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Introducing Viña Del Mar

Clean, orderly Viña del Mar is a sharp contrast to the charming jumble of neighboring Valparaíso. Manicured boulevards lined with palm trees and beautiful expansive parks have earned it the nickname of Ciudad Jardín (Garden City). Its official name, which means 'vineyard by the sea,' stems from the area's colonial origins as the hacienda of the Carrera family. Viña remains a popular weekend and summer destination for well-to-do Santiaguinos, despite the fact that its beaches get seriously packed and the Humboldt Current causes waters chilly enough to put off most would-be swimmers. Although Chileans rave about the city, there's not much here in the way of tourist sights: consider just making it a day trip from Valparaíso.