Viña del Mar is the fourth largest city in Chile, home to some 330,000 people. The Garden City, as it is known, was incorporated in 1878 and covers an area of close to 122 square kilometers. The city is entirely urban. Within Chile, it is recognized as one of the country’s premier tourist destinations, with many domestic and international travelers visiting Viña del Mar each year to sample its excellent beaches and laid back atmosphere.
It is located 124 kilometers, or 2 hours, from Santiago, Chile’s capital and largest city. Though it isn’t as famous as Santiago, Viña del Mar boasts a lively “under the radar” vibe and, by leaving all the leg work to the capital city, has retained its charm.
There is a broad variety of accommodation available, including plenty of high-rise apartments in Viña del Mar, so you should have no difficulty finding the perfect place. However, you’ll need to book a few nights in a hotel once you arrive as you will typically not be able to arrange your long-term accommodation before your move to Viña del Mar.
The quality of apartments and homes can range quite significantly, so waiting until you land to find a place also ensures you don’t end up with accommodation you’re unhappy with. It’ll also protect you from getting scammed — online real estate fraud is common, so never send money for a place without visiting the accommodation first! When you arrive, consult with your employer about housing or check with a realtor. Online information will tend to be only short-term holiday rentals, which might not help.
Viña del Mar has a warm year-round climate, so it might take some adjusting if you're from a cooler part of the world. As it's in the southern hemisphere, the seasons are reversed from that of the northern hemisphere. As such, the warmest months are between October and March. During this period, temperatures average around 20°C.
Winter, which runs from May to September, is not really winter as you might know it. Temperatures generally don't fall below 10°C, and it's not uncommon for temperatures to be more like a pleasant spring day.
For more information on a move to Chile, particularly visa regulation, please refer to our Chile Guide.