Zapallar, a lovely sea-side village in Chile

Zapallar is an exceptionally picturesque coastal town in central Chile reachable by freeway from Santiago in under 2hrs, making for a ideal day-trip or a overnight visit. The small resort town is very crowded in the months of January and February, and mostly empty the rest of the year. It sits on a breathtaking coastline that is reminiscent of Big Sur in California, and offers numerous panoramic vistas and hiking trails, wonderful seafront restaurants, and stunning views of the Pacific Ocean making landfall against various rocky outcrops.

A local's guide to Zapallar activities and restaurants

  • IMG_8071

The goal of this website is to provide first time visitors with inspiration to visit Zapallar.  The site is comprised of photographs and articles put together by Forest Key, Randall Urban, and other members of the "Casanueva" extended family, which have lived off and on in Zapallar for nearly 100 years.  Forest lived in and has visited Zapallar off and on since the early 1970s, and is proud to have attended the local public school for a few years! Randall currently has a vacation home in town and lives in Zapallar several months each year.

We hope you enjoy the content and find it helpful in planning your visit to Zapallar.

-- Forest & Randall

Aerial fly-overs of Zapallar

Fellow Zapallar enthusiast Ignacio created this stunning video of Zapallar's beach and main bay using his drone, for some spectacular views.  Thanks to Ignacio for permision to re-post his video here, check out his website

Zapallar featured in the New York Times!

  • Screen Shot 2015-03-21 at 6.22.35 PM

The New York Times' travel writer Eric Lipton recently visited and greatly enjoyed his time in Zapallar, and kindly made reference to this very website as a reference for anyone visiting the area.  Thank you Eric for the shout out, and so glad you came to this part of the world and enjoyed your stay!  I recommend Eric's artcile Tranquil, Sandy Refuges From Bustling Santiago, as a great primer on the Chilean coast for anyone visiting--he makes several good recommendations that compliment your visit to Zapallar itself (among neigboring towns and wineries + hotels he enjoyed staying at).

On a personal note, being linked to by the New York Times is a once-in-a-lifetime honor, i'm an avid reader of the paper and think it is the best newspaper on planet earth!  -- Forest

Recommendations for visiting Chile

A lot of visitors to this site have emailed me and asked for broader recommendations for a first time visitor to Chile, so i put together a overview on my blog that might come in handy.  It of course mentions visiting Zapallar as one of the must-do elements of any visit to Chile!  Here's my recommendations for visiting chile.

Places to Stay in Zapallar
Frente Hotel
Zapallar Valparaiso
Hotel Casa Zapallar, a privileged place, where we simply make you feel at home. Less than two hours from Santiago, you will find the charm of the small bay, beach, sea, nature reserves and the hills that surround Zapallar make one of most beautiful corners of the Chilean coast. A place where tradition and modernity come together to pick what best defines us, the taste for the simple and well done. A quiet space that seduces and surprises.
Main terrace
Zapallar V Region
Wonderful beach rental property in Zapallar, Chile. Ideal for couples looking for a romantic get away to the Chilean Pacific coast. Available for longer rental periods during the spring/winter/fall, outside of the peak Dec-Mar season in Chile.
Hotel Isla Seca is a unique European-style boutique hotel that reflects the history of Zapallar, just 170 kms from Santiago and about 2 hrs by safe modern freeway. It has an unparalleled ocean view, deluxe and first class service. This, together with the exquisite and selected menu from its on premise Restaurant, Isla Seca, will make your stay a unique experience!