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Quintero is a beach town that rests on a peninsula about 50km north of Viña del Mar. It was ‘discovered’ by the Spanish Captain Don Alonso de Quintero on his way back from a voyage to Peru. He was so impressed by the beauty of the landscape that he named the area ‘Bahia de Quintero’ or Quintero Bay in honor of himself.


Quintero is popular for it’s beaches (there are about 20 to choose from), water sports and fishing. It can get very crowded in the summer and is best enjoyed off-peak.


Some argue that the best beach is Playa Loncura. There are lots of tourist restaurants and beach houses so it’s a good place to base yourself while exploring the area. Another popular beach is Playa el Durazno. It’s good for swimming and there are lots of bars and restaurants nearby. Playa Ritoque, a 12 km beach is most popular with surfers but it is more remote. Playa las Cañitas, although small, has a lovely view and there is very good diving. Avoid Playa Albatros as it is located beside a huge air force base and can be noisy.


According to local folklore, La Cueva del Pirata or the Pirate’s Cave at the north of Quintero was used as a hideout by pirates including Francis Drake and Joris Spilpergen. It’s also rumored to be the site of buried treasure. You can’t swim there but it offers stunning views of the coast. Another great viewpoint is Cerro de la Cruz, also known as Cerro Centinela (Sentry Hill). It’s located in the south west.


For cheap lodgings try Hotel Monaco on Avenida 21 de Mayo (Tel: (32) 930 939), Cabanas Rocas del Pirata on Baquedano 10 (Tel: +56 9 432 8111 or or Dunas Hostal on Playa Ritoque (Tel: 099 051 1748 / 0056 9051 1748 or email


For a quick snack try Empanadas Pamela on 470 Avenida 21 De Mayo or Patto’s Shop on 2164 Avenida 21 De Mayo. For a treat try some tradition Chilean food at La Cocina de TEUH on Francisco Bilbao 147.


Getting there:

Driving from Santiago: take route 5 Norte until Nogales. Then take route F-20 until you come to routes F-30-E and F-210. You need to head south at this junction.

Bus from Santiago: take a bus from Estacion Central.

Driving from Viña del Mar or Valpariaso: head north for routes F-30-E and F-210.

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 up to 9pm. In winter, last departures are at around 7pm.

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

Driving from Mendoza: take routes 60, 5 Norte, F-30-E and F-210.


Other places nearby Quintero: Papudo, Zapallar, Horcon 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...
26 Aug 2008

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