Resort Guide: Matanzas Region, Chile, Chile

ACCOMMODATION

A Chilean windsurfer called Hector teamed up with a windsurfing architect called Felipe and together they created Olas de Matanzas. It is really the only/best option for accommodation in the area and you can either camp or stay in one of their six log cabins depending on your budget. The cabins come in all shapes and sizes and are totally awesome complete with decking, BBQ’s and log fires. From here you can rig up and walk to the ocean; it’s such a great set up.

To camp costs CH$5,000 (£5) /person/day and if you need tent and sleeping bag then add another 5,000 on and ask ahead of time. A couple of people we met had rented small vans and slept in their vans at the camp site, so this is another option but by not having a 4x4 you limit your beach access.

FOOD

Living costs in Chile are pretty cheap; you can eat out for the equivalent of £2. However, we ended up cooking almost every night because after long sessions on the water we couldn’t really be bothered to leave the cabin. You can buy some fresh produce in Matanzas itself and the bare essentials. In Navidad and La Boca (10 mins away) you can find some slightly larger stores offering a wider variety of food. A small supermarket recently opened in Rapel (20 mins away) with the biggest in Santa Domingo which is just over an hour away. The best thing is to stock up on your way to Matanzas from the airport in Santa Domingo. A good bottle of Chilean wine costs £1.50 and you can get 1 litre of vodka for £2.50. This indicates the general level of pricing in the supermarkets.

NIGHTLIFE

You're based two and a half hours away from Santiago so the nightlife is what you make it to be! If you meet other people staying around you, you can team up, have bbq's etc but that is about it! If you want a raging night out then your closest option is Pichilemu. An hour and a half south of Matanzas this is the biggest village you will come across on the nearby coastal region. There is one nightclub, it's called 127 (ciento veinte-siete) and the best night is a Saturday. Chileans party late, so don't expect it to start filling up until around 1 am and it costs £3.00 to get in, including a drink.

The local drink is Pisco which is essentially a white brandy and they either drink Pisco sours, (which is the brandy mixed with lemon juice and sugar: highly recommended) or Piscola (Pisco and Coke). 

BORED OF WINDSURFING?

Chile is an awesome place to be if you are unlucky enough to not have wind, but depending on what you do you may have to drive a little.

Shop: A day trip to Santiago which is two and a half hours away. 

Surf: Chile is quite famous for surfing; Puertocillo is the famous surfing spot near Matanzas, but the best surfs we had were at Topocalma. Punta Lobos is near Pichilemu and is very famous for surfing; in 2006 it was a photo taken at Punta Lobos that won the Billabong prize for largest wave paddled into.

Taste Wine: You can also go wine tasting which we highly recommend. Santa Cruz is the nearest place to Matanzas (an hour and a half south) and there are lots of vine yards. Cost is around £5 plus depending on where you go. We visited MontGras which is a vineyard just before you reach Santa Cruz.

White Water Rafting: The Andes dominate the east of Chile so you can go trekking, climbing, skiing (if it's their winter) but we went for the white water rafting option which was three and a half hours away and cost £15. I definitely advise anyone to spend at least a day or two seeing other parts of the country because the climate and landscape changes so much and it's well worth seeing.