VIñA DEL MAR AND VALPARAíSO
These cities are located in the 5th region of Chile. Valparaiso is the regional capital and it is recognized for its historic center which is considered a World Heritage Site by UNESCO since 2003 .
Valparaiso is a great natural amphitheater, with a particular geography of a bay surrounded by hills. In these hills the greatest number neighborhoods are located, while the sea is one of the most important ports of the country.
There are 42 hills, some of the most important are Baron, Mariposa, Cerro Alegre, Cerro Concepción among other hills, where homes and neighborhoods of the city are located. Some of them still have scenic elevators which were built to quickly get to the heights of Valparaiso and enjoy their viewpoints that allow you to observe the surroundings.
It is interesting to observe its Casco Patrimonial, where we find churches and houses blend of French, English and German architecture. Besides this, it offers many trips and panoramic viewpoint areas to enjoy the view of the bay, especially during the New Year, where a beautiful fireworks display takes place.
Valparaiso’s climate is Mediterranean with clouds, with dry summers and mild winters. The annual average temperature is 13° C, and rainfall is more frequent during the winter, where strong winds also appear with a very cold wind chill.
Valparaiso has a large pier of dynamic commercial activity, with a public walkway and a cruise terminal with cruise liners arriving from around the world.
It has many tourist attractions, such as panoramic viewpoints overlooking the sea, sightseeing and sectors that stand out for the beauty of its buildings, squares and gardens, with colonial architecture and European style, especially the area of El Almendral.
There are also cultural centers like the Naval Museum, Casa Museo La Sebastiana of the poet Pablo Neruda, the Natural History Museum, the Municipal Art Gallery, and others.
The highlight of Valparaiso is its unique culture, with Victorian architecture adapted to the geography of the area, museums, libraries and hosts of cultural events of great importance, such as the Chilean Bicentennial.
Viña del Mar:
Viña del Mar for its part, is known as the Garden City for its great quantity of parks and green areas. It is located minutes from the city of Valparaiso and is considered by Chileans as the best city in the country to live and work.
It has attractive resorts such as Playa Reñaca, the Salinas and Concon. Its attractiveness in tourism allows it to have major international hotel chains, lots of shopping centers, restaurants and bars.
Other attractions are the Jardín Botánico Nacional (National Botanical Garden), known as Parque Metropolitano de Valparaíso (Metropolitan Park of Valparaiso), the Quinta Vergara where the Festival de la Canción (Song Festival) is performed, the flower clock, located in front of Caleta Abarca, on the road connecting the sector with Valparaiso and Muelle Vergara (Vergara Pier), from where you can observe the bay of Valparaiso, as an important viewpoint.
Viña del Mar is famous for its cultural events such as the Festival Internacional de la Canción (International Song Festival), held every year during the last week of February. This important event brings together renowned singers from around the world in addition to rewarding the best example of South American and international songs.
In this city there are many museums, including the Museo al Aire Libre de Artes Visuales (Open Air Museum of Visual Arts), the Teatro Municipal de Viña del Mar (Municipal Theatre of Viña del Mar), the Fonk Museum, with collections of original towns such as Rapanui, Mapuche, diwguitas and atacameños, plus an area with samples of Chilean insects and animals, among others. The Presidential Palace of Cerro Castillo, is another of its attractions, and corresponds to the retreat of the Presidents of the Republic. It is considered a National Historic Landmark.
The climate is Mediterranean in Viña del Mar because of its oceanic influence, with warm summers and rainy winters. The annual average temperature is 15° C and the presence of the Humboldt Current causes a drop in temperature throughout the year, so only rarely does Viña reach or exceed 30° C. It also has rainfall during autumn and winter.
Just as Valparaiso, it is famous for its New Year celebrations, where a show with fireworks is performed from the bay, extending to Concon.