Las Rocas de Santo Domingo

Playa Larga in Rocas de Santo Domingo

Playa Larga in Rocas de Santo Domingo

Rocas de Santo Domingo, with a population of 7,418, is a seaside resort located on a promontory, on the south bank of the Maipo river’s mouth. Open towards an ample sea horizon, there’s a big beach of 12.4 miles from the Maipo river until Punta de Toro, to the South, by the mouth of the El Yali marsh. One most exclusive resort in the coast, with an urban design that follows the land topography. It’s composed by big summer houses with well taken care gardens, plus streets and squares with groves.

The Rocas de Santo Domingo resort has dark and fine sand and an ocean with few waves, good for fishing on the shore and for aquatic sports. It´s very exposed to the SW winds and has big formations of dune, swampy terrain and lagoons, plus a salt mine being exploited. The beach is solitary with hard access from the highway, only accessible on foot or horse, an enjoyable attractive trip.

Unlike other resorts in the neighborhood, Santo Domingo is very calm and its activity is centered on the beach, the golf club, the People Help People school and the Flores Plaza- two centers for cultural activity -, on the streets and parks and, on the sunsets, at the rocky place “la puntilla” (the point), that forms natural terraces with a view to the wide ocean and the beautiful sunsets. There’s the Stone of the Sun (Piedra del Sol) or Intihuatana, dating from thousand years ago, and that’s presumed to be a worship symbol. Parking fee is $2,000 per day, weekends $3,000.

The name of the resort comes from its first owners, during the Colony, the Dominican Order (orden de Los Dominicos). The origin of the seaside resort Rocas de Santo Domingo is new and unique. The businessmen Carlos Cariola, Alfredo Bouey and Ernesto Bozo started its construction on a location where there were only dunes, cardars and rabbits.

Rocas de Santo Domingo, Chile

Rocas de Santo Domingo, Chile

Due to topography and climate reasons, Rocas de Santo Domingo was created emulating Palos Verdes, a seaside resort in the coast of Los Angeles, California. The architects Smith Solar and Smith Miiler were in charge of its architectonical and urban development. They had forests and decorative trees planted, that were watered during years with big wine containers dragged by oxes. In 1942 the first thousand residential sites of 3,280 square feet each were put for sale, and soon big houses with gardens were built. Today modern condominiums have come to complement the panorama of Santo Domingo; on the Gran Avenida del Mar there are two buildings of the Paseo del Mar, the Santa María del Mar Residential Complex and, at 4.9 miles on the Route of the Fruit (Ruta de la Fruta), the Las Brisas of Santo Domingo Condominium.

The choice of names for the streets was entrusted to the Spanish writer José María Souviron, thus avoiding the inclination to personal names, except the one of Av. Griselda, in honor of Ms. Griselda Vera Chacón, its last private owner.

The pioneers accomplished great works, such as the creation of the first Municipal Board (Junta Municipal), on January 21, 1946, the creation of the Golf Club (Club de Golf) and, later, the Gardens Club (Club de Jardines). They are concerned, even today, about the increase and protection of green areas and public spaces, and making sure of always keeping a vehicular traffic according to the tranquility of the seaside resort.

The Nature Park (Parque de la Naturaleza) was created in the year 2002, by the south bank of the Maipo river, through an agreement with the Municipality of Santo Domingo and the Catholic University of Chile (Universidad Católica de Chile). Its aim is to protect and conserve this zone of great scenic beauty and abundant concentration of migratory birds from the Central-South areas of the country.

Following are the description of 5 trips that can be made in order to visit the inner valleys that come out to the coastal route, from Algarrobo to Santo Domingo. For each case, the seaside resort that’s the starting point is indicated.

The El Peral Lagoon (laguna El Peral). It’s located at 0.62 miles to the south of Las Cruces, along the coastal route. It’s low and its surface comprises 61.7 acres, surrounded by jonquil. It was declared Nature Sanctuary (Santuario de la Naturaleza) and in it inhabits a great diversity of aquatic birds typical of the central coast.

The El Peral Lagoon is right next to the coastal route towards the ocean. You can access it through one entry on the south of the lagoon.

Another trip in the area is the one that takes you to El Totoral, a beautiful circuit that goes to a village with a church of colonial origin. It’s located at 4.9 miles of Algarrobo. The access is at 0.62 miles to the south of the bridge of Punta de Tralca and to the north of El Tabo.

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