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Chile

Punta Pite

A fantastical group of cliffside stairways, bridges, and twisting paths carved out of stone provide a surreal coastal hike 

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Between Zapallar and Papudo, north of Santiago, Chile, lies 27-acre Punta Pite, a stretch of residential land that hugs the coastline. The design was intended to surrender to the geography around it, and surrender it does.

Pathways along the rocks twist, widen and narrow haphazardly, with no railings available to provide assurance. Staircases appear and disappear, carved into the stone cliffs, bridging formally unreachable vistas. Flagstone walks lead through narrow passageways that open up into restored and carefully developed open spaces. These features built by human hands seem to grow organically from the landscape around them.

This elaborate passageway was built between 2004 and 2006, employing more than 40 stonemasons to cut, carve, and smooth the mountainside. The oceanside trail system was the invention of landscape architect Teresa Moller, who has described her inspiration as a channeling of the words of a famous Chilean poet, who described Chile as “pure geography.”

A brilliantly planned out architectural masterpiece, the entire winding trail along the water and across a restored creek creates a single, mind-blowing spatial experience that is open to the public.

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