A 15min bus or train ride is all it takes to exchange the colourful cerros and chaotic alleys of Valparaíso for the tree-lined avenues and ostentatious high-rises of VIÑA DEL MAR. This is Chile’s largest and best-known beach resort, drawing tens of thousands of mostly Chilean vacationers each summer. In many ways, it’s indistinguishable from beach resorts elsewhere in the world, with oceanfront condos, bars, restaurants and a casino. But lurking in the older corners of town are extravagant palaces, elegant villas and sumptuous gardens. Many date from the late nineteenth century when Viña del Mar – then a large hacienda – was subdivided into plots that were sold or rented to the wealthy families of Valparaíso and Santiago who came to spend their summers by the sea. The city also has a pair of beautiful botanical gardens and a museum with an important collection of Easter Island art.

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15 things everyone learns backpacking South America

15 things everyone learns backpacking South America

South America has become a favoured destination for the intrepid backpacker, and while it’s impressive in the astounding diversity of its nations, there are a…

02 Mar 2016 • Steph Dyson insert_drive_file Article
Quiz: can you locate these national parks?

Quiz: can you locate these national parks?

National parks are some of the world's most awe-inspiring natural places, taking in mountains, glaciers, waterfalls and forests (sometimes all in the same one…

02 Jul 2015 • Rebecca Hallett help Quiz
Off the map in the Atacama: Chile's eerie ghost towns

Off the map in the Atacama: Chile's eerie ghost towns

Thousands of foreign travellers visit the geysers, salt flats, oases and volcanoes of north Chile’s Atacama Desert, but few make it to two of the region’s m…

14 Jan 2015 • Shafik Meghji insert_drive_file Article
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