I’ve visited Chile 4 times now, one of the few countries in the world I have returned to so often and I’m always astonished at the crowds on the beach. Chile is a long narrow country and has thousands of miles of sandy beaches yet every single beach seems to be jam-packed with people, where do they all come from?
Well, Argentina for starters. La Serena in particular is a big summer vacation destination for the Argentinians just a short flight or a day’s drive away they seem to arrive by the hordes. Chile is not a country resort developers have discovered and families prefer to rent condos to accommodate bigger and/or extended family members.
I digress, back to the sand. The beach life in Chile seems to fit wonderfully into the laid back lifestyle of South Americans. Often you will see few families on the beach before 3pm.
Since the ozone layer is thinner over this part of the world the sun is simple too hot to handle; good sunscreen is a must even if you’re going out to run an errand. But by 5pm the beach is covered in bodies lounging, playing, swimming and vendors hawking items from cold drinks, home made baked items to umbrellas and sand toys for the kids.
As the sun starts to set you begin to see families packing up belongings, wiping away the sand and taking that one last dip in the ocean.
One funny thing that always captures my attention is the multitude of colours lined up across the sand from umbrellas and blankets being laid out. It just looks neat. See for yourself.