Our plan was to use Wise for the payment of the car. Normally this should take just a few days to transfer money from Europe to Chile. But in some situations, it can take up to two weeks or more. Since it was not 100% clear when the money would arrive we decided to spend some time in Viña del Mar and Valparaíso. Both cities are located next to each other and can easily be reached by bus in two hours from Santiago.
Viña del Mar
In January and February, this is one of the most popular holiday destinations in Chile. It features a large beach, a casino, and countless restaurants.
We weren’t overly impressed by Viña with its many ugly skyscrapers. Supposedly in the summertime, it’s more lively and interesting. In addition, the atmosphere at the bus station was quite tense with slightly aggressive beggars.
At least we found Groot in Viña. Did I mention that Linnéa is a Marvel fan? 🙂
The best thing in Viña was our hotel. We stayed at the 180 Bed & Breakfast Boutique Hotel. It is located on the Cerro Castillo hill, has a beautiful interior, and offers a nice view of the city from its terrace. And last but not least we didn’t pay anything because it could be booked using Emirates miles from our last Australia trip (which otherwise would have become invalid just a few days later).
Contrary to Viña del Mar we really loved Valparaíso. It is a very special place with a vibrant atmosphere, colorful houses, many street artists, and graffiti on every wall.
Since the downtown area at the port of Valparaíso is not considered safe we stayed at Cerro Alegre and Cerro Conception and took an Uber taxi to get there. I think that way Valparaíso is still a very safe place to explore. At least we had no problems and never felt unsafe in any way.