Viña del Mar
Eco-friendly travel guide to Viña del Mar advises how to be a responsible tourist. Learn how to explore the attractions in a sustainable way and how to respect the local people and culture. Make your trip green by supporting locally owned hotels, organic restaurants and other businesses. Read more on how to protect the environment by making conscientious choices and how to travel green in Viña del Mar, Chile.
- Air quality: 3.5 / 5
- Exploring by foot: 3 / 5
- Exploring by bicycle: 3.5 / 5
- Public transportation: 4 / 5
- Parks: 3 / 5
- Outdoor activities: 4 / 5
- Locals' English level: 3 / 5
- Safety: 3.5 / 5
- Accommodation: US$70 - $150
- Budget per day: US$50 - $350
- 1 Responsible Travel
- 2 Air Quality and Pollution
- 3 Respect the Culture
- 4 Top 10 Places to Visit
- 5 Explore
- 6 Eat
- 7 Drink
- 8 Activities
- 9 Accommodation
- 10 How to Get There
- 11 Moving Around
- 12 Sustainable Shopping
- 13 Recycling
- 14 Work and Study Abroad
- 15 See Also
Vina del Mar is a coastal city located near Santiago. It is very famous around the countries for having many landmarks. Responsible travel refers to traveling in such a way that your actions don't cause any harm to the local communities or the environment. In the current scenario, you must follow various eco-friendly measures and participate actively in protecting our earth. When traveling around the world and experiencing the beauty of different countries up close, you truly understand that living on Earth is a gift. We must appreciate our planet more and give back to it.
As a tourist, your first preference for accommodation would be 5-star hotels, but try to avoid them. Instead, it would be best if you preferred eco-hotels, hostels, guest houses, and rental apartments. These options are not only affordable but are far better than the 5-star hotels. Also, the hostels and guest houses will give you proper exposure to the local culture as some of them host frequent social events where the guest can join and enjoy.
Avoid using disposable and plastic items as they create a lot of pollution, and a lot of natural resources are wasted in disposing of them properly. Instead, you should prefer reusable and recycled products like water bottles, handkerchiefs, cloth bags, etc. If you want to get the best experience out of your trip, prefer local businesses as they possess an authenticity that other international and retail brands lack. You will support the local communities in growing and learning about the local culture and traditions.
While traveling to the different areas of the city, avoid using rental cars and boats as the service providers usually overcharge tourists and emit many harmful gases into the atmosphere. Instead, it would help if you prefer public buses, electronic vehicles, bicycles, trains, and trams to travel in the city. These transports will also help you get a closer experience of the people's local culture and livelihood.
Air Quality and Pollution
The Air Quality of any tourist location or place is a crucial thing to keep in mind because not all tourists can adapt to a city where air pollution is low, and the air quality is good, especially for people who belong to a sensitive group. Vina Del Mar mostly has good air quality, and pollution levels aren't bad. One can say that automobiles' effect is more than that of the people who visit the city. Other than ground transportation, the shipping industry has contributed a lot to air pollution. If you wish to get fresh and clean air in Vina Del Mar, prefer visiting the outskirts and the hilly regions. Most of the fuel used in marine ships is a fu major concentration of sulfur, a contaminant.
Respect the Culture
Everyone loves to travel, but most people always forget the essential thing while traveling, respecting the culture. Most travelers only focus on getting the most out of their trip and often not getting the best experience. While traveling, you can get the most out of your trip only if you respect the culture. You can pay your respects by following the rules, not indulging in illegal activities, prefer local businesses, and avoiding any action that harms the local environment. By paying respect to the culture, you can make your trip more meaningful and memorable.
Top 10 Places to Visit
Some people may wonder why others would want to visit the city of Vina Del Mar, and tourists' sites are amongst the reasons.
Here are the top 10 places you can see in the city:
- Renaca Beach: Renaca beach is a popular beach for surfing and lounging in the city of Vina del Mar. It is one of the famous beaches in the city. The city is located 20 mins by car.
- Quinta Vergara: Quina Vergara is a park with an amphitheater and museum in the city. It is located in Vina del Mar, Valparaiso, Chile.
- Flower clock: A flower clock is a floral landmark in the shape of a clock. It was established in the year 1962. It is a bright bed of flowers that forms a clock with a functional operation.
- Wulff Castle: Wulff Castle is a historic seaside castle and museum in the city. It is located in Vina del Mar, Valparaiso, Chile. It was established in the year 1906.
- Concon Dunes: Concon Dunes is a big dune popular for sandboarding. It is located in Av. Concon, Vina del Mar, Chile. It is one of the famous rental sandboarding in the city.
- Vina del Mar Botanical Garden: Vina del Mar Botanical Garden is a garden with Chilean plants. It is a 370-acre botanical garden. It was established in the year 1917.
- Casino de Vina del Mar: Casino de Vina del Mar is gaming and shows at an oceanfront complex in the city. It is located in Vina del Mar, Valparaiso, Chile.
- Playa de Renaca: Playa de Renaca is one of the famous beaches in the city of Vina del Mar. Renaca is a famous and affluent area of beaches.
- Museo de Arqueologia e Historia Franciso: Museo de Arqueologia e Historia Franciso is a museum on Chilean archaeology and history. The museum reflects the local culture, including an Easter Island Moai statue.
- Decorative Arts Museum Rioja Palace: Decorative Arts Museum is a museum of aristocratic furniture and décor in the city. It is located in Quillota 214, Vina del Mar, Chile.
As part of the oldest cities in the World, Vina Del Mar is the most visited city. Visiting these places will help you explore and learn about the history, culture, and significance of the area on a first-hand basis. It is an oasis for every traveler as it offers both natural and urban places that will make your visit a memorable one. The town offers various opportunities to the tourists and the locals to experience the Ancient culture, diverse cuisines, sunny beach coasts, and the hospitable people. Many places in the city are must-visit ones. While exploring, you will be able to indulge in the world-famous Chile cuisines that will only enhance your Vina Del Mar’s experience.
The city parks are the life of this city, and you can find city parks of all different kinds present all over the city of Vina Del Mar. The city is big, and it has a big collection of parks and other such places. It has big open spaces and greeneries where you can spend time with your children and other family members. Here are some of the parks you should visit while you are in the city:
- Glorias Navales Park
- Palacio Rioja Park
- Nuevo Horizonte Park
The country has always been famous for its beautiful and graceful natural resources, and so that this city has a wonderful collection of national parks and zoos. We are listing down a few of them that may not exactly be located in and around the city but are not very far away from the city.
- Poza de la Virgen
- Campo Dunar Punta Concon
- Palmar El Salto
Many people fantasize about spending time at a beach, and it could be that it is what you do when home. Thus, they are curious about beaches when in a new city. If you fall under this category and visit the city of Vina Del Mar, you are in for a treat as it has beaches for people to explore and relax.
- Playa del Sol
- Playa Acapulco
- Playa Caleta Abarca
- Playa Las Salinas
In simple terms, we can say that a landmark is a high or long structure that people can quickly locate, helping them keep track of places. When there is a landmark around, it helps with directions and eliminates losing your way. Foreigners are usually happy and gleeful to know of landmarks in the city, and you would see them trying to keep it in mind as no one loves losing their way while exploring. Some of the landmarks that would help you in the city of Vina Del Mar are:
- Vergara Pier
- Aviva Water Park
- Avenida Peru
- Laguna Sausalito
People say that it is sometimes impossible to keep count of the number of museums in Vina Del Mar city as there are many. The city's idea is to preserve adequate information for the coming generations and help foreigners with knowledge about the city. If you love to know about the cities you visit, we know that you will love or desire to pay a visit to any of its museums. Some Vina Del Mar museums are:
- Museo de Arqueologia e Historia Francisco
- Artequin Museum Vina del Mar
- Decorative Arts Museum Rioja Palace
Eating and experiencing the food of the palace is another very well-known and effective way to understand the culture and lifestyle. Vina Del Mar is no exception to that, and you will get a wide range of foods to eat in the city from traditional to the cuisine of different countries. Make sure to try all of the different food items in the city that you will find in no other palace. The city offers some of the oldest and traditional dishes to the tourists. You will find the raw cultural food in the city, from street foods to vegan local dishes. While exploring the foods in the city, try the local food stalls and shops that offer some of the country's best delicacies. It will help the locals keep providing these amazing dishes to customers and save money.
Traditional Local Restaurants
In most cases, traditional restaurants are the best place to experience local foods' taste, and maybe even a bit of the culture behind said dishes. There are many Chile’s restaurants in the city of Vina Del Mar that you should try. Below is a list of the most famous traditional local restaurants in the city.
- Casa Cochoa Steak House
- Restaurante Africa
- Idilico Restobar
Vegetarian and Vegan
If you are a vegetarian, you do not need to worry when you are in this city as there are many restaurants to attend to your needs. With these places, you will get to enjoy traditional meals properly with your regular choices. Since it is already established that cravings for the vegetarian and vegan dishes in a city, here are some of the local vegetarian and vegan restaurants in the city of Vina Del Mar:
- Livres Food Vina del Mar
- La Magnolia Cafeteria
- Vital Food Vina del Mar
Vina Del Mar's street food is a must-try one while exploring the city. The many street food vendors serve mouth-watering dishes that will make your taste buds dance with its flavor. These local street food dishes are the best places to indulge in authentic Chile tastes. These dishes are not only affordable but also hold a lot of cultural and historical significance to them. Most of the following street food dishes are easily found at any square, street, and city center in Chile.
There is no doubt that the local people love to drink regularly, especially on special occasions with friends and family. You can enjoy almost all types of drinks that you get in any good western restaurant and bar. There are many local alcoholics and non-alcoholic beverages that you can see in the local cafés, restaurants, bars, and pubs in the city. These drinks will help you understand the significance and increasing popularity amongst the locals—people in the city of Vina Del Mar love to drink, especially at gatherings and special occasions. The locals are simple and laid-back ones that prefer enjoying the time they have. The city offers a wide variety of wines from the different areas of the country.
You’ll be surprised to know that the tap water in the city is the safest in Chile. You can use the drinking fountains and other public water sources in the city to drink and will hardly face any problem. The water is filtered correctly and tested for bacteria and other harmful substances. Only after proper cleaning, the water supply is done to the various areas of the city. When you visit the city of Vina Del Mar, you can drink tap water without any worries. Bottled water is not necessarily safer than drinking water. However, what you ultimately opt for depends on your preference.
Vina Del Mar offers many fine dining options and a fantastic tapas scene that serve a wide variety of local and international delicacies. For those who prefer healthier foods and are more on the conscious side, organic cafes and restaurants are ideal places to detox your body. These places serve vegetarian and vegan dishes with 100% organic ingredients that are quite mouthwatering and pocket friendly. Some popular organic cafes in the city of Vina Del Mar are;
- Espacio Agora
- La Magnolia Cafeteria, Vina del Mar
Drinking is a way of bringing people together in the city, and you would see it in the number of available bars, breweries, and distilleries. It is always easy to strike up a conversation at these places as the drinks make everyone more relaxed, and the atmosphere is friendly. Some people say that it is not a complete visit to any local house if you have not been offered a drink. Thus, it is safe to say that there are many breweries and distilleries in Vina Del Mar. Since these people do not joke with their drinks, you are sure that you will get to select from many excellent options. You can add touring breweries and distilleries to your to-do list while in the city.
The city is best known for its art and culture in tourism, and it has many places to explore. However, this is not the case for people who wish to visit the city as there is always something to do. Foreigners hate getting bored when in a new town, so you would see those seeking locals' recommendations. This city offers many endless activities to tourists to help them explore the city's beauty, culture, and history. By indulging in these activities, you can enhance your experience and get the most out of your travel. The museums and art exhibitions are always there for you to explore, making you appreciate art. Even if you are not a lover of artwork, something in you will be compelled when you see them.
Yoga and Retreats
Many tourists like to take care of their health on their tour and join local yoga centers to care for it. Taking a break from the hectic journey and relaxing at their yoga retreats help very much to get your energy back. From online to offline yoga, the city offers you various options to get in good shape here. The teachers are experienced, the styles are diverse, and the locations are, of course, stunning. Yoga is a group of physical, mental, and spiritual practices or disciplines that originated in ancient India. As the city's local people are very well known for maintaining their health, you will find many yoga centers and retreats in the city.
One thing that everyone would agree with is that accommodation is very crucial in the plans of anyone who plans to visit a new city. When you go to a new place, you would need where to rest, and if you did not make adequate plans for preparation, you would be stranded. It is always challenging to be stranded in a different environment, and the feeling is draining. When such happens, people start having regrets and wishing they did not embark on the journey initially. However, you can avoid all these with proper planning. One of the first things you should do when deciding to visit a foreign city is to keep a specific amount aside for accommodation. It serves as your budget and would help you determine the type of places you would search.
If you are an environmental enthusiast, we know that you would search for green hotels in the city to ensure that you have an eco-friendly stay in the city. Many foreigners fail to realize that they have a role to play in protecting the environment, and it does not matter if it is your place of origin or not. You should play a role in any place you find yourself.
- Esencia Hotel Boutique
- Enjoy del Mar
- Sheraton Miramar hotel
Hostels and Guest Houses
Hostels and paying guests are relatively cheap than hotels. They provide all the facilities. It is best for the students and the tourists coming from different cities and countries as well. Here are some guest houses for guests and tourists.
- Hostal Casamar-Vina
- Hostal Not Found Rooms
- Nomade Hostal
- Jaguar Hostel + Living
Instead of wasting your money on hotels, hostels, and guest houses, you can prefer renting out an apartment if you stay in the city for more than a month. You can reduce the apartment's total rental cost by sharing or dividing the amount amongst your friends or family with whom you are traveling. You can find many apartment buildings all over Vina Del Mar, which can be a bit pricey because of the prime location but are cheaper and offer various amenities that you will not find at a hotel or guest house.
Willing locals sign up on it, while foreigners check through and follow steps and instructions on how to get paired. What you need to think about is how you would adapt to the lifestyle of the locals. With Couch surfing, you do not need to bother about spending your money on accommodation. If you do not have the means to pay for accommodation and you desire to travel, you can check if they do Couch surfing in the desired country. It is a regular thing to see people indicate interest in Couch surfing in the city of Vina Del Mar, and there is a website that assists in getting localhost. If you are confused, Couch surfing is a system that pairs you with a local willing host during the duration of your holiday.
Some people do not understand why anyone will leave the luxury of their homes and decide to camp. However, those who have ever had a camping experience can explain that the feeling is different and fulfilling. By camping, you are leaving your immediate environment's comfort and going to a place that is in tune with nature. These places often do not have the luxury of beds, and campers end up sleeping in tents. Although camping is not an actual form of accommodation as it cannot serve long-term, it still falls under accommodation as it helps for days that anyone would engage in it.
How to Get There
Several modes of transport can be used to travel to the city, with the most convenient for you being dictated by where you are coming from, be it a local or international area. People from surrounding cities usually travel to the city by bus or train. While those coming from further away commonly use airplanes.
Using an airplane would almost be the first thought of any foreigner's mind when they want to visit Vina del Mar. However, there are some follow-up questions like the proximity of the airport to the city. Aeropuerto de Concon Airport is where your plane will probably land, and it is on the outskirts of the city. However, you will have ease in getting to the city's main centers as there are other means of transportation from the airport.
If you love road trips and witness the natural beauty on the way, then you can choose this option. Having a trip to the city of Vina del Mar on a bus is the best idea to get there if you are traveling from a city in Chile. The bus is prevalent and well-used transportation that will help you to get to the city smoothly. You will reach your destination very fast at a very reasonable price. The buses are very frequent in this city, and you will find many bus terminals and hubs scattered throughout the city.
Many people in the city would tell you that using a train is the cheapest means of transportation. Thus, it is not surprising that people are always rushing for the train. Some people book ahead so that they would not miss using it to reach their destination.
Some drivers might not want to stop for strangers, but you would get a ride as someone would be compelled to stop. It may be that you can hitchhike for free in some other places, but it does not work that way in South American cities. If a driver stops for you and agrees to carry you, they will ask you for payments. So, your money should be ready, or you will be stranded on the road. Hitchhiking is also amongst the means of transportation you can get to the city. However, the clause of it happening is if you are within surrounding cities. Some people love the idea of hitchhiking because they think it is a way of getting a free ride and saves the cost.
Another means of getting into the city is Vina del Mar is through cruise ships or ferries. We usually see this when a group of tourists decides to visit the city. In such cases, it would be that they have a tour guide waiting for them, and they are ready to have an adventurous experience. If you have never been on a ferry, it may be time to check for those who wish to visit the city around you so that you all would use it as a means of transportation to the city.
Different options are available for tourists to travel to the city and enjoy the culture, traditions, markets, and others. It would be best if you chose the best way to travel to the city before moving in. Some of them take less time while others help you know the city's details very well. You might be able to get to the famous attractions very fast, but you will miss all the little details of the local lifestyle on the way. So, which is the best way to explore the city depends on how much time you have. Here are some of the most common ways to move around the city, given details that will help you.
Some people might feel that walking is stressful, but it has many health benefits, and you should try it out. Some people do not like to walk around in a new city because they fear being robbed. This is understandable, but you do not need to worry as the city is a safe space for locals and foreigners. Another reason why foreigners do not fancy the idea of walking is because they fear that they might miss their way, and this is something they wish to avoid. The city has man landmarks, which we have highlighted above, so navigating is usually painless. The locals are also always ready to help out.
Another perfect transportation mode is using a bicycle to roam around the city and explore all the different things. You will be able to get a bicycle on rent from many different services at a cheap cost. Many hotels provide bicycles free of cost to customers. The best thing about exploring the city on a bicycle is that you do not have to worry about traffic. Also, cycling is a great exercise that helps to improve health conditions. Nothing is better than having exercise and roaming the city at once with the help of a bicycle.
The city is highly urbanized, and they are in touch with the latest features in the world. Thus, electric vehicles are not strange to any of the locals. Knowing that you can get an electronic vehicle if you desire, the next question for foreigners is how safe it is to use such in the city. It is expected that everyone would have safety procedures at the back of their mind, and you would not want to use something like an electronic scooter on a busy road to obstruct cars. This way, you would get a less busy environment. You should also use it at the edge of the road to avoid any stories that would touch the heart.
There are a variety of local bus services and minibusses. The routes tend to be somewhat confusing for those who haven't lived in Vina del Mar for a while. Minibusses are easily recognizable and will stop when you wave and stop where you need to get off. The drivers rarely speak English, so you should know the Arabic name of your destination. These buses are a standard mode of transportation for the locals and are entirely safe for tourists. You can use public buses to travel to different city areas and gain useful information from the locals on the bus. They are an eco-friendly option and very inexpensive as well.
Tram, Train and Subway
Tram service is an excellent way of moving around the city and exploring the local culture, heritages, and landmarks. Vina del Mar railway station is a famous railway station which is connected to the different cities. These railway networks are the fastest ways of moving around the town and getting some beautiful views. The metro service in Vina del Mar is one of the best metro services. It is the fastest mode of moving around the city and is the most popular public transport for working-class people and students.
The products are human-made, which requires immense labor, thus, creating employment opportunities. It is the reason why the prices are lower than standard products because the energy is renewable and does not costs much. These products also reduce pollution, including soil pollution. Buying sustainable products also makes you a responsible tourist and reduces your carbon footprints during your tour.
Although night markets are traditionally a Chilean phenomenon, Vina del Mar's scene has grown to be considered one of the world's best. Vina del Mar's night markets initially began as informal vendor meetings, where merchants would get together and sell their wares. These groupings eventually turned into more formal food markets.
Several flea markets across the city offer both an exciting shopping experience and a chance to mingle with the locals. Most of them sell various things at reasonable prices, some of which are found in local shops. However, they tend to double the price when selling to tourists.
Second Hand Stores
These stores are some of the most common places for shopping for lower-income groups and budgeted travelers. These stores sell second-hand products that possess the potential for reuse. Small independent second-hand stores are popping up almost everywhere in the city.
Eco-fashion is a means of making clothes that are helpful to the environment. Everyone is always trying to be eco-friendly in different capacities, and designers make their effort in the clothes they make. However, it is left you to buy it and also play a part in the system. With the country being one of the leading fashion destinations globally, you certainly can expect the city to have eco-friendly fashion stores. We always encourage foreigners to play a role in being eco-friendly when they visit any city and subscribing to eco-fashion is one way for anyone.
The city's local government and municipalities have adopted recycling measures to reduce the city's pollution level. You will find that there are many strict rules regarding the recycling and proper disposal of waste that must be followed by both locals and tourists. Any individual, who fails to follow these rules, is fined. You can find many recycling stores in the city that offer to recycle your waste and efficiently dispose of reusable and recyclable items.
The government needs to come with new rules and guidelines to control waste management. For this, they must install dustbins at various public places so that no one throws garbage on the roads. Many of the people are spotted throwing litter along the river coast and in the river too. However, the government has implemented strict rules regarding polluting the river. Waste requires a massive landform in which all the garbage is collectively dumped. It creates land and air pollution because of its toxic smell.
Work and Study Abroad
The city receives a very high crowd of tourists every year, but they do not come to see the tourist attractions in the city. Many people from foreign countries visit the city to pursue their higher studies. Vina del Mar is very well known for having high-level education and offers many high courses that attract students from different countries. You can find many international students in this city who are living and continuing their studies. Compared to other places, the study's cost is also lower, which helps the students learn at a reasonable price. You will be able to get the best research and jobs in the city if you know the places to look for them.
Chile has an outstanding higher education system that provides opportunities for international students to study a wide variety of subjects. The diversity of universities' accredited programs and the focus on innovative research make the city an appealing destination for international students. You can choose from over twenty universities and study your favorite discipline at any degree level. The city is home to the campus universities and Academia Sinica, Vina del Mar's national academy, supporting the Chile International Graduate Program.
For cities that subscribe to the au pair idea, there is usually a website or forum where people can register and get paired with localhost whom they can work for. This exists in the city, so you should jump on the opportunity. If you are studying in the city of Vina del Mar, it is understandable if you want to get a job to argue your finds. We also understand that it is not always easy to find these jobs, and this is where the idea of au pair comes to play.
As an eco-friendly traveler, you have to contribute to the city and help to keep it clean. Nothing is more appropriate and helpful than choosing the volunteering option. It will help you to contribute towards society and the city by choosing this option. If you are traveling for a long time and want to get close to local people, volunteering is the best way. During volunteering, you will come close to the local people and know their lifestyle up close. The interaction with both locals and foreigners will increase a lot, helping you know them and brush up your language skills.