Playa la Virgin is, in my opinion as a beach addict, without a doubt one of the best beaches in Chile. Its horseshoe shape protects it from the wind, its location in the Atacama Region makes its waters less cold than those of the central coast and its fine white sand, added to the turquoise of its waters, can easily remind us of the Caribbean.
The only complication is that it is somewhat far away, here I will leave you all the alternatives how to get there. This summer I visited it for the second time and here I will tell you everything about La Virgin beach, so that you can put it on your radar.
How to get to La Virgin beach?
The first thing you should do is get to the Atacama Region, you can get to Caldera by bus, move by car along Route 5 North or take a flight from Santiago to the El Loa de Copiapo airport.
The bad news is that there is no public transport to get to the beach , in fact in the last section, about 20 minutes, the road is simply a dirt track, a dirt road that makes the car and the road vibrate a lot. location is quite remote.
On the way to La Virgin beach
By car: whether you come by car or if arriving at the Copiapo airport you rent one (which was my choice), you must leave the airport heading west and with Waze you can guide yourself in the detours to take. From the airport it takes just over 40 minutes to the beach itself.
Renting a car may seem like an expensive option, but knowing that public transport does not arrive and that otherwise you would have to go on a tour, it may be the best option.
The rental cost me $ 21,500 clp per day with Econorent, the car was diesel so I spent less than $ 10,000 clp on gasoline for a whole weekend. Between friends, if they divide it, it can be an excellent alternative. There are several Rent a Car companies at the airport.
If you have never ventured to rent a car, read here a guide with everything you need to know to do it without any setback.
On tour: there are several tour companies that travel through various beaches, ending at La Virgin beach. The experience is around $ 20,000 clp per person and does not include food, you must bring your snacks. One of these companies is: Geoturismo Atacama , but you can find others that offer the service on the Bahía Inglesa and Caldera waterfront.
In Uber: a one-way Uber from caldera is around $ 30,000 clp, so I would immediately reject the idea.
Can I stay at La Virgin beach?
Yes, La Virgin beach has 32 camping sites , to the left of the beach at the top. These have private bathrooms, laundry rooms and electricity for each of the sites. The sites are suitable for both tents and motorhomes.
The price per night for 2 people is $ 30,000 clp, a value that increases according to the number of people. If you are used to camping in different parts of the country you will realize that the price is quite high, however it seems to me that it is quite worth it, at least for a couple of days.
There are also double cabins for $ 80,000 clp per night for 2 people and family cabins for up to 6 people at $ 110,000 clp per night, fully equipped.
At the upper left end of the beach are the camping sites, on the right some of the cabins and their children’s games
In the upper left corner of the beach are the camping sites, on the right some of the cabins and their children’s games, with a view of the beach
If you don’t want to stay on the beach and just want to visit, I recommend you look for accommodation in Caldera or Bahia Inglesa if you want to be a few meters from the beach, or do as I did and stay in Copiapo , which is an hour away, but where you will find greater hotel offer and better prices, as well as a varied gastronomic offer.
Let’s talk about parking first , the first time I went, it seemed quite expensive $ 10,000 clp for the day, but the car is visible throughout the day.
The alternative if you want to save this expense is to leave the car parked outside the main entrance of the beach area , where many people leave their car and walk to it along the path indicated for pedestrians.
If you choose this alternative, do not forget to wear sunscreen, because the route you walk is in full sun and it can be quite unforgiving.
Bathrooms: there are bathrooms available, the value is $ 500 pesos for the use of these. I was coming directly from the airport so I used them to change and go down to the beach.
Emporium: there is a small emporium that has all kinds of provisions, from snacks to hygiene items, that may be necessary for those who stay camping.
Beach kiosk: here you will find ice cream, snacks, water, soft drinks and also parasols and lounge chairs. If you smoke, you can order portable cigarette butts here to avoid dirtying the beach and return them when you leave.
Restaurant Coral de La Virgin: in the upper right part of the beach you will find a nice restaurant where you will have a panoramic view of the beach. The prices here seemed to me within the average, without being exactly a cheap restaurant.