Viña del Mar is a city with 350,000 inhabitants, located on Chile’s Pacific coast. It is part of an urban cluster of 5 cities (Valparaíso, Concón, Quilpué, Villa Alemana and Viña del Mar), which for the purposes of studies is known as GRAN VALPARAISO, with a total of more than 1,500,000 inhabitants. It is just 120 km from the capital, providing a captive audience for its tourist industry as well as other activities. The city began to develop in the year 1874 as a sleeper town for Puerto de Valparaíso, the country’s biggest port, but it currently boasts the highest level of economic activity of all five cities, with a very strong hotel tourism sector and popular beaches. With over 30 km of coastline suitable for all kinds of nautical activities, SURFING features very prominently as a tourist activity and competitive sport here.
The city has 4 very active beaches for the practice of water sports. “Reñaca” is its most famous beach and has the best waves for surfing. This beach hosts major surfing events, including competitions on national and Latin American circuits, and it will also soon be hosting WSL and PASA events, among others.
There are surfing schools at “La Boca”, a beach located 10 km to the north of Reñaca. There are over 20 surf schools at La Boca, most of which are official, which makes it the most popular beach for recreational surfing and lessons.
Surfing started out in the city in the 1980s with a handful of local surfers and then boomed in the 90s. Today, the city is home to more than 1000 surfers in all its variants, including bodyboarding, long/short board surfing, and SUP. Viña del Mar is one of the strongest surfing cities in Chile and is set to host surfing events at the Pan American Games 2023. On account of its proximity to Chile’s capital, Santiago, every weekend the beaches of Viña del Mar and the surrounding area draw increasing numbers of surfers.
It has around 12 specialist surf shops, and the sport is now no longer seasonal but instead is enjoyed all year round.
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