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Looking for a garden city in the Southern Hemisphere with a temperate Mediterranean climate, fine seafood, golf courses, and white sandy sunbathing beaches along the Pacific Ocean? Plus proximity to the national capitol, Santiago, about an hour away on Route 68 via a verdant vineyard district with wine tasting and fine dining. Choose from among over a dozen fine museums. Hike, bike, horseback ride, watch horse racing, sail, or surf. No shortage of activities with a money-saving vacation rental guest room, apartment, condo, or house in Vina del Mar.
Sunbathers from neighboring Argentina flock to Vina del Mar and the beaches of Playa Acapulco, Renaca, and Caleta Abarca. Surfers don their wetsuits as insulation from the cold Pacific currents, and seek out lesser known spots like Las Ventanas near Concon. Body-boarders congregate around Playa Negra, not far from the yacht club and family-run seafood restaurants of Caleta Higuerillas. The fishing port of Horcon gets the freshest catches direct from the boats, and has an artists’ colony with hippie era roots. Don’t forget to visit Vina del Mar’s Castillo Wulff, a towered castle with a transparent floor to watch waves crash on the rocks below.
It is only about six miles from Vina del Mar to the bustling port city of Valparaiso. The hilly terrain, fogs, and sea breezes give Valparaiso an uncanny similarity to San Francisco, California, and both ports were once closely linked. Valparaiso’s Museo Naval y Maritimo is a museum devoted to Chile’s military sea power. Take the kids to Museo del Mar Lord Cochrane to view model ships in bottles. The whole family can learn ocean ecology at Museo de Historia Natural.
Take a break from the sea with wine tasting and dining along Route 68. Enjoy a family picnic and the wine technology museum at Vina Veramonte. Vina Matetic favors organic wine production. Vina Mar favors the champenoise process. Vina Indomita’s restaurant emphasizes locally grown ingredients. You can easily keep your money-saving Vina del Mar vacation rental kitchen stocked with a different local wine for every day of your stay.
Reloj de Flores, a large floral clock, is emblematic of Vina del Mar’s status as a garden city. Take the kids to the outskirts of town to stroll the National Botanic Garden. The whole family will enjoy the pre-Columbian art and Easter Island statue at the Fonck Museum. The art school at Palacio Vergara and the library at Palacio Carrasco feature gardens and art exhibits. All in all, your money-saving Vina del Mar vacation rental stay will be memorable and educational for the whole family.