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2 nights w/ young kids - valparaiso or santiago?


urquie

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we get off our ship in valparaiso on dec. 20th and fly home on the 22nd. where should we stay?

 

i'd appreciate any advice, for or against, either place!

 

we'll be traveling with a 1 1/2 and 5 yr old... so i'd prefer to stay in the same place both nights. thanks in advance!

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Well both have good points and bad points. Chile in general is safe, secure and hospitable.

 

Santiago is what you would expect from a large capital city - busy, noisy, lots of the things to see and do etc.

 

valparaiso is charming, but probably isn't somewhere I'd choose to stay. It's a mixutre of very industrial, with tiny houses packed onto the sides of very steep hills (think San Fransico, but a bit less well kept).

 

Have you thought of Vina Del Mar [sorry not sure of the spelling). It's essentially the twin city of Valparaiso. We didn't stay there, but our tour went though it and it looked a very nice place.

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With two small children, I would stay in Vina del Mar. The beach and lots of things kids might enjoy-the Flower Clock, Wulff Castle, the sea lions laying on the rocks in Renaca, the ascensores (funiculars) and the truly wonderful sunsets over the water. There are pony rides by the Casino, horse drawn carriage rides around town. There is even a little race track with small cars for the little kids (not far from the Flower Clock), plus jump houses and all the beach toys/swing sets/jungle gyms that are scattered along the beach.

 

IMHO, not a lot of things for kids in Santiago that are on the main touristy routes.

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Greatam's description of Vina del Mar sounds wonderful for small kids (and old:p). Santiago is one of the nicest big cities I've seen, but not interesting for small children.

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vina del mar sounds great for the family... especially after all the more *adult* stuff we'll be doing on the cruise! thanks for all the replies, especially the info on vina del mar!

 

does anyone know if hotels are very busy in those days before christmas, dec 20-22nd? i think i better start a new thread for hotel ideas :)

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vina del mar sounds great for the family... especially after all the more *adult* stuff we'll be doing on the cruise! thanks for all the replies, especially the info on vina del mar!

 

does anyone know if hotels are very busy in those days before christmas, dec 20-22nd? i think i better start a new thread for hotel ideas :)

 

Yes, they are very full. Dec. 19, 2007, I was in the area for business. They couldn't hustle me out of the hotel fast enough. They had a large group coming in for Xmas. This was at the Cap du Cal (looks like a ship built on the seawall-fantastic views).

 

Book early. My favorites in the area-Cap du Cal and Oceanic. You may also want to inquire at the Montemar Beach Club in Renaca. I haven't stayed there for about 5 years, but they had suite rooms with kitchens right on the beach. Would work very well for a family. Enjoy!!!

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I am on NCL Sun from BA to Valparaiso. My husband and I will spend the evening in Vina del Mar. Any ideas how to get to Santiago airport the next day? Are the roads easy to drive on and rent a car? Shuttles to the airport?

 

Barbara

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I am on NCL Sun from BA to Valparaiso. My husband and I will spend the evening in Vina del Mar. Any ideas how to get to Santiago airport the next day? Are the roads easy to drive on and rent a car? Shuttles to the airport?

 

Barbara

 

If you can drive in and around Fresno California, you can drive in Chile from the port to the airport. Looks about the same, road is almost all toll road and the road itself is in better shape. DON'T forget Chilean pesos to pay the toll-it is a MAJOR hassle to try to pay with US dollars.

 

You have a great opportunity to visit quite a few wineries, see all the touristy things around Vina. You now have to rent directly from Rosselot (Chilean car dealer that rents cars) because Advantage rental car is under new ownership and they cut their partnership with Rosselot. The Rosselot website has an English translation but prices listed are also in Chilean pesos so you have to do the conversions AND figure out the extra add ons (IVA-which is the insurance and fees PLUS the drop charge). It is easier to call-they have an 800 number. The price has gone up since Rosselot is not connected with USA Advantage anymore, but still cheaper than most options (tours) and you have freedom to do what you want and see what you want. I highly suggest you look at the page with cars available and do some internet research to see EXACTLY what those cars are. Quite a few are models not sold in the USA. You MAY be able to get a smaller cheaper car than you think you need. http://www.rosselot.cl/

 

If you need further help, please post.

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