A quiet little town with picturesque houses and dry walls made from local slate (a few too many that crumbled to pieces in the 2010 earthquake), Cobquecura has a long, wide beach with wild waves attracting surfers from around the world. A deep baying sound resonates from a rock formation 50m offshore: known as La Lobería, it's home to a large colony of sunbathing sea lions.
Follow the coast road 5km north and you reach the exquisite Iglesia de Piedra (Church of Stone), a massive monolith containing huge caves that open to the sea. The light inside the caves is mysterious – Cobquecura's pre-Hispanic inhabitants held ritual gatherings inside the stone, and it now contains an image of the Virgin Mary. Head 5km south of town and you'll find Playa Rinconada, the safest beach for a swim.