With its colorful houses tumbling down the hillside to the port and its historic center designated a UNESCO World Heritage Site, Valparaiso is one of the most picturesque towns along Chile’s Pacific Coast. Here are your options for touring Valparaiso from Santiago.
The small Chilean village of Pomaire is best-known for its skilled artisans, who make the clay dishes used all over Chile to serve soup, olives, and sauces. An easy day trip from the capital, a visit to Pomaire offers a combination of sightseeing, shopping, and traditional Chilean food.
The village’s pottery studios and workshops all sell the recognizable bowls, alongside flower pots, large urns, casserole dishes, patterned vases, piggy banks, and the village’s signature 3-legged pig figurines, which are supposed to bring good luck. All are made from clay that’s sourced in the hills surrounding the town. If you don’t speak Spanish, visiting as part of a tour is a good idea—tours from Santiago typically visit Pomaire and Pablo Neruda’s home at Isla de Negra.
Things to Know Before You Go
Make sure you have plenty of pesos as vendors typically only accept cash.
Bring sunscreen, water, and a hat if visiting in summer; the little village can bake in the sun.
The village is home to several restaurants; be sure to try the local delicacy ofpastel de choclo (beef and corn casserole).
As Pomaire is typically a day trip destination, staying overnight is not usually possible.
How to Get There
Pomaire is a 50-minute drive from Santiago. Regular buses depart from Santiago's San Borja Bus Terminal to the nearby town of Melipilla. From there, you can get on another bus or colectivo (a shared taxi) to Pomaire. Alternatively, skip the hassle of driving on a tour from Santiago.
When to Get There
On the weekends, Pomaire tends to be chock-full of daytrippers stocking up on kitchen goods and souvenirs. To beat the crowds and enjoy a more leisurely experience, visit on a weekday instead. If that’s not possible, get there as early as possible.
The coastal village of Isla Negra (which, despite its name, is not an island) is inextricably linked with the late poet laureate Pablo Neruda, whose favorite home and resting place are there. Spectacularly set on a windswept headland, Casa de Isla Negra is open to visitors; stroll around Neruda’s elaborately decorated rooms and admire his incredible collection of marine-themed objects.
- Undurraga Winery (Viña Undurraga)
- San Antonio Valley
- Matetic Vineyard
- Maipo Valley
- Estancia El Cuadro
- Santa Rita Winery (Viña Santa Rita)
- Cousiño Palace (Palacio Cousiño)
- Plaza de Armas
- Museum of Memory and Human Rights
- Club Hipico
- La Parva Ski Resort
- Aquamundo Aquarium
- Ahumada Boulevard (Paseo Ahumada)
- Concha y Toro Winery
- La Moneda Palace (Palacio de la Moneda)