Surfing the wine and waves in central Chile

Only hours from the capital, Chile’s central region offers travelers both high-octane sports as well as highly-civilized wine tasting.  

For many travelers, the thrill of heading into exotic locations is the best time to engage in adventure sports and high-risk activities, while others prefer to relax and enjoy regional wines and beers.
And then there’s those who want it all. . .
It was with this latter category in mind that BootsnAll, a long-standing online company aimed at independent travelers, recently compiled a list of locations that provide both world-class wine tasting as well as adrenaline-pumping adventure sports.
Coming in at the number one position was central Chile, an area in which travelers can sample both the world class wines of the Colchagua Valley and the swell at Pichilemu.
And the beauty of these destinations is that they are both within hours of Chile’s capital, Santiago, meaning that travelers can use the international metropolis as a base between activities, and enjoy the best of its culinary, artistic and nightlife scenes.
The Colchagua Valley, one of Chile’s most renowned wine growing regions, is the closer of the two destinations, situated about 94 miles (150 km) south of Santiago – making it an easy daytrip from the capital, although travelers with time on their hands will almost certainly want to stay longer.
Here at This is Chile we can also add a long list of adrenaline-pumping activities: hot-air ballooning, horse riding, mountain climbing, skiing and hiking are all on store in this privileged location, wedged between the Andes and coastal mountain ranges.
The diverse soil types and microclimates in the valley make for a range of different wines, including Cabernet Sauvignon, Merlot, Syrah, Carmenere and Malbec, meaning there is plenty on offer on the enological front as well.
Meanwhile Pichilemu – Chile’s most famed surf destination – lies about a three hours drive southwest of Santiago.
The dramatic cliffs that plunge into the ocean and jet-black sand make this a completely unique surf destination, and with a range that includes the 20 foot (6 meter) monsters of Punta de Lobos and the gentle swells and surf schools of El Infiernillo, there’s a wave in Pichilemu for all levels.