8. Santiago: Valparaiso, Viña del Mar, & Winery Private Tour
Enjoy the comforts of a private tour as you visit the colorful coastal cities of Valparaiso and Viña del Mar and make a stop for wine tasting at a renowned vineyard.
The tour begins with your hotel pick up and then a 1.5-hour journey to the Chilean coastline. Drive along the coast in Concón, known for its seaside restaurants and surf shops. Pass by the impressive Concón Sand Dunes where we will have panoramic views of Valparaiso Harbor.
The tour continues through the popular beach town of Reñaca where on most days we will spot sea lions lying on the coastal rocks. Afterward, then drive through Viña del Mar, Chile’s “Garden City,” where you will see the city’s landmarks, including the Flower Clock and Casino, a “Moai” statue from Easter Island, as well as the city’s pristine beaches.
Finally each the main destination, Plaza Sotomayor, the heart of Valparaiso. Ride up an old funicular to Concepcion and Alegre Hills. Bohemian and colorful, Valparaiso’s maze of hills has long inspired poets and writers. You will discover something new at every turn – a gem of a building, a remarkable art gallery, or some little gastronomic ‘find’.
Revel in the architecture of this UNESCO World Heritage City. Stroll along its narrow streets, climb its endless staircases, and enjoy panoramic views from its many lofty lookout points.
After exploring Valparaiso, travel inland to the Casablanca Valley to the Casas del Bosque Vineyard for a tour and wine tasting. Today, Casas del Bosque is one of the most important wineries in Chile. In 1993, a family of Italian descendants established the winery. The large old pine and olive trees, and small white houses of adobe, define the name “Casas del Bosque” (Houses of the Forest).
Currently, the vineyard has 580 acres of planted vines, exclusively dedicated to the production of cool-climate varieties of wine, such as Sauvignon Blanc, Chardonnay, Riesling, Pinot Noir, and Syrah. One of Casas del Bosque’s biggest strengths is its soil. In the hills, red clay composites of volcanic origin sit on top of decomposed granite layers formed 110 million years ago beneath the Pacific Ocean. This soil gives their wines the unique characteristic sea salt flavor.
Casas del Bosque has gained great prestige over the years and in 2010 became the Best Vineyard to Visit in Chile. Enjoy an informative tour, browse their gift shop, and relax in their outdoor lounge area before heading back to Santiago