[sponsored by Ruka Antu Ecolodge]
Staying in the Ruka Antu Ecolodge in Taucu, Chile is like living in the sky. When you lift your head from your pillow, from the pool, from the upper deck, from the lower deck, from the restaurant, from the lawn, all you see is sea and sky.
One of the best point waves in the region is directly below the Ruka. I’ve spent many hours gawking at this wave completely mesmerized – watching the wave rise off the point, bend, hit the beach, then peel down the beach in perfect skate ramp style.
I doesn’t hurt that no one surfs here… I spend weeks surfing this killer point absolutely alone.
The best place to watch this wave is theRuka Antu Ecolodge. The Ruka is cozy, rustic, stylish, and is the safe keeper of the ‘buena onda’ (good vibe) of this region.
I showed up in this corner of Taucu, Chile with no friends, no contacts, no leads – alone. Just a surfboard, a backpack, and a looming sense of loneliness…
That loneliness was creeping up my spine and bending my thoughts towards the darkness on a rainy, misty spring evening, with 8 foot waves crashing on an deserted beach when I climbed the stairs into the Ruka – into the sky.
I was immediately greeted with smiles and questions and ‘buena onda’ amongst offers of food and drink. Rodrigo, the owner, and the small Ruka crew immediately welcomed me in, made me feel at home, told me stories, made me tell stories, and put grins on my face.
Within minutes, the Ruka and its humans inhabitants ripped the feeling of loneliness out of spine and cast it into the foaming sea below. That feeling never returned once during the entire month I spent at the Ruka.
Yes, the place itself is stunning. Luminescent sunrises, kaleidoscope sunsets, an ever changing sea, huge waves exploding six-stories high off the point, pods of whales, sea lions, penguins, crabs, fisherman, ceviche, sand, brilliant green grass, solitude.
The beach itself is sprawling and empty. Weathered fisherman push and drag boats into and out of the sea full of crab, shrimp, and fish. The beach ends at the point where a quick climb up the cliffs reveals breathtaking views, a whole other beach (accessible only by foot), and more points.
This region of Chile is incredible. It lies at 36ºS which is the same exact latitude as Santa Cruz, California and the two locations share many similarities: cold water, abundant sea life, gorgeous coastline, great waves. What they do not share is human beings. There’s no one down here. Yet…
The beauty of this area, the incredible waves, and huge potential for tourism will bring the people soon enough. But for now, this place is paradise. For me, it was a surf paradise. This place is literally California in the 1950s. Very few surf, most are farmers, and everyone is in love with this coastline.
They might as well call this place “La Nueva California” (the New California).
The Ruka is the by far the best way I’ve seen to experience this gorgeous region of Chile. After all, who doesn’t want to live in the sky?
The Ruka offers a wide range of activities including Stand Up Paddle Boarding and kayaking on the nearby lake, surfing, hiking, and more. You can also find good hiking and horseback riding in town. Hell, even skiing is only a 3 hour drive away at the famously snowy Nevados de Chillan.
This place is still relatively untouched. Where the waves stroke the beach, you can scoop up a handful of sand and bring up 10-20 sand crabs every single time. I’ve never seen that much life in the sand anywhere in my life.
The Ruka is rustic, clean, comfy, and simple. Eight rooms, a restaurant, 2 decks, a lawn, and a small pool make the place as cozy as can be.
The restaurant serves delicious food. The Chef, Franscisco, is well studied, well traveled, speaks French, and serves up some incredible cuisine including ceviches, grilled tuna, risotto, desert crepes, and more.
Come to Chile. Come to the Ruka Antu. Experience California in the 1950’s. Live in the sky…