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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 industry that most famously produces excellent, ripened grapes and world-renowned wines due to its ideal micro-climate. In the past the area also provided some mining opportunities in the form of copper and gold. This Andes Mountains town benefits as a semi-bustling trade center due to its relatively close proximity to Mendoza, Argentina.


San Felipe proudly boasts a pleasant Plaza de Armas that is usually full of laid back locals and vendors. The highlight of the plaza is without a doubt the artisan market where visitors have the opportunity to purchase local handicrafts, souvenirs or homemade snacks such as the sweetened popcorn which is especially popular. The Museo Histórico de Aconcagua, located at Av. Riquelme, displays regional artifacts, and there are a pair of religious institutions worth a look as well. The Catedral de San Felipe lines the northern side of the plaza, whileanother important church in the city is Iglesia y Claustro del Buen Pastor located at Av. Yungay between San Martín and O’Higgins. Or, if religious architecture is too serious during a vacation, it is usually possible to check out a live band or art exhibit at the Teatro Municipal, found on the western edge of the Plaza de Armas.


San Felipe’s Terminal de Buses is located on Av. Yungay between San Martín and Freire. Buses run to and from Santiago every 20 minutes from various companies. Numerous buses run to and from Viña del Mar, as well as east toward Los Andes and onward to the Argentine border. San Felipe does not offer very many choices for accommodation. A backpacker’s best bet is the clean Hotel Reinares, located at Carlos Condell 75, where a comfortable bed costs approximately $11. Hosteria San Felipe is a hospitable option found at Calle Merced 204, and there is friendly staff, quick with advice, at Residencial Aldo’s (Salinas 67). Club Social San Felipe is a hip place to spend the night out after some Asian food at Restaurante Sheng Fa located at Calle Portus 156 or find Arabian and traditional Chilean dishes at Club Árabe (Prat 124).


Pop: 54,200


Other places nearby San Felipe: Los Andes and Portillo.

By Chris Hughes
Traveling South America to give Viva readers the most up-to-date information...
01 Jul 2009

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