Viña del Mar
Since the 1800s, Santiaguinos have flocked to Viña’s beaches to escape the city’s summer heat.
If you don’t mind a crowd (and the towering condominiums), the beach and accompanying boardwalk offer a variety of treats: sunning yourself on a stretch of sand, a seaside artesanía (handmade crafts) market, and smaller stands with refreshments and ice cream.
Vendors wander the beaches selling cuchuflis and dulces. You can watch sand sculptors turn tiny grains into octopi, buffaloes…even characters from the Simpsons.
Since the roads can be congested, a bus from Santiago is most convenient. The ride from the University of Santiago station takes an a hour and a half, and you arrive in Viña, a twenty-minute walk from the beach.