Valparaiso and Vina del Mar Chile are neighbouring seaside towns one hour 40 minutes drive from Santiago, the capital of Chile. As we were staying in Santiago for four nights we took the opportunity to visit these two famous seaside towns.
(Editor Update 2020)
This post may contain affiliate links. Please see our disclosure for more information. As an Amazon Associate, we earn from qualifying purchases (if applicable).[su_note note_color=”#ffc400″]You can book your day tour from Santiago to Valparaiso and Vin del Mar here[/su_note]
How to get to Valparaiso from Santiago
If you prefer to do the day tour by local bus it is an easy bus journey from Santiago to Valparaiso. Buses depart Santiago from Terminal Alameda every 15 minutes for the terminal located at the National Congress Building in Valparaiso. We travelled by Turbus.[su_note note_color=”#ffc400″]Check the latest bus schedules and ticket prices here[/su_note]
Tour company touts descended on us, some quite pushy others more relaxed. Should we take the tour of Valparaiso and Vina del Mar or just wander around and get lost?
We could wander around Valparaiso by foot and potentially run out of time to see Vina del Mar or we could take a Day Trip that includes both. The timing was important as we had booked the 6.30 pm bus back to Santiago.
Roda Tours had a tour leaving in 30 minutes and would have us back at the terminal in time and we could visit both Valparaiso and Vina del Mar.
Things to do in Valparaiso
The tour includes a visit to Plaza Sotomayor in Valparaiso and one building that you cannot miss is the headquarters of the Chilean Navy – Armada de Chile. If we had not taken the tour this would have taken us a good 30 minutes to walk here.
Plaza Sotomayor is one of the main city squares located next to the Port area of Valparaiso. This area of Valparaiso is classified as a UNESCO World Heritage site.
Apart from the scenic views from the historical area of Valparaiso known as Cerro Alegre, the streets are abounding with local street art. The local authorities allow the vibrant artwork and welcome local and foreign artists to express themselves. As you wander around you will come across local cafes, hostels and any wall that is free covered with vibrant and colourful graffiti. No wonder Valparaiso is known as the Graffiti Capital of Chile.[su_note note_color=”#ffc400″]If you are a huge fan of street art you can now take a 4-hour tour highlighting the best of street art and a ride up the funicular is included to Cerro Bellavista. More details here.[/su_note]
Ascensore Artilleria is one of the 16 remaining funiculars linking the flat area of the city with Artilleria hill. The trip lasts a quick 80 seconds and it is a must-do if you are visiting Valparaiso.
Things To Do in Vina del Mar
Vina del Mar means in Spanish the Vineyard of the Sea, but is it also known as the Garden City. A popular seaside resort of Chile, Vina del Mar offers those who visit, many parks and water fountains, casinos, shopping malls and Caleta Abarca beach.
The working clock of Vina del Mar is one of the city’s most famous landmarks. Its face is made only with flowers. Here you can take a relaxing ride on a traditional horse-drawn carriage (which the locals call ‘victoria’s’) through the historic streets and along the waterfront.
The original Moai (Easter Island Statues) standing guard outside the Museum of Archaeology and History Francisco Fonck. The Museum has an extensive library of documents and wood tablets displaying ancient hieroglyphics of Easter Island.
The tour does not include lunch but gives you an hour to enjoy the many restaurants in Vina del Mar.
Travel Information on visiting Valparaiso and Vina del Mar from Santiago
Read more: Free Walking Tour in Santiago Chile
Where to stay in Santiago
Budget Accommodation in Santiago
We can recommend staying at Ventana Sur Hostel if you are travelling on a budget. Ventana Sur is located in the Providencia suburb. Ventana Sur offers a swimming pool, private room with ensuite, dormitories with a great travellers vibe. You will need to book in advance as it is very popular.
Address: Claudio Arrau 0340 Providencia
Self Catering Apartment in Santiago
We can recommend Travel Place Andino located at Nueva Providencia 1372. The comfortable studio apartment with views offers free WiFi and is next to the Metro Manuel Montt in Santiago.
4-Star Hotel in Santiago
One of the top 4-star hotels in Santiago is the Hotel Magnolia at Paseo Huerfanos 539 in the City Centre two blocks away from the Bellas Artes Metro. The hotel offers free WiFi and breakfast.
5-Star Hotel in Santiago
The NH Collection Plaza Santiago Hotel is located on Avenida Vitacura 2610 in the financial heart of Santiago. The hotel offers guests a swimming pool, gym, free WiFi and breakfast.
Airbnb Santiago has a range of properties to suit all travellers and budgets.
Santiago Chile Airport
Comodoro Arturo Merino Benitez – Santiago Chile Airport is located 15 km north-west of downtown Santiago.
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