Located northwest of Chile’s Capital, lies a beautiful city that boasts gorgeous white beaches, and modern architecture. Viña del Mar initially used to be a fishing village inhabited by its native people from the area, but today it is home to almost 400 000 people, and the fourth largest city in the country.
With its lush green parks and fresh sea air, Viña del Mar is also known as the Garden City. It has lots of shopping centers, restaurants, bars and a variety of international hotel chains due to its attractiveness in tourism. Viña del Mar is also known for its beautiful resorts like Playa Reñaca, the Salinas and Concon.
The capital, Santiago, is located only a 40 minute car drive away from Viña del Mar, and the beautiful bohemian city Valparaiso is located just 7 kilometers away from its coastal sister. This leaves no excuses to visit this seaside city, and since there are so many wonderful reasons to explore it more – we have put together some highlights of Viña del Mar below.
Valparaíso, A Pacific Treasure
Viña del Mar’s neighboring seaside city, Valparaiso, is the regional capital and well known for its historic center. It has been considered a World Heritage Site by UNESCO since 2003, and boasts many cultural centers like the Naval Museum, Casa Museo La Sebastiana of the poet Pablo Neruda, the Natural History Museum, the Municipal Art Gallery, and others.
Valparaiso has a beautiful bay surrounded by 42 hills, and some of them have scenic elevators that can take you to the heights of the city to enjoy the breathtaking viewpoints to observe the surroundings. Some highlights of Valparaiso are its unique culture, with colorful Victorian architecture, street art, museums, and fresh seafood.
Catch some rays at the beach
One of the main reasons people rush to Viña del Mar is for its sandy white beaches. The most popular of these are Renaca beach, mainly because it flaunts some excellent waves for surfing. Other than that, the clean golden sands and the crystal-clear ocean offer many opportunities to relax and soak up the sun.
For a more historical beach visit, get down to Vegara Pier. The pier was reopened only in 2016 after being closed for several years to the public. It is especially beautiful to visit during sunset, when the sun causes stunning shadows to appear over the pier. It serves as the perfect spot for a picnic or having a sundowner with loved ones.
Feed your inner foodie all the seafood
If you are a seafood lover, then expect to find the freshest fish, scallops, squid, calamari, and more and the local market. If you prefer being served during your vacation, you will be sure to find succulent seafood eateries – from fine dining restaurants with top-notch chefs to local beachfront ceviche stalls.
It can be quite time consuming to find the best place to eat, especially with so many different options. A good restaurant that we can recommend is Sativo, which has been very well reviewed by previous patrons. It is an upmarket restaurant which serves tasty food, has friendly staff and an excellent selection of drinks.
Learn more about the history
If you are a history nerd, Wulff Castle is a great option for exploring the past of Viña del Mar. It was built in the early 1900’s, and it is now home to the city’s heritage center where you can find a wealth of information about the area.
It is a beautiful site, on the edge of a cliff and the blue waves crashing underneath it. It makes beautiful photos of the landscape below, and mesmerizes anyone who is interested in rich architecture. It is an easy excursion that can be done in a few hours with the family.
Visit an art museum
Viña del Mar boasts a few art museums, like Museo de Bellas Artes and Palacio Rioja Museum. They offer some sophisticated high-end culture and give a taste of Viña del Mar’s bourgeois past which will definitely keep all art lovers amused.
The decorative arts museum, Palacio Rioja Museum, is a beautiful building and a definite must see for anyone with a passion for architecture and design. This museum is dedicated to aristocratic furniture and the variety of elaborate and regal interior is absolutely incredible to witness.
Get wet with the family at Aviva Aqua Park
The hot Chilean weather begs for a fun water filled adventure, and if you have a family with kids – or not – why not take advantage of that and spend some time outdoors at the Aviva Agua Park? This water park offers a wide variety of things to do to keep the whole family happy.
You can expect to find different sized swimming pools, themed water slides as well as places to relax and soak up the sun. There are also some food stalls and restaurants serving local delicacies, and cocktails to keep you in the holiday mode!
The International Song Festival
Festival Internacional de la Cancion de Viña del Mar is a huge deal in Latin America, and it attracts some of the most famous singer-songwriters from all over the continent. The festival is hosted in a specially built amphitheater in the stunning Quinta Vergara, a lush and scenic park in Viña del Mar.
The International Song Festival takes place during February every year, and is recorded on television – so you bet it is a big deal. Even the elite of the elite, like Sir Elton John, has set foot on the stages of this popular musical gathering.
Get a personalized tour with Kuoda
Visiting Viña del Mar is something we highly recommend if you are craving a quick beach getaway during your stay in beautiful Chile. It is a hidden gem, and can easily be paired with a visit to its neighboring bohemian beach sister, Valparaiso.
We at Kuoda understand that arranging a cohesive trip like this one in Chile, can be quite overwhelming. Especially if you are a busy person, and you do not have the time to research and explore the different traveling options and transportations.
Kuoda specializes in luxury travel, and we can arrange a perfectly planned itinerary for your trip. We can assure you a smooth journey, as it is our goal to provide you with everything that you require to promise a memorable journey for you and your family. Get in contact with us today and talk to one of our trip designers to talk more about your personal needs.