The beach dominates much of Viña’s life – both in terms of tourism and attitude. High rises front the coast along Calles San Martin and Jorge Montt. The city has done a magnificent job developing the beaches with beautiful stretches of parks with biking and walking paths along the entire stretch from Muelle Vergara to the amphitheater at Playa Marineros, enticing locals and tourists to come out and enjoy.   Graffiti adorns concrete blocks buttressing Muelle Vergara   High rise apartment buildings overlook Playa El Sol’s sand and sun seekers.   The sign says “Beach not suitable for swimming” – but the water’s too alluringRead More →

We stopped off in Quintero on the way back from Caleta Horcón – just a hop, skip and a jump down the coast. Quintero is a Peninsula with a rocky coastline. We drove to the Playa Los Enamorados and walked a trail with beautiful sea views down to the Playa Las Conchitas.     Walking from where we parked the car, we came by the ruins of something, not sure what, but made for interesting pictures.   Playa Los Enamorados   Contemplating what to do next on Playa Las Conchitas   Grima snapping away, unfortunately with some graffiti marring the scenery   I wish weRead More →

Horcón lies 43 kilometers north of Viña del Mar. If you drive to the end of the avenida Principal you’ll find yourself at one of the most picturesque coves in Chile – Caleta Horcón. On warm summer days, the small beach is littered with sunbathers intermixed with old, colorful fishing boats. Lining the beach are a host of restaurants featuring typical Chilean seafood and other delicacies.     Restaurant row   Beachgoers among the fishing boats   Ad hoc wiring – seems to work   Beach cacti   At the south end of the cove is the “Puente de los Deseos” (Bridge of Desires), adornedRead More →

Leaving the summer heat of Santiago, we travelled back to Viña del Mar, about 73 miles west of Santiago, where we stayed in an apartment on the 15th floor of an apartment building on Viana and Quillota, a block and a half from the Plaza Vergara. I’m not generally fond of tall buildings, especially in a city known for violent earthquakes. We were calmed somewhat by the fact that Chilean’s have learned to construct some of the best earthquake ‘proof’ buildings in the world. But, to our unease, we could feel vibrations from time to time from the construction of a large building next door.Read More →

When I first arrived to Chile in 1966, the downtown was the place to be, center of culture and business. It’s still a bustling, busy downtown, but much of the glitter has worn off somewhat and moved more to the East of town, into the Providencia, Las Condes and Vitacura neighborhoods. Lately there has been a considerable wave of immigrants to Chile from other countries in South America, changing the typical ‘Chilean’ character of the downtown area.   Riding past the Fine Arts Museum on Ismael Valdes Vergara   Hanging out on the steps of the Fine Arts Museum   Tourist photographing statue of theRead More →

January is generally a good time to visit a ski resort. But when in Chile, only if you aren’t interested in skiing, as January is the middle of summer. But it’s an interesting drive, winding your way up a maze of switchbacks to the top of the Andes. The village of Farellones lies about 38 km from Santiago, with La Parva Ski Resort just a little ways up the mountain and El Colorado a bit to the South.     This isn’t my bike, but wish I could have gone up on one. Magnificent views.   High up in the Andes looking toward Argentina  Read More →

On New Year’s Day we accompanied Grima’s brother, Victor, and his wife, Silvia, along with Silvia’s mother to place flowers on Silvia’s Father’s grave. Santiago’s general cemetery is located in the community of Independencia, north of downtown and is populated by presidents, generals and other distinguished families of Chile, along with the common population. It is enormous and contains architectural symbols of Chile’s past, and a very interesting way to spend an afternoon wandering the aisles and passageways.     Flower vendor at the West entrance to the cemetery   Siliva with her mother   Victor with his mother-in-law contemplating the past and future  Read More →