With pristine beaches, pumping nightlife and plenty of local attractions to explore, Viña del Mar is worthy of attention. So take a break from the thick-rim-glasses-wearing bohemians of neighboring Valparaiso and come check out this happening seaside city. Who knows? You might even like it more.
Extremely popular with sun seekers from Santiago, it’s the beaches that draw the masses to Viña del Mar. Although the water may be cold and the currents treacherous at times, these playas are undeniably picturesque and absolutely buzzing with holidaymakers during the busier months. There are plenty of great spots to choose from, but our pick has to be Playa Reñaca to mingle with the young and the restless.
Sample some seafood
Chile is known for its oceanic delights, so it stands to reason that an upmarket seaside town would be full of succulent seafood eateries. From high end fine dining restaurants to beachfront ceviche stalls, there’s plenty of opportunities to sample the fruits of the sea in Viña del Mar. To pick just one, Donde Willy has amazing main courses starting from just 10 bucks. Pretty hard to beat, really.
Donde Willy Restaurant, Luis Borgoño 12, Viña del Mar, Región de Valparaíso, Chile +56 32 342 1261
Destinations Unlocked:Let our travel expert Stefano help you find your perfect Culture trip
Looking for an expert's perspective?Uncover my top 3 recommended places from each continent on the map.
1. GuatemalaAn express adventure for those with limited time off. Prepare yourself incredible experiences. You will hike a volcano, visit mayan temples and witness a ceremony and take in beautiful colonial Antigua.
2. BelizeA quick trip not too far away for those seeking a relaxing mini break. You will have plenty of free time to relax but also some awesome activities to experience the rainforest and the caribbean sea.
3. MexicoAn exciting mini trip exploring the lesser known colonial towns of central Mexico. This is hte perfect trip for someone with limited time off and still wants to turn on explorer mode and do something different.
1. EcuadorA remarkable 8 days adventure through the Andes and the Amazon rainforest. The best choice for adventure seekers wishing to visit the 2 most iconic areas of South America, in only 1 week and no flights.
2. PeruAn alternative itinerary to classic Peru, from Cusco to Arequipa. This itinerary is great combination of highlights Cusco and Machu Picchu with the lesser known Arequipa and Colca Canyon.
1. ItalyThe ultimate Italian experience from the vibrant streets of Naples to the breathtaking sceneries of the Amalfi Coast followed by Matera and down to Puglia with its golden beaches, intense flavours and fascinating destinations.
2. ScotlandEmbark on this great adventure starting from London all the way to Scotland with a true Scottish experience made of breathtaking sceneries, whisky tasting and ..lots of fun! Ideal for train lovers and explorers.
3. PortugalA wonderful train journey around Portugal, from the romantic city of Porto to the Douro Valley, to the beautiful Aveiro all the way to Lisbon and Sintra. The perfect trip to train, culinary and culture lovers.
1. South KoreaDiscover incredible temples, mountains and modern cities on this 10 day adventure. This trip is perfect for those seeking immersion in the cuisine, culture and natural wonders of South Korea.
2. ThailandFrom Bankgok to Angkor Wat to Ho Chi Minh City and everything in between - adventure through the heart of South-East Asia. Taste the delights, see history brought to life and unwind on a Mekong River cruise.
3. Sri LankaA fantastic adventure that showcases Sri Lanka's fantastic landscapes, wildlife and flavours. With 3 epic rail journeys, 3 UNESCO heritage sites and time to relax, this trip has loads to offer at a great price
1. MoroccoAn epic journey across Morocco: from Casablanca to Marrakech, through the blue city of Chefchaouen to the wonders of the desert and deep to the High Atlas Mountains - this trip has it all! Ideal for true explorers!
2. EgyptFrom Cairo to Aswan, this trip brings the land of the pharaohs to life. You'll visit the Pyramids, Valley of the Kings and Luxor Temple and cruise down the Nile in style. This is the perfect way to explore Egypt.
While Valparaiso is known for its hippy, bohemian hangouts, Viña del Mar is decidedly more high end. So give the unshaven ones a miss and rub shoulders with Chile’s most glamorous socialites instead. Plenty of funky bars, lounges and clubs can be found throughout the city, just be sure to dress your best and bring plenty of spare cash. Ovo in the city casino is a guaranteed good night out if thumping clubs are your cup of tea.
Casino de Viña del Mar, Av. San Martín, 199, Viña del Mar, Región de Valparaíso, Chile
Viña del Mar has been given the moniker the “Garden City” for a reason. Although its lush city plazas are more picturesque than most, it’s the incredible Parque Quinta Vergara that’s the real star of the show. This neo-Gothic palace surrounded by immaculately landscaped gardens is the epitome of old world opulence.
Quinta Vergara Park, Viña del Mar, Valparaiso Region, Chile +56 32 218 5720
Whether it be the Museo de Bellas Artes for some sophisticated high-end culture or the Palacio Rioja Museum for a taste of Viña’s bourgeois past, the city has a plethora of fascinating museums to keep even the keenest culture vulture amused. The Francisco Fonck is a must for anyone who can’t make it to Easter Island thanks to its real life Moai statue on display.
Francisco Fonck, 1 Ote. 235, Viña del Mar, Región de Valparaíso, Chile +56 32 268 6753
Festival Internacional de la Cancion de Vina del Mar
This international song festival is massive in Latin America, attracting legions of the hottest singer-songwriters from all over the continent. Held in a specially built amphitheater in the picturesque Quinta Vergara during February each year, the event is televised to millions of adoring fans. Not convinced? Even illustrious gringos like Sir Elton John have graced the stage.
Despite being a modern upscale city, Viña del Mar is home to some amazing architectural landmarks that evoke vivid images of lavish lives of yesteryear. Aside from the grandiose Vergara Palace and the neoclassic French-style Rioja, the summer presidential palace of Cerro Castillo is a major draw card that attracts scores of Chileans for its sheer patriotic decadence. Just don’t try to visit when Michelle is here on holidays.
Palacio Presidencial de Cerro Castillo, Castillo 398, Viña del Mar, Región de Valparaíso, Chile +56 600 700 6000
Get a photo with the famous flower clock
Quirky or cheesy? You decide. Either way, there’s no denying the colorful Reloj de Flores is one of Viña’s most photographed attractions. Since 1962 its Swiss-made hands have been chiming on the hour, every hour as they pass over a colorful bed of flowers. If you haven’t got a selfie with the reloj, then you haven’t really been to Viña.
Perched precariously over the sea, the early 20th century Castillo Wulff is a fascinating and photogenic local landmark. Visitors are welcome to examine its well-curated art exhibition, although its the picturesque setting and glass floor balcony area with views of waves crashing over rocks that make a visit worthwhile.
Wulff Castle, Av. Marina 37, Viña del Mar, Región V, Chile +56 32 218 5751
Volcanic Iceland Epic Trip
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I have so many places on my list, but I would really lobe to go to Africa. I consider myself an “adventure girl” and Africa feels like the ULTIMATE adventure!
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Culture Trip launched in 2011 with a simple yet passionate mission: to inspire people to go beyond their boundaries and experience what makes a place, its people and its culture special and meaningful — and this is still in our DNA today. We are proud that, for more than a decade, millions like you have trusted our award-winning recommendations by people who deeply understand what makes certain places and communities so special.
Increasingly we believe the world needs more meaningful, real-life connections between curious travellers keen to explore the world in a more responsible way. That is why we have intensively curated a collection of premium small-group trips as an invitation to meet and connect with new, like-minded people for once-in-a-lifetime experiences in three categories: Culture Trips, Rail Trips and Private Trips. Our Trips are suitable for both solo travelers, couples and friends who want to explore the world together.
Culture Trips are deeply immersive 5 to 16 days itineraries, that combine authentic local experiences, exciting activities and 4-5* accommodation to look forward to at the end of each day. Our Rail Trips are our most planet-friendly itineraries that invite you to take the scenic route, relax whilst getting under the skin of a destination. Our Private Trips are fully tailored itineraries, curated by our Travel Experts specifically for you, your friends or your family.
We know that many of you worry about the environmental impact of travel and are looking for ways of expanding horizons in ways that do minimal harm - and may even bring benefits. We are committed to go as far as possible in curating our trips with care for the planet. That is why all of our trips are flightless in destination, fully carbon offset - and we have ambitious plans to be net zero in the very near future.