Chile travel blog by Mark Berman -
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Viña del Mar like nearby Valparaiso is a wonderful city to explore and enjoy the sights, it's just 2hrs west from the capital city of Santiago.
Viña del Mar is defined by its beaches, its new and iconic buildings, its parks and its white bridges over the estuary where the buildings reflect
brightly in the water. They call Viña del Mar the garden city and it is a green place indeed with tall palm trees, red flower gardens, a flower
clock and lots of fresh air blowing in from the ocean. Accommodation in Viña del Mar is not so cheap, upwards of $30USD per night in low season,
many budget travelers choose to stay in Valparaiso instead - only 10mins by bus.
Castles, Palaces & Museums
Viña del Mar has some very distinctive and iconic buildings!
Check out Wulff Castle (Castillo Wulff), an old castle beside the sea at the end of the estuary which was built by German immigrants in 1906.
Wulff Castle is built in neo-Tudor style and stands on a rocky coastal point not far from the Presidential Palace. On the other side of the
estuary from Wulff Castle is another iconic building - the casino, built in art-deco style in the 1930's, it's best admired from the outside
I would advise. Rioja Palace is a beautiful big mansion built in 1907 that houses the Museum of Decorative Arts and nearby is the Fonck Museum
of archaeology and history. Brunet Castle up on the hill overlooking the estuary was built in 1923 and is a national monument. Carrasco Palace
was built between 1912 and 1923 and was originally a residence but now is the cultural center, library and historic archive. Ross Castle was
built in 1912 of stone and is headquarters of the Club Union Arabe, it's very close to Wulff Castle. Vergara Palace is located at Quinta Vergara
(park), the same location as the annual International Song Festival
held in the 3rd week of February. That's another good reason to visit Viña del Mar!
Beaches in Viña del Mar
The most central beach in Viña del Mar is Playa Caleta Abarca which is located in front of the flower clock and
just 500m from Wulff Castle. On the other side of the estuary 1km away are more beaches that continue northward - Playa Acapulco, Playa Blanca,
Las Salinas, Playa Los Marineros, Playa de los Canones, all the way up to Reñaca Beach - a very popular place in summertime.