South America is full of wonderful places. There is enough diversity in landscapes and weather that you can visit the Amazonian jungle, the Chilean desert and the Patagonian glaciers all without ever leaving the continent. Without a doubt, one of the most wonderful climates and settings in the whole continent exists towards the southwest: Valparaíso, in Chile. This coastal region is the perfect holiday destination for those who are looking for beautiful beaches for relaxing, as well as an exciting cultural movement to be influenced by.
Valparaíso is a large region towards the west of Santiago de Chile, the country’s capital. In this region, there are two neighbouring cities that you must visit. They are Valparaíso, a port city towards the south, and Viña del Mar, a metropolitan coastal city with access to the vast Pacific Ocean.
Valparaíso city is not only one of the most important ports in all of the South Pacific, but it is also home to many sights and culturally significant landmarks tourists should not miss. The city, built on the Valparaíso Bay, is a city with a strong political influence, as well as some of the most important Chilean University. Not only that, but its historical downtown became a UNESCO World Heritage Site in 2003 thanks to its rich architecture from the XIX century. Something visitors cannot miss in Valparaíso is the Open Sky Museum route, in Bellavista hill, a well-established walk which leads the way across the work of many notable graffiti artists. Concepción and Alegre hills are also filled with many graffiti interventions, with a strong cultural and social message. Still, those are only two of the more than forty hills that make up Valparaíso. Other obligatory visits include the Sotomayor square, and “La Sebastiana”, one of the houses of the world-famous poet Pablo Neruda.
Vina Del Mar
Viña del Mar, a short train ride away to the north, is a large, wonderful, coastal city. Preferable to those who are looking to have fun at the beach, Viña del Mar is also a very culturally important place. One of the most populated cities in Chile, it is also home to the world-famous Viña del Mar Festival, a yearly event that occurs in the theatre at Quinta Vergara. Tourists should know Viña is also home to very high-quality food and gorgeous architecture. The coastal city is the touristic capital of Chile not only because of its wonderful beaches, such as Reñaca, but also because of the many landmarks such as Quinta Vergara, “El Reloj de Flores” (The Flower Clock), and the National Botanical Park.
No matter what the travellers’ preference is, both cities are really close. They can have excellent lodgings in whichever city they prefer, and a short train ride can take them to the other city in order not to miss anything of what Chile has to offer.