Destination guide: Valparaiso/Viña del mar, Chile
Vina del Mar is one of the most popular destinations for tourists visiting the central coast. They are attracted by its beautiful beaches, excellent climate and numerous places to have a good time with friends or family. Visit the Garden City and discover the charm of the Quinta Vergara, Cerro Castillo, Botanic Gardens and Renaca beach resort.
That’s not all though. From Vina del Mar, you can visit Valparaiso, a bohemian port with pretty and colorful hills, as well as a wide range of art and culture.
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Valparaiso/Viña del Mar
Clean, orderly Viña del Mar is a sharp contrast to the jumble of neighboring Valparaíso. Manicured boulevards lined with palm trees and beautiful expansive parks have earned it the nickname of Ciudad Jardín (Garden City). Its official name, which means ‘vineyard by the sea’, stems from the area’s colonial origins as the hacienda of the Carrera family.
Viña remains a popular weekend and summer destination for well-to-do Santiaguinos, despite the fact that its beaches get seriously packed and the Humboldt Current causes waters chilly enough to put off most would-be swimmers.
Pablo Neruda said it best: ‘Valparaíso,/how absurd/you are…you haven’t/combed your hair,/you’ve never/had/time to get dressed,/life/has always/surprised you.’ But Neruda wasn’t the only artist to fall for Valparaíso’s unexpected charms. Poets, painters and would-be philosophers have long been drawn to Chile’s – no, Latin America’s – most unusual city. Along with the ever-shifting port population of sailors, and dockworkers they’ve endowed gritty and gloriously spontaneous Valparaíso with an edgy air of ‘anything goes.’ Add to this the spectacular faded beauty of its chaotic cerros (hills), a maze of steep, sinuous streets, alleys and escaleras (stairways) piled high with crumbling mansions.and it’s clear why some visitors are spendingtime here
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