Hola amigos! Now a little word of advice for ANYONE who plans to study abroad in the future: always check your calendar and plan ahead of time. I had found out pretty last minute that October 28th to November 1st was an extended weekend due to two holidays (Reformation Day & All Saints Day); thus, I was not able to venture out on any large or wild trips. The tickets were too expensive in such a late time that it was just not worth wasting the money. Instead I spent the majority of the weekend in Santiago going to costume parties for Halloween.
Besides the costume parties, my friend Lua and I really wanted to leave Santiago and do something different.We had made plans with 2 friends of mine from France to go surfing, but due to unexpected issues, that was cancelled. Finally, Lua and I decided that we were going to a beach no matter what thus we set our sights on Algarrobo.
Algarrobo, about two hours west of Santiago on bus, is a Chilean city located in the San Antonio Province of the Valparaiso (V) region. Since it is right at Chile’s central coast, Algarrobo becomes a popular resort during the summer especially at hotel San Alfonso del Mar which is home to the largest pool in the world. Unfortunately, my friend and I did not have enough time to walk by and check it out.Since it was our first time in Algarrobo we wanted to just focus on the beach which was extremely long and was divided up into different parts (though I cannot for the life of me recall the names and I do remember that the inhabitants did not even know the different names of the beaches, they all just referred to it as Algarrobo Beach).
As you can see by the photos, the sky was really cloudy and frankly it was fairly cold outside yet the beach still had plenty of people basking in its beauty.
I had never seen pelicans so close and in such great numbers. A fisherman had strolled out with a barrel of fish to feed the pelicans and like the flying monkeys from Wizard of Oz, they swarmed all around. I was slightly scared they were going to attack or at least even poop on us seeing the manner in which they all rushed in our direction.
Afterwards, Lua and I headed to the west of the beach, taking photos along the way.
The beach was filled with tons and tons of algae and seaweed. From far I had presumed it to be grass, but closer inspection revealed the icky truth. I do not know why, but I have always found algae gross and never wanted to be near it. However, it is not that bad. My friend took her shoes off to walk across a long rocky path, green by algae. Not wanting to miss out, I did the same. Took some inner strength to walk ahead willingly especially once I began walking across. The mushy, squishy sensation under my feet was not comforting, even more so when I looked down and remember what I was stepping on.
We continued along the beach until we reached a small hill that, walking over, would lead to the more swimmable area of the beach.
The rock formations on the hill were stunning and the combination of beach and forest as a back drop just added to the aesthetic of the area. I felt like I was in Twilight with the pale sky painted over the sights of the high cliffs. But it gets better. Paradise truly kicked in when we began reaching the lowering end of the cliff which lead to the next beach.
This had to be one of the most stunning beaches I have ever seen. The crystal green water clashed in all sides: towards the collapsed rocks and boulders and towards the grinning lifeforms on the shore. Everything was so alive and moving. Adults, children and even street dogs ran into to ice cold waters in pure joy and the waves reacted playfully pushing back like a game of tag.
The water made me shiver. I expected that the longer I stayed in the water, the more I would get used to it, but that was not that case. However, Lua and I continued splashing and swimming as if the cold did not phase us. It was too beautiful of a beach to resist. We did cut back a little though. We had planned to stay at the beach all day until dark, but reality set in and the cold became to much too handle so we exited the waters. Yet, we were not quite done. There was a shark-shaped raft that we noticed exiting the shore and making circles around the deep of the beach. We found the owners of the raft and were delighted to find out they were only charging 2.000 Chilean pesos to go on. This is extremely cheap (almost the same price as Medium French Fries at McDonalds).
It got dark pretty quickly afterwards so we bought some empanadas and french fries to snack on and called it a day. Luck was on our side as we caught the last bus back to Santiago.