Punta Abreojos

A little too big to be deemed a fish camp, Punta Abreojos is a sandy fishing town on a small bay at the end of a long, empty road. It's the sort of place where, in the course of eating a fresh fish taco, you can watch a tractor haul fishing boats onto the sand while birds dive for fish and schools of dolphins zip through the waves peeling gently across the bay. The town itself consists of ramshackle houses, rusting lobster traps, sandy streets, a school, a hardware store, a lighthouse and a military base. It lacks even a lick of pavement. The bay gets good surf, especially at the east end, off the point.

Barrel gas is sold near the entrance to town. Lobster and abalone form the core of the local economy, though there has been talk of building a harbor as part of the Escalera Náutica project (see p25), which would definitely alter the atmosphere of this wee town.

SLEEPING & EATING

There are several restaurants along the main road through town, and they may serve lobster during lobster season (the crustacean is ironically tricky to find, since most of the lobster harvested here gets sold for export). One of these restaurants rents basic rooms (US$15).

Otherwise you can camp for free on the east end of the bay (to your left if you're facing the water); to get there follow the tracks across the salitral (salt flat) toward the conglomeration of vacation houses (they stand out like a gringo in a cantina). Someone will usually stop by and offer to sell you a lobster during lobster season.

Lonchería Las Palmas (tacos US$1.20, mains US$4-7) Teal colored and covered in stickers, Lonchería Las Palmas on the waterfront road, serves delicious fish tacos and fresh fish, and faces the bay.

GETTING THERE & AWAY

The signed road to Punta Abreojos is long, flat and paved except for the last 16km into town. The latter section is passable (although sometimes very washboarded) for normal passenger vehicles except after heavy rains.

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