El Quisco: Surf, Sand, and Chicha

Dealing with the cultural maelstrom that is Santiago can be pretty exhausting. Add to that the constant partying until dawn that the Chileans pride themselves on and you might be comatose within weeks. Fortunately for you, there’s rest to be had at the picturesque beach town of El Quisco, a stone’s throw from the capital.

Santiago Chile
Photo courtesy Leo Oorts

Located a mere hour-and-a-half south of Santiago, El Quisco is a Chilean hotspot brimming with excitement. Whether you are looking for a relaxing getaway or a hazy weekend and killer headache, El Quisco has it all.

Santiago Chile
Photo courtesy Leo Oorts

The town is full of lodging options for travelers. Hundreds of cabañas sit on a peninsula that juts out into the ocean. It is possible to rent a number of cheap cabañas with incredible views overlooking the coastline for CP$4,000-CP$5,000 (US$8.23-US$10.29) per person.

Although quiet during spring, the town explodes during September 18 for the Fiestas Patrias. This year proved to be exceptional as Chile celebrated its 200th anniversary as an independent country.
Thousands of people covered the beaches.

Hundreds of kites flew throughout the city turning the sky into a multicolored mural.

The smell of barbeque wafted through the air on every street corner as people celebrated the Bicentennial.

The festivities really took off at sundown. One option was to hop in a taxi for a quick ten minute ride to the nearby town of Algarrobo. Thousands of partygoers flocked there at nightfall for the fondas. Fondas are a group of gigantic white tents packed with people, music and food set up for the occasion.

There was a sea of people dancing, laughing and eating. Vendors lined the walls selling bottles of chicha, an alcoholic drink with a taste like grape juice, and large kabobs of meat known as anticuchos. For a night of debauchery, this is definitely your first, and probably last, stop.

Cabañas Entremares
(56)-(35) 475203

Transportation: Buses leave from the Alameda metro station every 10-15 minutes. Tickets: CP$7,000(US$14.40) round trip.

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