the beach which leaves the water very dirty and smelling like absolute sh**. Any hint of a swell, you'll see surfers and bodyboarders on it.
Ritoque is north of Con Con, and is the best of the 3 waves, but also the most crowded. It catches a lot more swell than Con Con and is always a few feet bigger. More of a surf scene here, and a sweet beachside bar where you can sip a few and watch the locals do their thing when the swell's running.
As someone mentioned, Pichilemu is the heart of Chilean surfing, but not worth getting all the way down there if you're not an experienced surfer. You can catch waves at the beach in town, sure, but the reasons for the pilgrimage are the big, fast, barreling left points scattered around the area. IMO, not worth the drive if you don't want to paddle out in anything head high or bigger. The wave in town at Pichi is a terrible wave anyway.
Finally, be warned, the surf can frequently be pretty big in Chile, days I didn't surf there were more often because it was too big for me to want to paddle out than too small to ride a wave. It blows cross/onshore a lot of the time, too. But, man, that is some powerful swell and you can get some ridiculous waves. The people in Chile are just ridiculously kind, and it's very safe, so you hopefully shouldn't have to dodge too many machetes. Disfrute, weon!
Thanks for all the info guys. It's been cold sleeping in the car for the last two days getting skunked on surf and wildlife by lack of rental equipment and WIND. I knew this was the deal for Chilean winter but I had to try anyway.
Everything was scary-to-gnarly up north.... I'm in La Serena now. Chill town... with varying breaks in surrounding areas. Having trouble finding a place to rent a board and wetsuit, as it's Sunday and it's so Catholic down here than the surf shops seem to be closed.
PJB & OC.... I'm not sure if I can bring back any dry chowda.... 25 to life for 2-3ft beach break.... is it worth it? PJB, shoot me a PM with your secret spot and I will bring you back an alpaca wetsuit!
I hit up Uruguay at the beginning of my trip for a weekend and couldn't make it to the ocean proper. Instead I was stuck in an apartment with Chowder-sniffing madmen who didn't sleep for 50 hours. As I said, I don't paddle out in overhead +....
Yeah I didn't mean to be a wise guy, but I don't know anything aboot the area that you couldn't look up on the internet.
I wish I was with you, though. Jealous.......Hey if you aren't bringing anything back how aboot sending me a plane ticket. Sobriety sucks, but the cut around here ain't worth it. Hey, Uraguay just legalized the weed.
Man, you should have been giving us daily updates with details. I could go for a good surf adventure story.
Unfortunately, it's not as much of a surf adventure as I would like. Definitely an adventure though.
The waves today at La Serena were similar to the slop we are getting in the N.E. right now... and it was $20 PER HOUR for a board and wetsuit... (choices were an plastic NSP or foamie). I passed. Hit up the fish market instead. They throw all the fish slop onto the marina rocks and the Sea Lions battle over it.
Hey, Uruguay is great... with or without the green. Great people- even their Presidente is chill. Speaking of green.... here is a tip for all you fellow Swellinfo'ers, NJSchredz included: If you are ever crossing the northernmost border, from Argentina into Chile, in the mighty Andes.... there is a nice gift buried at KM-marker 219, 12 steps in the easterly direction of the sign. Didn't want to risk it at customs. Chilean Aduana confiscates all vegetable, fruit, and meat products.
We're gonna try to hit up Totoralillo en la manana, hopefully I'll have a better story than today...