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Papudo is a fishing town about 115 kilometers north of Viña del Mar and 5 kilometers north of Zapallar. Legend has it that the Spanish first landed on the shores of Papudo in 1536. The area was then inhabited by the Chango tribe, whose leader, Chief Carande had a double chin (papada in Spanish) and so the Spanish called the area Papudo.


The area once described by Pedro de Valdivia as the "paradise of God" has undergone some recent tourist development and some say it’s not quite as pretty as it used to be. It’s still very beautiful and worth visiting.


There are several golden beaches to relax on or to enjoy water sports. Playa Grande, in the north of Papudo is popular with body boarders and surfers. Playa Chica is quieter and good for swimming and water sports. In good weather, you can take a fishing trip or hire horses and ride across the beach. The area is home to an impressive array of wildlife including penguins, otters, sea lions, seals and dolphins.


If you get bored of the beach, visit Iglesia Nuestra Senora de Las Mercedes. This pretty neo-colonial church dates from 1918. Laid out in the shape of a Latin cross, the façade has baroque carvings. It was declared a historical monument in 1995.


Alternatively, take a walk along Avenida Costanera Glorias Navales for great views of all the beaches in Papudo. Another tourist attraction is the fish market, Caleta de Pescadores.


For cheap lodgings try Il Gabiano on Chorrillos 183 (Tel: 3-379-0155,, Hotel Carande on Chorrillos 89 (Tel: 3-379-1105, or Cabañas Los Arrayanes on Baquedano 333

(Tel: 3-379-0138).


For fish and seafood try Il Gabiano on Chorrillos 183 (Tel: 3-379-0155, Donde Pablo on Avenida Glorias Navales (Tel: 3-379-1942).



Getting to and away:

Bus from Santiago: take a bus from Estación Central.

Driving from Santiago: Follow route 5 north until 155 kilometers, where you will find a detour towards the west. Drive another 15 kilometers.

Driving from Viña del Mar or Valparaíso: head for routes F-30-E.

Bus from Viña del Mar: buses depart from Plaza Sucre (just off Avenida Valparaíso ) and Plaza Parroquia (close to the entrance of Quinta Vergera) every 30 – 40 minutes. In summer departures are as late as 9 p.m. In winter, last departures are at around 7 p.m.

Bus from Valparaíso: from Avenida Errázuriz take any bus going north to Papudo.




Other places nearby Papudo: Quintero, Horcon, Zapallar and Maitencillo.

By Noleen Turner
I'm originally from Northern Ireland but have lived in Santiago de Chile for over two years. I work in marketing communications and as a writer and...
07 Jul 2009

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