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.


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 Coquimboand 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: the 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 hotels.

The climate of the area is semi-arid, especially toward the north, where the Atacama Desertbegins, 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 Domingo 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.

This post is also available in Spanish