Sandboarding is becoming more popular in the country's central and northern regions, which offer large dunes with fine sands and majestic views. Best of all, the sport is still so new that you won't have to deal with hordes of tourists.
The best known place for practicing this sport is Valle de la Muerte, located 2 km from San Pedro de Atacama, where local agencies provide sandboards, guides and transportation to gigantic dunes of fine sand. The slopes allow you to reach high speeds and offer the unique colors and textures of the Atacama Desert at sundown. You can also surf the dunes by starlight.
Next, head to Cerro Dragón, in Iquique, which offers soft hills, strong winds and a panoramic view of the Pacific Ocean. You'll find the solitary dunes of the Quebrada de Quisma further inland along with the picturesque town of Pica, where you can enjoy relaxing hot springs after a day of sandboarding.
Another northern destination for fans of this exciting sport is Medanoso, near Copiapó. At 1,600 meters, it's the tallest dune in Chile and part of the Argentina-Chile Dakar Rally. In the evening, it turns a deep orange and during the winter, it is covered in snow.
Located 130 km from La Serena, Punta de Choros offers enormous dunes that allow sandboarders to reach top speeds as well as beautiful landscapes. The best part is that this cove is also home to other tourist attractions, including peaceful beaches and excursions to Isla Damas, where you can see bottlenose dolphins and penguins.
If you're in central Chile, you can find dunes in Mantagua, Bosquemar and Bahía Navidad. These are somewhat less spectacular, but are steep enough to offer plenty of thrills. Bosquemar, between Reñaca and Concón, looks out onto the Pacific towards the bay of Valparaíso and offers adrenaline-packed descents. Group and individual classes are available and the fee includes a board, goggles and boots, not to mention a chance to enjoy some exceptional sunsets.
|San Pedro de Atacama||Copiapó|
|Iquique||La Serena and Coquimbo|