Two beaches lie within striking distance of the city centre: Playa Cavancha, the nearest, most popular, and more sheltered; and Playa Brava, larger, less crowded and more windswept, which is only suitable for sunbathing due to a strong current and crashing waves rendering it dangerous for swimming (although you do see adrenalin junkies surfing at either end of the beach). You can walk to Playa Cavancha, which begins at the southern end of Amunategui, but it’s very cheap to take one of the numerous taxis constantly travelling between the plaza and the beach; many continue to Playa Brava, as well, for a slightly higher fare. Further south, between Playa Brava and the airport, there’s a series of attractive sandy beaches including Playa Blanca, 13km south of the centre, Playa Lobito, at Km 22, and the fishing cove of Los Verdes, at Km 24. You can get to these on the airport bus or colectivo.

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