Cerro de la Cruz is the peninsula that graces the left side of Zapallar bay. It is characterized by the lone pine tree that sits upon the top of the hill, a sight that has grace the Zapallar landscape since the early days of the town’s foundation. This is a great place to walk for an hour or two, awarding yourself with magnificent vistas and a bouquet of wildflowers.
The beginning of the trail is located at the base of the hill, behind the Chiringito Restaurant. There resides “La Gruta”, a grotto housing an image of the Virgin of Lourdes. Begin your walk on the cerro by taking the short climb to the right. Once up on the hill, your have a choice of walking three different routes: left, right, center.
The trails to the right give you panoramic views of Zapallar Bay.
The trails to the left yield vistas of the coast from Zapallar towards Cachagua and points south, Maitencillo, Horcon, Quintero, and even Valparaiso.
The trail in the middle takes you to the top of the hill and that lone pine tree, where there is the cross that gives the peninsula its name, as well as an expansive view in all directions.
Many paths criss-cross the back of the island. Different wildflowers grace the hillside during various times of the year.
At the very back of the island is a large granite outcropping. Before this giant rock is a crevice where the ocean charges through. The splash created by the on-rushing sea is like a blowhole, and refered to by the locals as simply “El Caleton”.
One can traverse this outcropping and reach the edge of the Pacific Ocean. While the vista is worthwhile, take care when scrambling over the rock and beware of getting too close to the edges.
For a different collection of vistas, take an different route back than the one you entered on.