Thread: The Way South
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Old 02-13-2013, 04:09 PM   #98
rockymountainoyster OP
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Joined: Oct 2010
Location: Back in the San Juan Mountains
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Vina del Mar, Chile

I am finishing up the last few days of my side trip to Chile in Vina del Mar. I will back track to some of the other locations as I get some time. Too bad I can't write and post on the nearly nine hour overnight flight. I think I have mentioned that in my trip from Santiago to Antofagasta and then over to San Pedro de Atacama and back to Antofagasta and down to Vina del Mar that I have covered a lot of incredibly beautiful territory. I have put about 4500 kms on a rental car in just under three weeks. I have looked at a lot of hotel rooms and stayed in a number too. The biggest surprise for me in Chile was the cost of everything. I think I have been averaging more than $150/night on hotels. Sometimes more. Meals are priced about like the US if you want to eat in a decent place. You can find bargains but the quality suffers. One of the cheapest meals I have had here was just down the street at the Marine Reserve Club (Club de Infantes de Marina En Reserva, on Calle Valparaiso) 3000 CP ($6.37) for a lunch of chicken, salad, soup and a beer. That is a deal! The place I am staying the next couple of nights is about $81/night, the two nights before was $85. This seems to be the going rate for the little hotels in the older buildings. They are great place to stay, most have off street parking, and you can walk everywhere you want to go. There are great buildings and museums here, the beach is beautiful, the water a bit cold, and the girl watching is pretty spectacular though the lady I am with takes great exception to my ogling. It is kind of an issue..

If you come here look for a place to stay in the area south of the river (estero) and west of or on Avenida Von Schroeders there are a number of decent reasonable places around there. When you go north of the river there are some nice places in the $200/night range and then there are the expensive places like the Ankara, O'Higgins, Hotel del Mar (which has a slot stuffed casino, roulette, blackjack, the whole nine yards)

You can find all kinds of "affordable" places but a nice lunch or dinner for two is going to cost 50 bucks. A really nice dinner with a great Chilean wine will rival the price of that dinner in any US resort town. (I live in one).

Vina seems pretty pedestrian and moto friendly. It is easy to get around, it is laid out on a grid and the streets are named logically... first north or south or east (oriente) west (poniente) though there are person and place named streets. I highly recommend a couple of days in Vina if you are traveling through in the Austral summer. It is nine pm, the temperature is delightful and I am sitting on the patio writing in the twilight.

The Way South
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