Centro y Centro Sur, Chile
The best kite spot near Santiago in Region V is Santo Domingo. You’ll need a 4x4 vehicle and there’s often current, but it’s worth the hassle as this world-class wave boasts three distinct sections. Windsurfers congregate 15km down the coast at the point breaks of Punta Toro and Ho’okipa. On the border with Region VI, at the mouth of Rio Rapel is La Boca – great for learners until about 1pm, after which winds can top 30 knots. For a real challenge, Las Brisas promises choppy waves and pounding shorebreak with strong cross-onshore winds and heavy currents. The main break in the popular venue of Matanzas is generally quite small with gusty cross-offshore wind, but there’s a larger, cleaner, more cross-shore wave just north of town. If the swell’s too small to work, drive five minutes off-road to Pupuya – an open beach offering great onshore jumping and backside riding that can get very windy. Further south, way off the beaten track within a private hacienda is Punta Topacalma. This place is cross-offshore waveriding perfection, more suited to advanced windsurfers than kiters as winds get seriously strong and gusty in the afternoon. Visitor numbers are controlled and permission to enter Fundo del Topacalma must be sought at the gate; take ID. Camp half an hour south at Puertecillo. Two spots in Pichilemu offer great waves: The Point in town is amazingly long and clean, if slightly sheltered from the wind. Infernillos to the south is shorter, yet faster, more hollow, and open to the wind. Into Region VII, the broad sweeping beach of Llico hosts the Chilean windsurf nationals every year. Cross-onshore with a serious wave, though heavy shorebreak and high winds are common. A few minutes inland, there’s camping and very cool nightlife at Lake Vichuquen. Near the town of Constitución, Punta Parron is an excellent riding wave that rarely gets too big or too windy. It’s ideal for kiting, but requires good off-road driving skills to find. Curanipe is a friendly town with a glassy wave and meaty lips. It’s one of Chile’s best surfing spots, but gets cross-shore wind most afternoons. Ten minutes away another wave breaks in front of the rocks at the south of the huge black beach of Playa Sirena. There’s a fair rip and the wave breaks pretty close to shore, but it’s relatively safe for anyone with wavesailing experience. 100km south, Dichato and Lenga are sheltered spot for beginners, with moderate winds and no waves. Three hours further south, the radical break at Quidico can challenge anyone on its day with cross-offshore winds and great swell. It takes a boat to reach Isla Mocha, 15km offshore, then there’s nothing but horse-drawn carts to get around some exceptional spots: Isla Mocha, Faro Viejo offers cross-offshore riding with a wave that’s excellent for aerials. Downwind, Isla Mocha, Parcela 25 is great for cross-onshore jumping. And Isla Mocha, Parcela 12 is a picturesque white sand, clear water spot that’s good for waveriding and jumping. It’s notable for facing south, making it one of Chile’s only starboard tack locations. Back on the mainland, Tirua is a nice jumping spot with a left-hander and strong cross to cross-onshore winds. Deeper into Region X, towards the icefields and glaciers of Patagonia, the Antarctic really makes its presence felt. Playa de Carelmapu is a vast white sand beach where small waves break in clean sets. It can blow up to 35 knots for powerful jumping and waveriding, but be ready for the cold.
Kite and Windsurfing Guide