Beach and nature all in the same place
The best of marine ecotourism in Punta de Choros
Located in the Norte Chico area of the north of Chile, this small hidden cove on the coast offers one of the best beaches in the country, in addition to rich local flora and fauna featuring penguins, dolphins and whales.
Wednesday, January 20, 2010
For some time now, Punta
de Choros has
positioned itself as one of the most attractive destinations for beach buffs. This
small cove with turquoise-colored waters
and white sands is set in the Region
of Coquimbo and is blessed by warm climate and a
privileged location close to where one can see different species of marine
fauna, such as
dolphins, penguins, sea lions and even right whales, making this place an excellent
option for beach and nature lovers.
How to get there? The cove is located 71 miles
north-east of the city of La
Serena, traveling on Route 5 up to the crossing marked as
kilometer 75 and then heading west toward the coast. The road is bordered by
olive trees and sometimes it is possible to see one of the greatest wonders of
the north of Chile:
flowering desert. There are no direct buses from Santiago,
but there is a bus service from La Serena.
The first stop is the Los Choros township,
after which comes the Punta de Choros cove on the coast, facing the islands of
the Humboldt Penguin National Reserve. This sanctuary shelters a large diversity of marine fauna that live
on its rocks, coast and islands. To visit the reserve it is necessary to
register at Conaf, the organization that manages the national parks, in Punta
de Choros. After that you can hire one of the boats that travel daily between
the Damas, Choros and Chañaral islands.
The reserve has a camping site in the
sector of La Poza
on the Damas island. We recommend that you take water and a portable gas stove
to cook, because it is forbidden to light fires using material from the island.
The maximum stay allowed is five days, to minimize the human impact on the site
and protect the local species as much as possible.
With regard to the township
of Punta de
Choros, it is an upcoming fishermen’s
town that offers all sorts of tourist services:
restaurants (where the specialty is, of course, very fresh seafood), cabins and
The climate of the area is semi-arid,
especially toward the north, where the Atacama
Desert begins, becoming more temperate toward the
south. In general the scant rainfall that takes place in the area occurs in the
winter months from June to August.
What does Punta de Choros have to offer? The main activities that can be enjoyed
in the area are related to ecotourism: swimming,
sailing, diving, recreational fishing, sea-kayaking, picnics, as well as observing and photographing the local flora
and fauna. In fact, many people travel to the area just to observe the
famous bottlenose dolphins.
And of course there is the Las Tijeras
beach, considered to be one of the 10
best beaches in Chile,
according to the Revista
supplement of the “El Mercurio” newspaper. “There is no other beach in Chile with a panoramic view of the Andes Range such as you’ll find at Las Tijeras, the paradisiac
beach of Dama island facing Punta de Choros”, states
the publication. The magazine also stresses that “it is worthwhile going to
experience its crystal-clear turquoise
waters, framed by the most
Caribbean-looking sands of this ranking.”
Thus, Punta de Choros
undoubtedly stands out as one of the best alternatives for those in search of
peaceful beaches in close proximity to nature.