Central Pleasures Route
Santiago – La Campana (98 kms.)
On route 5 heading north we reach Ocoa, one on the 3 sectors of the La Campana Park, and according to us, the best sector. Head up to Ocoa town and then to Rabuco and follow the directions. We found a lot of camping and BBQ sectors to make our stay as comfortable as possibly. One or two nights here are recommended. Trekking options are available. On top of La Campana Hill, not on a cloudy day you can see how skinny Chile is: you can see the Argentina border to the east and the Pacific Ocean to the west. (Entrance price: $1500 CLP, camping $ 6000 no drinking water available)
La Campana – Maitencillo (137 kms.)
So, back on route 5 always driving north, after El Melon tunnel we took the detour to the coast, directly to Maintencillo. We reached Maitencillo early in the morning in order to maximize our time to spend at the beach, practice some surf and chill out until nightfall.
Maitencillo – Zapallar 10 Kms
A good day trip is heading a little bit north bordering the coast to Zapallar, very nice beaches and “buena onda”. The beach is really nice. We wandered around looking for a place to park our van for the night, but finally we found a very “bakan” camping, Camping Laguna Zapallar. 500 meters from Laguna Zapallar in front of the road to Catapilco, 1,5 Kms from Playa La Laguna.
Caleta Horcón (playa Cau-Cau and playa Luna nudism) 140 KM Stgo
Viña del Mar-Concon-Horcones: both route 68 Stgo-Viña as route 5 north Stgo-Nogales-Horcon are similar in distance but Route 5 north is more direct and without many detours and traffic jams. The main beach is Playa Larga. It’s not very appealing, but they are some exceptional beaches on both sides of the town. Quilicura beach is 4km away north from Playa Larga, and you can camp at the end of it. Cau-Cau Beach is accessed from a marked road in town, also excellent. Ask any local how to get to Luna beach, the first nudist beach to be known in Chile, don’t be inhibited!
Horcon - Valparaiso (50 kms.)
We drove south boarding the coast to Valparaiso to see the hills and eat sea food. We recommend you if you are leaving the van for a walk to park on pay car park to avoid getting the van mugged. After walking around every corner on Cerro Concepcion and Cerro Alegre, we took a drink in the famous nightclub El Huevo, and so if you´re on the mood definitely recommend this place. After an intense “carrete” (party) night, there´s nothing compared as finding the right place to spend your “caña” (hangover) in peace. To Sleep:
Playa Amarilla at the end of Concon is ideal.
Valparaiso – Santiago (117 kms.)
If Valparaiso night was a piece of cake and your liver is not complaining, in Casablanca we found more than an option to silence our thirst. We joined a short wine tour in this town, always asking for premium wines. Remember to drive with care if you took more than one tour. After tasting some wine, we were ready to go back to our boring Santiago, on route 68. If you are too drunk, you always can chill on the back of the van.