If you had asked me where the world’s largest swimming pool is, I’d have guessed Dubai or Las Vegas. And I’d have been wrong. The world’s largest swimming pool is in Algarrobo, Chile, at the San Alfonso del Mar resort, which opened in December 2006. In the photo above, you can see just a portion of this 19-acre pool, which almost could be mistaken for the Caribbean Sea. My father-in-law, Mike Wright, spent a weekend at San Alfonso del Mar last month, and shared these photos with Travelogged. While it wasn’t quite swimming weather (typical Chilean spring temperatures in 50F-range) when he was there, he still had a great time at this spectacular resort near Valparaiso.
The gigantic swimming pool holds 66 million gallons of water, which it gets from the Pacific Ocean that lies just a few feet away. Yes, the layout of this resort is buildings, manmade beaches, the pool, the real beach and then the ocean. And lots of high-rise condo buildings, many of which have apartments for rent for short-stay vacationers.
You might be wondering why they would bother to build such a large, lagoon-like pool right next to an even larger one (um, the ocean), but the water stays much warmer in the saltwater pool and much, much calmer. That makes it ideal for a swim or a even a boat ride. Yes, they have sailboats and paddle boats there for guests to use, with plenty of docks throughout the pool.
Mike didn’t see anyone using the boats in the pool while he was there, probably because it was too cold and there weren’t a lot of guests anyway because it’s the off-season. He did, however, observe, people cleaning it everyday. The world’s largest pool is kept very clean.
So while there weren’t any swimmers in the huge pool, there were some intrepid folks in the smaller heated pools and hot tubs, as you can see in the photo on the left. There was also a very nice indoor pool located in a big glass pyramid.
As an enormous resort, San Alfonso del Mar has plenty to offer even when it’s too chilly to use its main attraction. There are tennis courts, a golf simulator and a gym. But it’s most interesting diversion is clearly its impressive aquarium (pictured above) that has a bar and restaurant attached to it.