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Getting There

By Car -- Viña is 134km (83 miles) from Santiago and is reached by the highway Rte. 68. Driving to Viña from Santiago is quite easy: Simply hop onto the Costanera Norte headed west, and follow it all the way to the coast (the Costanera turns into Rte. 68). There are two tolls along the way that each cost 1,200 pesos ($2.05/£1.35) from Monday to 5pm on Friday, and 1,900 pesos ($3.25/£2.15) from 5pm Friday to Sunday. Note that street parking in Viña is scarce in January and February.

By Bus -- Tur Bus (tel. 600/660-6600; www.turbus.cl) and Pullman (tel. 600/320-3200; www.pullman.cl) leave from the Terminal Alameda in Santiago, located at Av. Alameda 3750 (Metro: Univ. de Santiago), every 15 minutes from 6:30am to 10:30pm (Tur Bus), and 6:10am to 10:10pm (Pullman); the cost is $6.75 (£4.50) one-way. During weekends, especially December through March, it is strongly recommended that you buy your ticket in advance from any Tur Bus or Pullman office in Santiago (your hotel can give you the address of the nearest office). The trip takes around 1 1/2 hours. The bus terminal in Viña is located at Avenida Valparaíso and Quilpué, near the main plaza, and there are taxis available.

By Train -- The Metrotren (also known as the "Merval"; tel. 32/238-1500) connects Viña with Valparaíso, leaving every 5 to 10 minutes from 7:30am to 10pm during weekdays, and every 15 to 20 minutes from 9:30am to 9pm on Saturdays, Sundays, and holidays. To ride the train, you must first make a one-time purchase: a rechargeable card for $1 (70p) that you then charge with enough money to cover the cost of your trip. If you're with friends or family, you need only purchase one card for your group.

Getting Around

All attractions in Viña can be reached on foot with streets organized according to a grid layout that is easy to navigate. Taxis are inexpensive and are available either by hailing one in the street or calling Taxi Alfonso (tel. 32/288-1870) or ABA Taxi (tel. 32/297-9399). The town is divided into two sections along the Marga Marga, a former lagoon, swaths of which now form the town's main parking lot. North of Marga Marga, you'll find the casino and access to the 3.5km (2.1 miles) of coastline fronted by monolithic condominiums, rowdy bars, and theme restaurants catering primarily to tourists. South of Marga Marga stretches Avenida Valparaíso, the main shopping avenue punctuated with all the familiar global brand stores and fast-food outlets. Sleek designer stores and shopping malls are concentrated along the 5 blocks west of Plaza Vergarda; just walk west toward the ocean as far as Calle Ecuador. A taxi to Valparaíso costs between $6 and $9 (£4-£6) one-way. A couple of blocks south, the exotic Quinta Vergara Park is ideal for an afternoon stroll.

Visitor Information

The Oficina de Turismo de Viña is on Plaza Vergara, next to the post office near avenidas Libertad and Arlegui (tel. 800/800-830 toll-free in Chile; www.visitevinadelmar.cl). Summer hours are weekdays from 9am to 9pm, Saturday and Sunday from 10am to 9pm; off-season hours are weekdays from 10am to 7pm (closed 2-3pm), and Saturday and Sunday from 10am to 7pm. The helpful staff speaks English and can provide visitors with maps, events details, and accommodations information, including private cabin rentals. The Sernatur office, located on the third floor (office no. 303), at Av. Valparaíso 507 (tel. 2/268-3355; www.sernatur.cl), is also very helpful and has information and maps on the entire region. It's open Monday through Friday 8:30am to 5:30pm.

Note: This information was accurate when it was published, but can change without notice. Please be sure to confirm all rates and details directly with the companies in question before planning your trip.