Central Chile

Central Chile is home to Santiago, the multi-faceted capital of Chile, several world-class wine growing regions like the Casablanca and Maipo valleys, and Valparaiso, a UNESCO World Heritage Site.

1. Santiago – Founded by Spanish conquistador Pedro de Valdivia in 1541, the capital and largest city in Chile, is also one of the oldest cities in the Americas. Its location in the fertile Santiago Basin between the Andes Mountains to the east and the Chilean Coastal Range to the west results in spectacular scenery. Some of the key sights in the city include the La Moneda Palace, Plaza de Armas, Metropolitan Cathedral, Mercado Centrale, Costanera Center, with its iconic skyscraper, and the Teleférico de Santiago, a cable car which goes up to the Metropolitan Park on the top of San Cristóbal Hill.

2. Casablanca Valley – Located 100 kilometers (60 miles) north-west of Santiago, Casablanca Valley is renowned for its cool-climate conditions that are ideal for producing high-quality white and cool-climate grape varieties like Sauvignon Blanc and Chardonnay. Other wine varieties in the region include Pinot Noir, Riesling, and Gewurtztraminer. The Casablanca Wine Route (Ruta del Vino de Casablanca) is a network of wineries and vineyards that offer wine tourism experiences.

3. Maipo Valley – Located south of Santiago, Maipo Valley is another renowned wine growing region. Unlike the Casablanca Valley, Maipo Valley is best known for its red grape varieties, especially Cabernet Sauvignon. The Cabernet Sauvignon wines from Maipo are often rich, full-bodied, and known for their aging potential. Other red varieties, such as Merlot, Carmenère, and Syrah, also excel in the region. The Maipo Valley Wine Route (Ruta del Vino del Maipo) is a network of wineries and vineyards that offer wine tourism experiences.

4. Valparaiso – A UNESCO World Heritage Site known for its unique architecture, vibrant street art, historical significance, and picturesque setting along the Pacific Ocean, Valparaiso served as a crucial port in the trade routes between the Atlantic and Pacific Oceans during the 19th and 20th centuries. However, the port’s use declined significantly after the opening of the Panama Canal, causing a decline in the city’s economy and population. Some of the key sights today include the numerous examples of spectacular street art, and one of the former residences of Pablo Neruda, the winner of the Nobel Prize for Literature in 1971.


Destinations

Key sights to see


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