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Vina Del Mar, Chile


 With a population of over 280,000, Vina del Mar (“Vineyard of the Sea”) is Chile’s fourth largest city. Founded in the late 1800’s, it is a city full of history and beauty.

 Vina del Mar was originally founded in what was known as the valley of Peuco. The Changos, who were the original inhabitants, were hunters and gatherers of shellfish and sea lions. When the Spanish conquistadors invaded the land, they divided it into two large haciendas, or estates. Vina del Mar has evolved over the years, with the addition of Teatro Municipal in 1925, Casino Municipal de Vina del Mar in 1930, and the Presidential Palace in 1931. It was also one of the four host cities of the World Cup in 1962.

 Vina del Mar is an attractive city with much to do and see. Here are a few attractions that are definite must-sees.

 Made entirely of flowers, the Reloj de Flores, or Flower Clock is a beautiful timepiece found at the foot of Caste Hill. It was a gift from Switzerland, as recognition for participation in the World Cup in 1962. What was originally built to house the wealthy Delano family is now the Fonck Museum of Archeology and Natural History. The first of two main sections is dedicated to preserving Chile’s plant and animal life. The second section displays artifacts dating back to prehistoric Chile. There is also a collection associated with Easter Island, which includes the only genuine Moai statue on the mainland. The Palacio Rioja is one of the most visited tourist attractions in Vina del Mar. This French-style palace was built for Fernando Rioja in 1906. It is now an environmental museum and cinema. Many of the large rooms are used to hold meetings. According to the locals, there is believed to be a ghost residing in the palace.


 Vina del Mar has an abundance of beaches for you to relax on. One of the most popular, the Playa Renaca, is a coastal resort that has attracted tourists since the mid 1960’s. Along the sidewalk, you will find craft stalls, restaurants, cafes, ice cream shops, and nightclubs. There is also a small shopping mall and a number of hotels, adding to the beauty of the resort. Open 24 hours a day, Casino Vina del Mar boasts 1500 gaming machines and 90 table games, including roulette, baccarat, blackjack, and craps. The casino has three levels, with meeting rooms, theater rooms, exhibition rooms, and a dance floor in the upper levels. On the property of the casino are a bar, hotel, and three restaurants. You may want to take in an afternoon of thoroughbred horse racing at the Valparaiso Sporting Club. It has been the site of the Chilean Derby Stakes for over one hundred years. Held annually every February is the Vina del Mar International Song Festival. This festival brings together the biggest names in Latin American music, as well as featuring a song competition for up and coming Latin artists.

 Vina del Mar is a city filled with wonder and excitement and is the perfect location for a vacation.
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