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Top Chile

Viña del Mar

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 a large number of 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: Los Andes, Valparaíso , San Antonio, Portillo, Quintero, Papudo, Quintay, Horcon, Zapallar and San Felipe.

By Noleen Turner
I'm originally from Northern Ireland but have lived in Santiago de Chile for over two years. I work in marketing communications and as a writer and...
31 Jul 2008

Top Places in Viña del Mar


Quintero is a beach town that rests on a peninsula about 50km north of Viña del Mar. It was ‘discovered’ by the Spanish Captain Don Alonso de Quintero on his way back from a voyage to Peru. He ...
Quintero, Viña del Mar, Chile


Maitencillo is about 180km northwest from Santiago on the central west coast. The town stretches for around 4km around the beautifully rugged coast that is a mixture of rocky headlands, tranquil ...
Maitencillo, Viña del Mar, Chile


Horcon is a small fishing town based around a sheltered bay. It’s about 44km north of Viña del Mar and 163km from Santiago. The pretty town is nestled atop lush rolling hills that meet the Pacific ...
Horcon, Viña del Mar, Chile


At one time, rich Chileans spent their vacations in Viña del Mar. Then the crowds descended and spoiled everything. The rich grabbed their designer suitcases, jumped in their cars and traveled ...
Zapallar, Viña del Mar, Chile


Papudo is a fishing town about 115 kilometers north of Viña del Mar and 5 kilometers north of Zapallar. Legend has it that the Spanish first landed on the shores of Papudo in 1536. The area was then ...
Papudo, Viña del Mar, Chile


One of many coastal resort villages, Cachagua is best known for its community of penguins. Between 1,000 and 2,000 Magelland and Humboldt penguins inhabit the protected Monumento Natural Isla ...
City Zone
Cachagua, Viña del Mar, Chile


World-class skiing is synonymous with Portillo, so it is no surprise the U.S., Italian and Austrian Olympic teams flock to this beautiful and exclusive spot next to the alpine lake Laguna del Inca ...
Portillo, Viña del Mar, Chile

San Felipe

At 636m above sea level in central Chile, San Felipe is situated on the Aconcagua River. It was founded in 1740 as San Felipe El Real. The town is ideally located in the heart of the agricultural ...
San Felipe, Viña del Mar, Chile

Los Andes

This Chilean town was founded in 1791 as Santa Rosa de Los Andes by Ambrosio O’Higgins, the father of famous Chilean liberator Bernardo O’Higgins. The city serves as a crossroads for Route 57 ...
Los Andes, Viña del Mar, Chile

Things to do in Viña del Mar

Museo de Archaeológico História Francisco Fonck

122364You won’t be able to miss this small museum with its striking moai standing guard outside. The museum documents the lives of the early Chilean peoples from the Norte Grande region through displays ...
Viña del Mar, Chile

Museo Palacio Rioja

Museo Palacio Rioja is a French neoclassical mansion that was once home to rich Spanish banker Fernando Rioja. The ornate house was built between 1906 and 1910. It features Corinthian style columns, ...
Historical Building
Viña del Mar, Chile

Quinta Vergara

Quinta Vergera, originally the estate of the prosperous Vergara family, is a public park in the centre of Viña del Mar. It features several acres of lovely landscaped gardens, as well as the Palacio ...
City Park
Viña del Mar, Chile

Jardin Botánico Nacional

Jardin Botánico Nacional is Chile’s national botanical garden. It covers an area of 40 hectares and is home to over 3,000 native and exotic plants species. The park is a great place to enjoy a ...
City Park
Viña del Mar, Chile


The casino in Viña was opened in 1930 and is the oldest and most popular in the country. The impressive building is set among lovely gardens. The casino is open 24 hours and features 1,500 gaming ...
Viña del Mar, Chile


Vacationers from around South America and the world flock to Viña beaches during summer months (late December to late March). Put on a bathing suit and soak up rays on one of the many Viña beaches, ...
Viña del Mar, Chile

Things to See and Do

The main reason people go to Viña del Mar is to enjoy the sun and the beach. But the food is also worth noting. Viña has excellent restaurants that offer international cuisine including Mexican, ...
Other Activity
Viña del Mar, Chile
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