I was talking to the mission president’s wife at church one Sunday in Chile and she gave me a list of some of her favorite places. She said Zapallar was one of her favorites. So we planned to take a weekend trip up there after Valentine’s Day.
We got off late on Friday night and traffic was terrible. We didn’t pull into our Maintecillo AirBnb until about 10:30pm. That turned out to be a blessing since the place I booked was a dive! You win, you some lose some. We opted for this specific place because it was around $80 a night. The only other options were over $300 for one night. Since we just needed a place to stay, we decided to go the cheaper route. But we paid for it.
The water was not safe to drink.. All the beds were old and creaky. Blake was afraid to sleep on the top bunk, so Brandon offered to. However, as soon as he jumped to the top bunk, the entire bed almost collapsed. We quickly learned that our best option was to snuggle close in a queen bed all together, except Eli who slept in his pack n play in the kitchen.
We got out of there as quick as we could the next morning…turns out Brandon got bed bugs from that stay.
We drove down to the coast to get some fruit and groceries for breakfast. And boy were we happy to get outside!
And then we drove up to magical Zapallar which was about 15 minutes away.
Zapallar had a very different feeling to it. It clean, well kept, and beautiful and large homes hugged the coastline. There is a famous “rambla” – a stone pathway that follows the coast for miles. It was built hundreds of years ago from skilled craftstmen who laid rocks together to create a walking path.
We ventured down the first part to a hill that overlooked the bay at Zapallar.
We then grabbed lunch at the cutest restaurant. It was right on the beach. So as we waited for our food to come, the kids could play right in the sand and we heard the waves crashing into the shore. It was so memorable! The sand was so beautiful and soft. We stayed there for hours.
I went on a little walk and found an outdoor market. We also spotted this painter who was painting the very scene we were living in at that moment.
We had really wanted to make it to Puentes Arenas(at the southern tip of Chile) to go see wild penguins, but plans just weren’t coming together. We heard there was a small island off of Zapallar where penguins resided. Although we weren’t allowed to go on to the island, we could at least see them which was really cool!
As if our day couldn’t get any better, we got to ride donkeys! There is a man who brings all his donkeys to a park and you can take them for as long as you want! And then you just pay by the hour. We walked around the little town while Evelyn, Oliver, and Blake rode the donkeys. The highlight for them was when all 3 of their donkeys peed at the same time. And it was a lot!
We ended the day by eating delicious Dobliditas from a street vendor in Maitencillo and then drove back to Santiago.