Viña del Mar and around

Nine kilometres northeast of Valparaíso via the Avenida España, which runs along a narrow belt between the shore and precipitous cliffs, is Viña del Mar, one of South America's leading seaside resorts. Viña is also famous throughout Chile for its annual international music festival, during which the attention of the entire country is focused on the city; the festival used to bring in some top performers from all over Latin America, but this is no longer the case. In fact, neither the festival nor Viña itself are as wonderful as Chileans like to make out. This is the only place in Chile where road signs are in English as well as Spanish and much of the city feels like suburban North America. That said, with pleasant beaches and shady parks, Viña is a nice enough city to visit, especially if you have some pesos to burn, and makes an interesting contrast to nearby Valparaíso.

North of Viña strung along the coast are several smaller settlements. Reñaca, now a suburb of Viña del Mar, is a well-to-do resort with extensive beaches, while further north, Maitencillo and Zapallar are fashionable seaside destinations, overflowing with tourists in summer. In between are the fishing towns of Concón, famous for its seafood, and Horcón, where horses are still used to tow the fishing boats onto land.

Getting there

There are inter-urban buses to Viña del Mar from many cities. The city also has daily connections through to Mendoza in Argentina. Viña del Mar can also be reached relatively easy by public transport from Santiago's airport.

Getting around

link Viña and Valparaíso from Libertad or 1 Norte.
also serve these routes, as well as running to many of the city's outlying neighbourhoods and there are numerous buses along the coast. Taxis are plentiful and usually reasonably priced.

Tourist information

The municipal tourist office is on the corner of Plaza Vergara and can arrange the rental of private homes in the summer season; there's also a kiosk on calle Valparaíso y Villanelo.

This is edited copy from Footprint Handbooks. For comprehensive details (incl address, tel no, directions, opening times and prices) please refer to book or individual chapter PDF
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