If during your travels you find yourself in Valparaíso, reserve an extra day or two to check out its nearby sister city, Viña del Mar. Just 20 minutes up the coast, this small beach town is a popular vacation destination for Chileans, and a great place to wile away a few days in the sun.
The easiest way to get there is by taking the metro, which runs from Valparaíso along the shoreline to Viña del Mar. If you’re going straight to the beach, get off at Estación Miramar and walk the few blocks to the water. If you prefer to check out the town first, stay on the metro one stop further until Estación Viña del Mar, which will drop you at the main town square.
The beach is reason enough to schedule an extra day here. Full of colorful umbrellas, tanned bodies and big blue crashing waves, this stretch of sand is both lively and relaxing at the same time.
After spending the day in town and on the beach, your hard work deserves a nice cocktail. Check out Enjoy del Mar on the water at Avenida Peru. This seaside spot is perfect for sunset drinks and a tasty dinner if you hang around long enough.
Unless you plan to enjoy the Viña beaches for more than a couple days, there’s no real reason to stay in town. You’re better off staying in Valparaíso and taking the short train ride to the beach. If you do, however, choose to stay in Viña del Mar (and have a few extra bucks to throw down), I recommend the Sheraton Hotel, which is located right on the water and boasts beautiful seaside views.