About Vina del Mar, Chile

Pictures of Vina del Mar and Valparaiso, Chile
 Dollar: CLP$ 774  
 Euro: CLP$ 916  
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 Description   FAQ   To see & To do 
The city, also known as the Garden City was founded on December 29th, 1874, by the engineer Jose Francisco Vergara Echevers, and has grown into Chile's most luxurious beach resort town, attracting visitors from all over the world.
Some come for Vina Del Mar 's languid tropical atmosphere, its grand tree lined , its vast, soft stretches of white sand beach, and its sybaritic abundance of gourmet restaurants.
While Vina's celebrity has brought it any number of sleek, modern buildings and hotels , the character of the town is set by its many charming colonial houses.
Perhaps the most romantic way to tour Vina Del Mar 's tranquil streets is via the Victoria, the region's traditional horse-drawn carriage.
Vina is famous for the Musical Festival of Vina del Mar, which is held every year in the third week of February and lasts for five days. It is very popular amongst nationals and effectively marks the end of the summer season.
The city is also home to one of the most renowned gambling casinos youll find in the country.
Location & Transport: Coordinates: 33° 0' S 71° 31' W
Located 74 miles (120 km) northwest of Santiago and 5 miles (8 km) north of Valparaiso on the Pacific Ocean, Viña is in the central zone of Valparaiso and well connected to the central valleys and locations north and south of the city.
Busses leave from and to Santiago every half hour or less, and is a mere 1.5 hour ride away.
Telephone: Country code: 56, Area code: 32
Climate: The climate is generally considered to be Mediterranean, with rains restricted exclusively to the winter season. Proximity to the sea means that the land temperatures are regulated by ocean currents during the summer and winter months (October to March and April to September respectively) making the former warm and pleasant and the latter mild, with temperatures ranging between 10 and 22 degrees C. The mild climate and lack of morning frost in winter has helped the growth of robust vegetation, including both autochthonous and imported species, with such plants as the bougainvillea, hibiscus and golden thimbles, whose gilded petals can often be seen creeping up between railway sleepers.
Places to see & things to do
The Flower Clock
One of Vina's landmark is the flower clock. It's a large clock, it's face made only with flowers.
Address: Caleta Abarca
Palacio Rioja: This French-style palace was Built by Alfredo Azancot for banker Fernando Rioja in 1906. It now houses an environmental museum and a cinema. It is located on one of the city's main streets (Quillota). Some of the many spacious rooms are used as meeting facilities, according to local hearsay, there's even a resident ghost wandering about the place.
Address: Quillota 214. Tel: (56-32) 689665
Quinta Vergara: Vina del Mar's founding family, the Vergara family, used to live at the Quinta Vergara. They built their house there and the whole quinta (estate) was their garden. The quinta itself has many Chilean trees and flowers, and it's worth the visit. The house itself is now houses the museum of fine arts, initially based on the families fine collection of art, with some interesting paintings from this century. Address: Quinta Vergara
The Vina Festival: Vina's international song festival is an annual attraction. It's usually held during the 3rd week of February and lasts five evenings. The festival itself consists of many Latin American and some European performers competing for the "gaviota de plata" (silver seagull). But what really makes the festival is that they mix the performances of the contestants with concerts by established, well known Latin artists from all over the world. The show itself is held in the Quinta Vergara and in walking distance from downtown. Address: Quinta Vergara
Fonck Museum of Archeology and Natural History : As well as being a classic archeological and cultural palace, it now lodges this interesting museum. Exhibits range from garments and other remains dating back to Chile's prehistory to Araucanian silverware and pre-Columbian pottery. Another section contains exhibits of a more natural historical character, with samples of fossils and minerals, preserved insects and stuffed animals. The museum also has the only Easter Island Muai on South America's mainland. Address: 4 Norte with 1 Poniente.
Vina del Mar's Casino is Chile's first and most active Casino and on par with many international houses. Dress code: no shorts allowed or sandals. At least wear a shirt and pants. If you go with jeans, you won't be able to go into all the rooms. It's usually crowded after 20:00, and open until 07:00. The Casino has nice gardens and a great view of the Pacific ocean. Address: Corner of Av. San Martin and 1 Norte.
National Botanical garden: Bordering Viña del Mar's industrial zone is this oasis of vegetation, covering an area of 40 hectares with more than 800 species of flora. Originally commissioned by nitrate baron Pascual Baburizza, and created by French landscape gardener George Dubois, the park was donated to the Nitrate and Iodine Company so as to assure its permanence. This park serves both an educational and scientific purpose, and is an excellent place to go walking with the children, thanks to its stony paths, ponds and woodlands. Address: Camino El Olivar s/n, El Salto Tel: (56) (32) 67 2566
Vergara Pier: A popular image is that of the old pier, reshaped today for tourism use, not only for the place where it is located, but also for its impressive crane. Inaugurated in 1938, it was first used in the loading and unloading of coal; later, it went to the disappeared sugar refinery ‘Crav’. It was in 1983 when it became a tourism center. This structure is located next to the beaches ‘Acapulco’ to the south, and ‘El Sol’ (the sun) to the north, and has facilities such as restaurants, tea room, disco, during the high season. Next to the pier, there is a group of crafts stands selling hand made traditional items.
Derby Day: A faithful recreation of the famed English horse race held at Ascot since the 18th century, this event has been held in Via del Mar uninterruptedly since the late 19th century. The event normally takes place on the first Sunday of February. Just like its British counterpart, it is open to three-year-old geldings, which take to a grass course that covers two-and-a-half kilometers. The venue itself is the sumptuous Sporting Club building, which has been home to the Via Derby ever since it began more than a century ago. (Tel: +56-32-655671)


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