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Valparaiso and Santiago, Chile

1-800-845-1717

Awaiting Your Return From Shore

Valparaiso Located 70 miles, or about a two-hour drive, from the capital city of Santiago, Valparaiso is Chile’s principal port. With a population of close to half a million, it is the commercial and administrative center for a vast region and the seat of a major university. A large part of the city is clustered along a crescent of hills in a maze of alleys, winding streets, connecting stairs and funicular railcars. The business center at the foot of the hills lies partially on reclaimed land. Ingenuity has turned a piece of coastline into one of the world’s most picturesque ports; it is especially striking when seen from the sea at dusk, with its semi-circle of lit-up hills cascading down to the water.

Valparaiso has no clear date of founding. During the 17th and 18th centuries the port had only seasonal activity; for the remainder of the year it lay dormant. In the early 19th century, following the country’s independence from Spain, the ports of Chile and the Americas were opened to world trade.

Due to Valparaiso’s convenient location along the shipping routes circling the tip of South America, the port experienced a tremendous boost. English, German and French immigrants brought foreign capital to finance development of copper, silver and nitrate mining. Valparaiso became the country’s leading commercial center and established the first banks and a stock exchange.

Just six miles out of Valparaiso lies Chile’s main seaside resort, Viña del Mar, often dubbed "the garden city" because of its beautiful parks and gardens. Excellent beaches are lined by fine promenades with a range of hotels, restaurants and a casino.

Santiago, with over four million people, is the fifth-largest city in South America. Standing in a wide plain 1,800 feet above sea level, Santiago boasts a beautiful setting. Snow-capped peaks of the Andes chain provide a dramatic backdrop. Tastefully laid-out public gardens contribute to the beauty of the city. However, Santiago also suffers from horrendous traffic and a high percentage of pollution. The heart of Santiago is the Plaza de Armas, flanked by the cathedral, the archbishop’s palace, the National History Museum and fine arcaded buildings lined with shops. The two-mile-long Avenida O’Higgins is the major thoroughfare, commonly known as the Alameda. There is a splendid view over the city from San Cristobal Hill, crowned by the statue of the Virgin Mary.

Please Note: Guests on the Pre- or Post-Cruise program may check with the Silversea Hospitality Desk at the hotel for sightseeing possibilities and information on dining and shopping during their stay in Santiago. Staff will also advise about transportation arrangements to the ship. Guests disembarking in Valparaiso will receive instructions from the Tour Staff on board ship concerning airport and Santiago city transfers.

Caution: As in many large cities, pickpockets and purse snatchers can be a problem both in Santiago and Valparaiso. Be aware and don't wear valuable jewelry or carry large sums of cash on your person.

Awaiting Your Return From Shore

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