Chile’s surf capital becomes world wave reserve

Punta de Lobos is named the newest World Surfing Reserve joining a list of prestigious surf spots across the world.

Arriving at the jagged outcrop of Punta de Lobos, it’s easy to see there is something special about the place: large, perfectly formed deep-blue waves assault the beach with metronomic rhythm, the vast horizon of the Pacific stretching out behind them.

Over the years, Punta de Lobos — a few miles from the laid-back town of Pichilemu on the central coast — has built a name for itself as the country’s surf capital and, since the secret got out, a favorite destination for top athletes from across the world.

This status was recently confirmed when Punta de Lobos was named the newest World Surfing Reserve, joining a prestigious network of other wave hot spots including Malibu, California; Manly Beach, Australia and Bahia Todos Santos, Mexico.

The organizations behind the scheme — Save the Waves and World Surfing Reserves —
highlighted the unique atmosphere and natural beauty of the area.

“Punta de Lobos is a very special place,” Save The Waves Ambassador and Chilean surf legend Ramon Navarro said. “It is where everything comes together in perfect harmony to create the most perfect waves on the planet and gives life to a unique natural setting.”

The area boasts a rich coastal and marine ecosystem, including a raft of fish, crustacean cactus and bird species, as well as being a migratory point for gray whales.

“Punta de Lobos is an incredible marine sanctuary and it deserves to be respected and treated accordingly. This is an important moment for Chile to become aware of this,” Navarro commented.

For several years Punta de Lobos has hosted the Quiksilver Ceremonial leg of the Big Wave World Tour, bringing the world’s best surfers to Chile and promoting top local athletes such as Navarro in the process.

Located in the O’Higgins Region, Pichilemu is 125 miles south-west of Santiago and can be reached by regular bus service from the capital. From there Punta de Lobos is a ten minute drive south.