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Explore Central Chile

Central Chile

This distinctive coastline is dominated by the twin maritime cities of Valparaíso and Viña del Mar. Tanned-and-tawny beach destinations stretch to the north and south and are hugely popular with vacationing Santaiguinos. Inland, you can explore Chile's best white wines in the Casablanca vineyards or head off track to Parque Nacional La Campana.

-- Lonely Planet

Pick a place and a pasttime: Reñaca and Viña del Mar for baking in the summer sun and the sea air; or, the hilly port city of Valparaíso with its 16 Ascensors (many of which are bona fide funiculars, and one of which -- Ascensor Polanco -- is a true vertical elevator) to take you from the small city plan up to the many neighborhoods on the hills.

There, on Cerro Bellavista, explore Sebastiana, one of poet Pablo Neruda's homes.

Another option is an hour's drive down the coast to visit Isla Negra, another of Neruda's homes, nestled in a stunning beachside location. You'll never run out of marvels here on the Chile's Central Coast.

-- Guy Roger