According to historians, Spanish Alonso Quintero landed on the shores of Papudo for the first time in 1536. The littoral was dwelled by the Chango natives, who were under the orders of chief Carande, whose particular feature was that he had a double-chin (papada in Spanish). Such characteristic encouraged the Spaniards to give this place the name of Papudo.
Afterwards, in 1552, the conqueror known as Pedro de Valdivia reached these lands and granted them to Gonzalo de los Ríos to found a city. One of the historical facts worth mentioning in the area of Papudo is that the famous pirate Sir Francis Drake landed there in 1578 to have a five-day rest. It was this event which gave origin to the legend of the Pirate’s Cave and the treasure buried near the shore cliffs.
With the passing of time, the lands of Papudo became part of the Pullally Estate. It was not until 1840 that congressman Bernardo Toro presented the first layout of Papudo to turn it into a city. In 1855, the population became steady. By 1860, the area started to receive the visit of families from Santiago and Valparaíso, who chose this place as a summer destination.
In 1865, a new historical event took place in the bay during the Papudo sea battle on November 26. Officers Prat, Condell, Uribe and Latorre captured a Spanish gun port that was blocking the Chilean coast.
By 1897, Papudo bathing resort was founded by Fernando Mackenna. In 1906, the metallic pier and the port of Papudo were built. As a consequence of this new development, the population began to grow and a new layout of Papudo had to be presented in order to organize the lot division.
In May 14, 1927, the Illustrious Municipality of Papudo was founded. Years passed and modern times arrived in Papudo, hand in hand with the telephone network. In 1967, a fierce storm hit the city coast and destroyed the main pier completely. A long time had to pass before it was rebuilt.
At present, Papudo has a long and pleasant coastline, ideal to enjoy the beach, the sand and the sea with the family. New tourist undertakings are being developed in the area as a result of the great boom experienced in the last few years.
It was 1847 when the area where Zapallar is located was declared minor trade and domestic port. In those days, Zapallar cove was part of “Catalopico” Estate.
The famous Papudo Sea Battle took place off the shores of Zapallar in November 26, 1865. Even if the fight between the Chilean and the Spanish took place at Zapallar, it was given that name because the prisoners were taken to Papudo Cove, as there was no pier in Zapallar.
In March 1916, a presidential decree declared the independence of the Zapallar area from the District of La Ligua, creating a new municipality. By request of the Home Secretary, Mr. Luis Izquierdo, Mr. Alejandro Fierro Carrera was appointed first mayor.
In 1923, the Sociedad Balneario de Zapallar, made up by 10 citizens, was created. Its purpose was to encourage Zapallar’s growth and to finance the necessary improvements as regards electricity, fresh water, streets and sidewalks, forests and the public health system in the new community.
In 1935, Mr. Carlos Ossandón Guzmán made a decision to acquire the entire Sociedad Balneario de Zapallar in a public auction. He was the only bidder, as in those years the place did not have the commercial value it has at present.
Before dying in 1938, Mr. Carlos Ossadón Guzmán donated several pieces of land to the Municipality of Zapallar for works to be done and green spaces to be established. His son Roberto Ossandón Guzmán kept the pieces of land in El Canelillo area up to the present cemetery.
As time went by, the area continued to be populated gradually. After Roberto Ossandón Guzmán died in 1998, his heirs carried out some research in order to materialize a lot division that would keep the features of old Zapallar, with large sites, with nice views of the sea, preserving the ravines, with pedestrian downhill paths towards the rocks and a luxurious urban layout developed by well-known architects and engineers who built up, out of ideas and enthusiasm, the Zapallar we know today.