Lately, I’ve been very curious about Chile due to the fascinating combination of surfing in the morning and snowboarding in the evening. Vina del Mar also known as Vineyard of the Sea, is known as a VERY popular beach resort area in Chile.
Vina del Mar is worth visiting any time of the year! Its most popular time is during the month of February when a large music festival enters the town.
Keep reading and I’ll share what makes this city so special, how the city got its name, and what makes Chile so unique.
What Makes Vina Del Mar so Special?
Vina Del Mar is the local beach playground of Santiago Chile which holds around 40% of the population of the country. Many people that want to escape the city head to this beach resort town, which has a population of around 325,000 people.
It’s Chile’s fourth largest city. As its name implies it’s known for its gardens. A great place to check out is the garden called La Quinta Vergara which has different plants and trees.
For a fun scavenger hunt try to find the clock made of flowers.
After the garden, the town can be your oyster depending on your interests. Before talking about the town first I have to mention the music festival that makes Vina Del Mar special. Starting in 1960 it might just be the oldest and largest musical festival in Latin America.
What makes the music festival unique is just how brutal the crowd can get. The audience is named El Munstruo or “The Monster.” Booing someone off the stage isn’t uncommon.
Getting accepted by the crowd can improve an artist’s popularity with the rest of Latin America. There are 3 awards that are given out at the festival. There is a Silver Torch, Golden Torch, and Silver Seagull given in that order.
If an artist gains all 3 awards it’s called they “tamed the monster” the monster being the crowd and gains instant recognition as a major star by the media.
You could maybe compare it to the show “The Voice.” There is more to Vina Del Mar than a music festival and if you like architecture there is a famous castle built by German immigrants called Castillo Wulf.
If museums are your thing there is one having to do with naval artillery, art museums, and even one having to do with native villages from Chile.
The real highlight of the town might just be the beach activities and nightlife. Everything from volleyball to skimboarding and there is surfing just north of the town in a place called Ritoque.
The location is also known for swimming due to the peninsula protecting the beach from coastal winds so the water is usually safe.
If you have kids another idea is the Aviva Aqua Park. There are several pools and water slides in the park, but the water isn’t heated.
If you get tired of being around people (I’ve been there) you can head out to the Humedal de Mantagua wetlands, which is great for bird watching and walking trails.
I’m not going to lie, I love watching birds maybe I’m starting to get more nerdy!
There are an endless amount of things you can do in this town such as go to a casino, zoo, shopping, restaurant hopping, and more.
What does Vina Del Mar Mean?
Vina Del Mar means vineyard of the sea or the garden city. It was named after Europeans planting gardens in the location!
At first, Vina Del Mar was called “peuco” and this means by the water then Europeans came and planted gardens changing the name.
Vina Del Mar might be the most popular tourist destination in Chile behind Santiago. One reason it’s SO popular is how close it is to the capital city of Santiago.
It’s around a 2-hour car drive between both cities. Many people escape Santiago to the beach area.
Another VERY cool reason that makes Vina Del Mar popular is how close it is to popular ski resorts. It will take around 3 hours to get from Vina Del Mar to Portillo Puente Del Inca. There are other ski resorts in the area such as Valle Nevado and La Parva, which are just east of Santiago.
How cool is it to go surfing one day and the next go snowboarding right?
Plus, it’s close to the city of Santiago, which has its own personality that probably is worth checking out.
What Makes Chile So Special?
Chile is special due to its very long skinny geography.
Just the name Chile seems cool right? I know in Naples, Italy many people actually worship the chile plant and it means fertility I think.
The country was formed from natural geography and military conquest. Back in the 16th century, Spanish conquers (conquistadors) moved to the area of Chile from Peru. The Andes mountain range stopped them from expanding east.
When Chile become independent from Spain on September 18 1810 it was a very small country. Only during the War of the Pacific in the 1880s when it fought Peru and Bolivia did it grow to the size it is today making Bolivia landlocked.
It also snatched up Peru’s southern tip. Now it’s the longest and skinniest country in the world with the Andes mountains on the east and the Pacific Ocean on the west.
The country is 4,000 miles long and around 61 miles wide.
Another thing that makes Chile unique is its dance. Many countries have their own special dance, from the Flamenco dance in Spain to the tango in Argentina the Chileans have the Cueca dance.
What do you think the national dance of the U.S. is “twerking?”
A third thing that makes Chile unique is how economically strong it is compared to its neighbor Argentina.
Argentina has an inflation rate of around 30% for 2023 and Chile is projected to be around 4% in 2023.
Chile has an interesting history of experimenting with marxism, capitalism, and different economic ideas.
Between 1973 to 1990 Chile was controlled by a military government that came about from a coup. The people with the guns make the rules right?
In 1990 Chile started with a democratic government and it has close ties to the U.S. now.
The best and maybe the worst part of visiting Chile is the language barrier. Spanish is an amazing language that opens “many” doors because it is the 3rd or 4rth most spoken language in the world.
I think it’s VERY fun to learn and I use this program HERE. There are free programs to learn a language but it’s painful enough to learn a language that you deserve NOT to get hit with advertisements.
Plus, the program helps with your memory and opens doors wherever you live because many people speak Spanish (cough, cough a lot in the U.S.).
I’m with you and love to travel, but finding the money can be a concern. One great idea that I fully endorse is a side hustle to earn extra money.
There are many side hustles you can do for cash but a “super” easy (I think) and fun one is affiliate marketing and blogging.
The cool thing is you can do it anywhere, anytime and it can be very fun. I’ve been doing it for over 10 years and I’m giving away a free eBook HERE that I feel can be “very” helpful.
I hope this blog post on Vina Del Mar was helpful, bye for now.