In central Chile, it’s as though the entire coast of California has been crunched down into one small, easily navigable region with capital-city Santiago as its central hub — a roaring metropolis that swooshes below the Andes with its sine wave of corporate spiresand low-slung garden neighborhoods.
If Santiago is Chile’s Los Angeles, then Valparaíso is its San Francisco; its bay-adjacent positioning meets a vertically tinged city plan that’s reminiscent of Chutes and Ladders. It’s an easy day trip from the capital, but if your cool-hunting down graffitied alleyways goes on well into the evening, you’ll find plenty of charming manses in which to hang your hat in town.
The third city in Central Chile’s trifecta is Viña del Mar, which leverages its seaside appeal much like San Diego. And then there are the surrounding vineyards, famous worldwide for their proprietary bottles of pucker-y Carménère. A visit to Concha Y Toro, the authority on Chilean wine, is not only a great way to get schooled in local viniculture, but an elegant escape from the tri-city area where you can explore the grounds of the rambling hacienda, glass of red in hand.