Matanzas is a small one street village located two and a half hours drive south from Santiago. It belongs to the borough of Navidad and is home for a few families that practice traditional farming, small scale fishing and increasingly tourism powered by surfing ,windsurfing and kitesurfing.
With strong winds that often reach 35 knots this coastal zone of Chile is one of the best options in the world for kitesurfers searching for extreme wind and waves. The best time to go is October to March with big swells often reaching 3 to 5 meters at the beginning and end of this period. Beware that although summer temperatures of inland Santiago can reach 30 degrees, coastal Matanzas is much colder with 20 degrees in the day time and often 10 degrees at night. The climate is moderated by the Humboldt current ( 10 to 14 degrees) which runs straight up from Antarctica. Warm clothing and a full 5mm single lined wetsuit is essential…
Wave riding spots
This spot is mainly used by surfers and windsurfers although it can also be used for kitesurfing when you get passed the wind shadow created by the nearby headland. The best point is just in front of the fisherman’s cove where the wind is side-shore and the waves peel nicely reaching 0.5 to 3meters.
La Vega de Pupuya
Pupuya is located 5km south from Matanzas. Here the wind is stronger and more on-shore than Matanzas. This place is ideal for jumping waves and has similar conditions found sometimes in the Mediterranean sea. A 4×4 car is necessary otherwise you will get stuck in the sand.
La Roca Cuadrada
This was the location of the 2007 and 2008 PKRA wave world cup and probably one of the best wave riding spots in the world. Popular among local kitesurfers it is found by driving on the beach 1.5 km North from Matanzas village therefore a 4×4 is essential as the sand is very soft. Waves are predictable with a respectable size, landing and launching a kite sketchy due to turbulent air near the beach. The scenery is amazing and the wave riding even better.
This unique place is situated 50mn drive (if you don’t get lost) south from Matanzas. Topocalma has stronger winds than anywhere else but is also very, very gusty to the point it makes kitesurfing there almost impossible. The spot is better left to surfers and windsurfers but the scenery alone makes it worth a visit.
Off the water
The only real option for accommodation in the area is the hotel Surazo and the Olas de Matanzas cabins and camp site. You can also rent a cabin from the local villagers by looking around but unless you are lucky, good ones are hard to find and living standards range from basic to very basic… Apart from the nice Surazo hotel, Matanzas village has just one restaurant (Varadero) and one small grocery store with limited supplies. Nightlife is inexistent and the closest ATM is 1 hour drive away so go prepared !