Tuesday, January 25, 2011
Your first glimpse of Papudo’s beach is one of those, “Oh, now I see why the place is packed!” moments. The long crescent stretch of sand is a magnificent place to spend an afternoon. Hundreds of bathers stand in waist high water hoping to ride the foamy rollers onto the beach. They are not disappointed.
The squeals of kids when a big swell gets up a head of steam is the kind of quintessential beach noise that means you’re in the right place. This is the height of summer, school’s out and so are the day trippers from Valparaiso to Quillota. Beach umbrellas speckle the sand like so much confetti. From early afternoon until at least 8 PM, the sun pours it on. Why rush home?
Papudo feels a bit tonier than Maitencillo a bit farther down the coast. A lovely church anchors the center of the town. A short walk from the beach, with a mini flea market on one edge, a well-tended grassy park with labeled specimens of trees that grow in the area. Pick your spot – shade and tranquility in the town square or the soft rumble of surf hitting the beach. Way to go, Papudo!