When to go
Valparaiso and Viña have a hot dry summer and cool winters with some rain. Spring and autumn (Sep - Oct and Apr - May) are pleasant times for a city visit; summertime (Dec - Mar) the best time for the beaches which can be crowded with visitors.
Getting local currency
Chilean Peso. Notes can be withdrawn from the many ATMs using a UK credit or debit card. Limits may be lower than your UK bank allows. There are also many banks and money exchanges (casas de cambio) where you can exchange US dollars cash; rates for euros and sterling are harder to find and frequently poor.
GMT -4 hours. Sometimes daylight saving is observed in the summer, from Sep-Oct to early Mar.
It’s a 2 hour drive on a fast highway from Santiago to either destination.
Santiago, vast multi-layered capital, 106 km (2 hours by road); a stay at one of the vineyards in the Colchagua, Maipo and Casablanca valleys, 177 km by road.
New Year: Valparaiso: 3 days of festival attended by over a million visitors, with a firework display on the bay.
International Music Festival: Viña del Mar, a week in Feb. This event once attracted stars of international renown, nowadays
it is more a showcase for aspiring Latin American pop stars.