On the coast of Colchagua, heading west from Santa Cruz in wine country (and 3 hours south of Santiago), is the surfer town of Pichilemu. Built around a wide, sandy bay at the feet of a steep bluff, the real attraction is Punta de Lobos 3 kilometers south of town.
Similar to some parts of Northern California in climate, here the Pacific is chilly, making for wetsuit usage year round. The coast is covered with pine forests and the sandy beaches are often covered in mist in the morning. The big draw are the waves with huge barrels, attracting surfers from around the world.
Hotel Alaia is a hip boutique hotel with twelve rooms right on the sandy beach in Punta de Lobos. Sporting panoramic views of the surf, and constructed in low slung local wood, the hotel melds into the local landscape. Hotel Alaia has a cool, low key vibe and Santiguianos retreat from the city to recharge their batteries on many weekends. During the summer, breakfast while watching the surfers or evening drinks on their terrace are a delight--just bring a sweater, the chilly Pacific always has a cool breeze.
Doubles from US$200, Punta de lobos 681, Pichilemu, Chile, +56 9 5701 5971