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Vina del Mar

Photo © CaitlinEric

Travel Guide South America Chile Vina del Mar

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Introduction

Vina Del Mar

Vina Del Mar

© All Rights Reserved paulandjes

Vina del Mar is Chile's premier beach resort and is located along the coast of the Pacific Ocean in central Chile. It's part of Greater Valparaiso which is the third biggest metropolitan area in the country. Vina del Mar itself, after Valparaiso, is the fourth largest city in Chile with around 300,000 inhabitants. It's popularly known as the Ciudad Jardín (Garden City).

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Sights and Activities

In general, many people like the clean nature of Vina del Mar, compared to many other cities in the country, including big neighbour Valparaiso. Among the attractions are:

  • Beaches including Reñaca, Las Salinas, Miramar, Casino etc.
  • Treelined boulevards
  • Parks and fountains
  • The casino, the oldest, biggest and most visited of Chile, designed in art deco style.
  • Quinta Vergara, this amphiteatre is the site of the world-famous Vina del Mar International Song Festival held during 6 nights every Fabruary.
  • Jardin Botanico - a natural reserve.
  • Plaza del Reloj/Parque Reloj de Flores - the landmark of Viña del Mar which is a watch made of flowers and working. A lot of tourist takes pictures there and close to the beach so definitely a must for all visitors.
  • Castilo Wulff - headquarters of Unidad de Patrimonio of Viña del Mar (City Hall Patrimony Unit). Built by the German immigrant Gustavo Wulff in 1917 after buying the land from another German living in Chile at that time. Considered as a landmark as well in Viña del Mar and close to the famous street "Paseo Arabe". But if you ask the locals why it's famous, very few know why. But the place around Castillo Wulff offers great view of the beach and the sea for those who likes to take photos.
  • Near the north end of the beach there is an open air museum of naval artillery - Avoid taking pictures without asking permission from staff.

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Events and Festivals

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Weather

Vina del Mar has a subtropical climate. Summers last from November to March, when it's mostly between 22 °C and 27 °C during the day and pleasantly warm nights. Winters last from June to September when it's still mild, 14 °C to 18 °C or even more, but nights become rather chilly with around 10 °C. This is also the wettest time of year (with around 100mm a month in June and July!), summers are almost completely dry.

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Getting There

By Plane

Valparaiso doesn't have commercial flights, the nearest option is the airport of Santiago de Chile, about 2 hours away.

By Train

Metro Valparaiso offers commuter trains to neighbouring municipalities like Valparaiso such as Quilpue, Villa Alemana and Limache. For using Metro/Train Services you have to purchased a Metro/Train Card, available at the Kiosk in the Stations. Once you get the card you have to slide it when you get in and when you get out to station (destination), there is not flat rate, each route has a different price. In Vina del Mar you will find 5 stations. From Valparaiso to the Country Side are: Recreo (main residential area), Ecuador (Southern DownTown), Downtown close to Quinta Vergara, Hospital Station and El Salto (Industrial area).

By Car

With a rental car you can drive easily between Santiago and Vina del Mar, via Valparaiso along Ruta 68 in about an hour or a little more during busy traffic times.

By Bus

Regular buses connect Vina del mar with Santiago (1,5 hours), Valparaiso and many other cities in the country. To Valparaiso, you can also take a shared taxi. It's just a short drive away. La Serena is about 7 hours away, while travelling to Mendoza in Argentina takes about 12 hours (roads might be closed in winter).

By Boat

There are no passenger services, though you might be able to catch a berth on a cruiseliner or cargoship from neighbouring Valparaiso. Cruises are mainly during the summer season.

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Getting Around

By Public Transport

Collectivo's run routes throughout the city charge around CLP$500 for a ride. They are quicker and more comfortable than the buses.

Buses go to all parts of town for CLP$350. There's not really a guide with all the routes and their destination so the best way to find the one you need is to ask around.

By Foot

Most of Vina del Mar is easily explored on foot and beaches are not far away either. If not, take a bike or taxi.

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Eat

A very popular treat in Viña del Mar is the alfajor, a typical Argentinean/Uruguayan type of cookie that has also popularized in the village. They can be purchased in several small pastry shops around the downtown area. Usually, alfajores are filled with manjar, fruit, or other sweets and then covered in chocolate. They are a delight for the visitor. Boxes with large quantities make memorable souvenirs, if they make it home.

An excellent seafood restaurant, located in Camino Costero, is "La Gatita" ("The Kitten"). It specialises in such typical dishes as Machas a la parmesana y Reineta (Clams with fried Reineta - a local fish).

Cafe Journal is highly recommended for its lunch menu. Good value.

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Drink

  • Cafe Journal is very popular among university students and young travellers.

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Sleep

Good and cheap accommodation is available throughout the city in residenciales (the local B & B). Early reservations are highly recommended during the summer months when the city gets flooded with holiday makers from Argentina and Santiago.

View our map of accommodation in Vina del Mar or use the form below to search for availability (Travellerspoint receives a commission for bookings made through the form)

Booking.com

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Keep Connected

Internet

There are cybercafes in every major and midsize city and at all tourist destinations. Some libraries are in a program called Biblioredes, with free computers and Internet. Wifi is getting more and more common. They're usually in metro stations, airports, malls, cafes, public buildings and several public spaces. Check for the ones that say gratis - for free. McDonald's and Starbucks are chains which almost always have free wifi.

Phone

See also International Telephone Calls

The country calling code to Chile is: 56. To make an international call from Chile, the code is: 00. Emergency phone numbers include 131 (Ambulance), 132 (Fire) and 133 (Police).

Public phones located on streets are very likely to be tampered or vandalized, so it's better to use a phone located inside a commerce or a station. Prepaid cards for mobile phones and public phones are sold at most newspaper kiosks, supermarkets, gas stations, pharmacies and phone dealers. Mobile GSM networks are ubiquitous in all major cities and most of the territory of central and southern Chile. A basic prepaid cellular phone usually costs about 15,000 pesos, most frequently charged with 10,000 pesos worth of prepaid minutes. No ID is required to buy a prepaid phone. GSM SIM cards from ENTEL, Movistar or Claro are usually available for 5,000 pesos, but without credit, so you'll need to buy some prepaid minutes to be able to call. Money can be charged into a cellphone from some pharmacies (Ahumada, Cruz Verde and Salco Brand) on the counter and in cash, or by using a credit card through an automated service operator, with directions in Spanish or English.

Post

Correos de Chile is the national postal service, and although relatively slow it is reliable with post offices throughout the country. On the website you can find more information about prices to send letters, postcards and parcels, both domestically as well as internationally. Post offices are generally open Monday to Friday from 9:00am to 6:00pm and Saturday until 2:00pm, although there are sometimes longer opening hours in the bigger central post offices and shorter ones in small places. Ask around. If you want to send packages internationally, you might consider companies like DHL, TNT or UPS, which are fast, reliable and usually competitively priced as well.

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Quick Facts

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Coordinates
  • Latitude: -33.0253832
  • Longitude: -71.5146942

Accommodation in Vina del Mar

We have a comprehensive list of accommodation in Vina del Mar searchable right here on Travellerspoint. You can use our map to quickly compare budget, mid-range or top of the range accommodation in Vina del Mar and areas nearby.

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This is version 17. Last edited at 7:56 on Oct 9, 17 by Utrecht. 3 articles link to this page.

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