Viña del Mar

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Viña del Mar, or Viña, as the locals call it, is located on the central coast of Chile. Covering an area of 2.359/km² (6.1/sq mi) and home to a population of just under 290,000, it is the fourth largest city in Chile. It is also one of the country’s most popular tourist destinations. Viña is located just 110km from Santiago and can easily be reached by bus within two hours.

Viña is characterized by its arc-shaped beach that gives views to neighboring Valparaíso and Reñaca. It is a modern city with wide avenues and boulevards, plazas and holiday apartments fighting for a view of the Pacific Ocean. It is also known as the garden city because of the large number of parks and palm trees that border the sidewalks.

Viña was founded in 1874 by engineer Jose Francisco Vergara and the name was inspired by the local vineyards. During the 1800s, several earthquakes destroyed the old part of the city. As a result, only a few historical buildings remain in the city today. These are mostly located along Avenida Libertad, Calle Quillota and Quinta Vergara.

During the 1980s, Viña’s economy suffered as the world economy took a downturn. Many factories closed and the government of General Pinochet failed to resolve the unemployment crisis. The city is fighting back however, and now tourism is the major backbone in the city’s economy.

Viña enjoys a mild climate all year long. Most people go there for the sun and the attractive beach, although few Chileans swim as they find the water too cold. In the summer, the beach and the surrounding bars and restaurants are packed with both Chilean and international tourists.

Viña is also home to a popular casino and hosts the Festival Internacional de la Canción, an international song-writing contest that attracts thousands of tourists each February.

Other highlights include The Fonck Museum, which has many pre-Columbian artifacts, Quinta Vergera, a city park, Palacio Rioja, a turn of the century mansion turned museum and Palacio Carrasco, a historic building now used as the city library and for art exhibitions. Viña has a wide range of hotels and restaurants to suit every budget. There are literally hotels on every street corner, ranging from five-star hotels to budget hostels. The restaurants are mostly found on Avenida San Martin, Mexico Square, Avenida Valparaíso and Viña Square. You can find a wide range of cuisines ranging from traditional Chilean food to fine seafood, Italian, Mexican, Japanese, and Argentinean steak houses. The usual fast-food chains can also be found along Avenida San Martin. There are several bars along Avenida San Martin and on the corner of Avenida Valparaíso and Von Schroeders. Large shopping malls, cinemas and supermarkets can be found on Avenida 15 Norte.

Viña is a pleasant city to pass a few days, but more importantly, it is the gateway to more beautiful beaches on the central coast.

Tel Code: +56 32

 

Neighborhoods in Viña del Mar: Cachagua,

Other places nearby Viña del Mar: Zapallar, Cartagena, San Antonio, Maitencillo, Valparaíso, Quintay, Portillo, Los Andes, Papudo and Horcon.

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