Vina del Mar & Valparaiso

A pleasant day trip from Santiago down to the coast through the vineyards and fruit plantations of the Cuacavi and Casablanca valleys, the delightful seaside towns of Vina del Mar and Valparaiso are two of Chile’s best loved coastal resorts.

Why visit Vina del Mar & Valparaiso ?

• Visit La Sebastiana, the delightful old home of Pablo Neruda
• Watch the artists painting in some of the many workshops
• Slowly glide your way to the top of Cerro Concepcion by funicular railway
• Try your luck on the roulette tables at one of Vina del Mar’s casinos
• Meander around the old streets and the multi-coloured houses

With its tree-lined avenues and luxury apartments, Vina del Mar is arguably Chile’s most popular and best known beach destination. Full of bars, hotels and restaurants it is a mecca for tourists from throughout Chile and Argentina. Behind the modern, bustling facade there are a number of interesting places to visit including the Quinta Vergara and the Fonck Museum.

The Quinta Vergara is a beautiful park full of of exotic subtropical trees and plants and surrounded by wooded hills. The Fonck Museum is an important museum on account of its interesting pre-Hispanic exhibits and natural history collection, but it is best known for its important collection of Easter Island artefacts including weapons, jewellery and ceremonial items some of which date back over 500 years. There is also an original moai (stone carved face) one of just six that exist outside of the island.

You can head up along the coast road to the pretty little fishing hamlet of Higuerilla and past the beach resorts of Renaca, Salinas and Concon before continuing to the fascinating city of Valparaiso, just to the south of Vina del Mar.

Arguably Chile’s most striking city, Valparaiso is set on a wide coastal bay in an amphitheatre of hills and has been an important port city since the 16th Century, although it was in the early 19th Century that the city rose to prominence and gained great wealth as it lay on the shipping route from Europe to America’s Pacific coast. The opening of the Panama Canal signalled the end of its heyday, but it still remains a busy port in a lovely setting.

Ascensor Artilleria is one of the oldest funiculars, built in 1893 and you take this to the top where you can enjoy some fabulous views across the city and ocean. You can also visit the rambling maze of colourful houses that appear to tumble down the hills at Cerros Alegre.

Another place of interest is La Sebastiana, which is one of Chile’s greatest poet, Pablo Neruda’s  three houses that has been turned into an interesting museum.

LOCATION

CHILE KEY INFO

Visa

No Visa is required for UK passport holders.

Health Requirements

No mandatory vaccinations are required.

Time Difference

GMT - 4 Hours

Flight Time

14.5 hours Direct

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