VIÑA DEL MAR E VALPARAISO
To the northwest of Santiago and directly north of Valparaiso is Viña del Mar, Chile’s favorite beach city. Viña del Mar was the home of the first vineyards of Chile, its name literally means “vineyard by the sea”, Viña deserves to be visited, especially if you are eager to spend an afternoon at the beach, see one or two museums and a beautiful park urban. Along with its beaches, Viña del Mar is home to some of the most beautiful urban parks in the country. The National Botanic Garden (National Botanic Garden) is located on the outskirts of the city, 8 km from the center, and houses 61 hectares of land with more than 3,000 species of plants. Another beautiful urban park in Viña is Quinta Vergara Park, which was for a long time the residence of the founding family of the city, the Alvarez-Vergaras family. In this park there is also a large amphitheater and labyrinths of pedestrian paths, admission is free and the park is always open from Tuesday to Sunday.
In the City Center, on Libertad Avenue, The Fonck Archeology and History Museum displays artifacts from Chilean and Latin American indigenous cultures, including Mapuche goldsmiths and one of Easter Island’s Moai statues. To eat in Viña, seafood has to be your first choice. The harbor pier in Caleta Portales, located between Valparaiso and Viña, is flanked by several restaurants whose specialty is the preparation of seafood. However an unforgettable lunch / dinner option is the most famous restaurant in Viña del Mar, the popular Flor de Chile in the corner of 8 Norte and 1 Poniente streets, in the menu the preparations available are essentially the classic Chilean dishes.
A little over 100 km northeast of the capital Santiago, Valparaiso is the main port of Chile and is known for its bohemian and artistic air, as well as beautiful views. Its history-styled UNESCO town boasts a charming colonial architecture, great seafood restaurants, markets and shops. Take the Centennial funicular Elevador Artilleria or climb the Cerro Concepción to take advantage of the stunning views of the ocean and the city. Casa La Sebastiana, former home of the poet Pablo Neruda, is one of the best options for visitors to the city. Around here, there are several rooms, with interactive explanations about their furniture and objects.
The tour of the Elevador Reina Victoria leads to a handicraft market – and offers a sweeping view of the Pacific Ocean. Another beautiful view of the sea is offered by Cerro Concepción, with narrow and charming streets. The historic district of the city, in turn, gathers charming houses well preserved. If, on the other hand, the desire is to enjoy nature, the good requests are the walks and horseback riding through the region, full of beautiful scenery.