Going to Chile in a week or so and not sure which of the above to stay in. Anyone been to either or both and can offer some information or advice?
Thanks in advance.
Viña del Mar, and Reñaca a bit further on, are about the casino, the beaches and summer resort time. Valparaíso is all on hills overlooking the port, lots of little restaurants and bars and a general dilapidated charm. They are so close together, with a metro train running between them, that you can try both if you want. There are more hostal options in Valparaíso.
Thanks for your help, Fiona - much appreciated,
Hey, having done both I'd say stay in Vina, it's got easy access down to Valparaiso and has beaches rather than a shipping port. If you're using a guidebook, don't be fooled into thinking they're small coastal towns, both are big with lots of hostals. I'd recommend actual going there before getting accomodation so you can find the part of town you like. Head towards the beach and casino and you should find something to suit you (my suggestion anyway).
Thank you - that sounds good advice and helps a lot.
This is high season with the Argentines coming over in January ( a record number this year ) and Chileans on holiday in January or February. If there is a specific place you would like to stay, book it or, at least, carry a list of addresses and phones of possible places with you. The tourist information offices are helpful if you get stuck and have complete lists including rooms in homes.
Definitely head out to Reñaca by bus if you want a fun beach. It is non-stop activity in the summer.
Valparaiso is a port town and can be a bit more unsafe at night. However, it also has the most character! Vina is a better bet for staying overnight, while Renaca has the best beaches. I suggest staying in Vina for its options for the traveller and nightlife, visiting Renaca for the beaches and spending lots of time in Valpo for the day to see its incredible treasures!