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Bahia Inglesa

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Bahía Inglesa: Where the Desert Meets the Sea

Bahía Inglesa's beaches are quiet, their white sands contrasting with the surrounding black rocks, which form natural swimming pools of turquoise water. You'll feel so far removed from the world that you'll want to stay forever. This coastline's magic comes from the immensity of desert that surrounds it. Located just 81 km from Copiapó and 5 km from Caldera, this spot attracts travelers from all over come to enjoy lengthy visits in seaside cabins.

The summer days are fairly hot, but the temperatures drop each evening and you'll need something warm to wear. The average annual temperatures reach a maximum of around 20°C and a minimum of approximately 7°C.

Bahía Inglesa is great for sports and open air adventures. There are several beaches, some of them with breezes that are conductive to kitesurfing, which consists of standing on a small board while a kite pulled by the wind powers you over the waves at high speed.

To the north of the bay is Playa Piscina (literally, Swimming Pool Beach), where the rocks form quiet inlets that are ideal for visiting with children. Just 4 km south of Bahía Inglesa is Playa Rocas Negras (Black Rock Beach), where you can go fishing. If you continue another three kilometers, you will arrive at Playa Las Machas, a great place for swimming, fishing, and water sports. In Bahía Cisne, on the coast to the south of Bahía Inglesa, you can find good winds for windsurfing, sailing or kitesurfing.

If your idea of getting to know a place includes touring, you can put some miles on a Jeep or a bicycle in these parts, especially if you want the best views of the flowering desert, a phenomenon that occurs every time El Niño increases sea temperatures and, like a miracle, it rains in the desert. The seeds that have been waiting under the sand germinate within a couple of days of receiving even a modest amount of rain, and the show begins.

Many people travel a long way to visit this bay. When you arrive, you will know why it was chosen as a hideout by corsairs in centuries past.

 

Featured Destinations

aBahía Inglesa

bPan de Azúcar National Park
cHumboldt Penguin National
          Reserve

dOjos del Salado


 

Getting There

en avion
By Air
There are flights from Santiago to the Desierto de Atacama Airport, which is 50km northeast of Copiapó (1 h 30 min). Taxi services can take you to Bahía Inglesa.
bus
By Bus
Bus service is available from Santiago to Copiapó (12 h).
In Santiago buses leave from:
• Terminal Los Héroes: Located at the intersection of Tucapel Jiménez and Alameda near the Los Héroes Metro Station. Several companies provide service to northern Chile. Telephone: (56-2) 4200099
• Terminal San Borja (formerly Terminal Norte): Located at San Borja and Alameda near the Estación Central Station. Several companies provide service to northern Chile and destinations within the Metropolitan Region. Telephone: (56-2) 7760645
Buses leave every hour or two for Bahía Inglesa from the Buena Esperanza terminal in Copiapó.
en auto
By Car
From Santiago to Copiapó, take Route 5 north (804km). The main highway cuts northwest near Caldera (76km) and Bahía Inglesa (81km), with a westward detour to these destinations.
 

 

Tips

01

When to Go Flowering Desert Sunscreen
A lot of travelers come in the summer time, but the beaches are fantastic in autumn, too, and there are almost no tourists. The desert flowers towards the end of the Chilean winter and the beginning of spring. The best time to see the flowering desert is between July and August. You'll see the daubs of color from a distance. Many of the flower and insect species are unique to the region. The best place to enjoy its full splendor is about 20 km south of Copiapó. Take Route 5 north and then any of the side routes between kilometer markers 780 and 735. Make sure you use a good sunscreen, at least factor 30, as well as sunglasses and a hat with a brim.

02

"Picadas" Taking the Coastal Route Caldera
You can eat very well in Bahía Inglesa. The restaurants across from the beach have a laid back atmosphere and serve tasty fish and shellfish. The road that goes south as far as Huasco offers lots of spots for taking photos of wetlands, areas rich in fossils, and beautiful views between the hills, the desert, and the sea. Located just 5km north of Bahía Inglesa, this is a good place to find lodging and a variety of services.

 

 

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