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“Worth a visit but not a detour” 4 of 5 stars
Review of Pan de Azucar National Park

Pan de Azucar National Park
Chanaral, Chile
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Ranked #1 of 3 things to do in Chanaral
Certificate of Excellence
Attraction details
San Francisco, California
Level Contributor
126 reviews
32 attraction reviews
common_n_attraction_reviews_1bd8 80 helpful votes
“Worth a visit but not a detour”
4 of 5 stars Reviewed May 22, 2013

To reach this park, you have to drive through some rather dreary parts of the desert and the dreary town of Chanaral. From the entrance to the park to the beach or camp sites, its about a 30 minute drive - 4 wheel drive not required. I visited in May which is fall/winter. I saw only a few other people while I was there. Some of the beaches have white sand and a wicked surf. There are some camping sites and a few rustic cabins for rent. The highlight was stopping at the guard shack/tourist information site just before Caleche where there are some rustic restaurants. The young man staffing the place was very knowledgeable and eager to share information about the park, the best hikes, etc. He even lent me binoculars to watch a pair of dolphins in the bay. His enthusiasm for the place really changed my mind about my visit. If you are in the area and have the time to explore, you will enjoy it, otherwise head further south to Bahia Inglesa.

Visited May 2013
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75 reviews from our community

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English first
Amsterdam, The Netherlands
Level Contributor
76 reviews
15 attraction reviews
common_n_attraction_reviews_1bd8 31 helpful votes
“Special place”
4 of 5 stars Reviewed April 2, 2013 via mobile

We spend 2 nights in a cabin here withv a view over the island. Wonderfull relaxing place. There are some nice hikes in the park or you can ask a fisherman to guide you around the island to see penguins, sealions and more birds. Gorgeous views from the Mirador!!

Visited March 2013
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This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Level Contributor
55 reviews
10 attraction reviews
common_n_attraction_reviews_1bd8 27 helpful votes
“Best Beach in Chille”
5 of 5 stars Reviewed January 9, 2013

Seculded. Relaxing. Great waves for body surfing.
I spent 2 days here and it wasnt enough. The 3 campsites are right on the beach. The campsites cost 3500 to 5000 per person. The cheaper for a bit of ground to pitch a tent, the expensive one for a table and wind and sun cover (i recommend this one as there are no trees). The nearby town has all supplies needed to camp and even a small resturant on the campsite.
The national park is just a desert, no trees etc but this place is worht it if tou want to sit on a a beach and do nothing

Visited January 2013
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This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Level Contributor
17 reviews
7 attraction reviews
common_n_attraction_reviews_1bd8 12 helpful votes
“Go to see the penguins.”
5 of 5 stars Reviewed January 22, 2012

If you haven't seen penguins, go! The fishing boats (5000 pesos each) out to the islands go at random times, but sit and have a drink, and you might get on one. Minimum 10 people.

We stayed in a cabana, 50m from the seashore. Could hear the waves all night and there was a lovely patio to sit out on. The birdlife all along the beach was superb.

campingpandeazucar@hotmail.com or granatacama@gmail.com to book a cabana. We spent weeks trying to find these!

The cabanas were basically equipped (no kitchen knife in the one we had and only one wine glass) but were beautiful with the bedroom overlooking the Pacific and a lovely ensuite bathroom. Electricity is from a single solar panel and you can't plug anything extra in. Bring matches, a penknife (with a tin and bottle opener) and a torch. The bed linen was very luxurious. Don't expect hot water all the time or a state of the art shower - you are in the middle of nowhere!

If you are bus/taxiing in, bring all your food with you and don't expect to buy anything in the Park. The restaurants in the fishing village are good and very reasonable but if you want breakfast and to do your own thing, bring it with you!

A car would have been useful, but as we were only there for 3 nights, we could do all the local walks.

We were handed a tsunami leaflet on arrival and this was somewhat unnerving.

Chanaral is heavily polluted and we are glad we didn't stop there for long.

Visited January 2012
Was this review helpful? Yes 4
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
London (England)
Level Contributor
85 reviews
7 attraction reviews
common_n_attraction_reviews_1bd8 87 helpful votes
“See Humboldt Penguins”
3 of 5 stars Reviewed September 15, 2006

Chañaral is a small town. There is nothing special in the town itself, though it has supermarkets, internet cafes, bars and a Carabeneros post. There are several hostals. And it is easy to get to since it is on the Panamerica, with separate TurBus and Pullman Bus terminals served by many buses.

The main reason for staying there is to visit the Pan de Azucar national park. If you do not have your own car then you will need to take a transfer to the Park - $2,000 per person with a minimum of $6,000 per vehicle.

In the Park there is a straightforward steadily uphill walk along a dirt road/ path up to a mirador on a hill top - about two hours there and back. At the top there are tame-ish small foxes (zorros) looking for food. On the way up are guanacos. Good views at the top.

You can also hire a boat: $40,000 divided by the number of passengers. This gives you a one/ one-and-a-half hour trip round an island withgood views of penguins, sea lions and, if you are lucky, a sea otter.

Was this review helpful? Yes 7
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.

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