Once you are in Santiago, the coast is only an hour and a half away. I went there for the day visiting the coastal town of Vinas de Mar y Valparaíso. Vinas is a small town, the houses are basically situated on the mountain side with beach view, specially at the part of Renac, the Marbella of Chile.
The beaches are not the best I´ve seen but do quite well. It was just a bit windy and cold to actually spend time lying on the beach, but you can walk around the coastline for as long as you want. And spring only stared fairly to say.
I even saw a group of surfers, here with wetsuits for sure, the water here never gets warm, not even in the Chilean summer. Still it is a nice weekend escape, just watching the waves and smelling the salty water.
After spending some time in Vinas, I went to Valparaíso – I just love the the sound of the name. I can´t tell why but I was curious to get to know this town. I first went to the port and the downtown area. Buildings are quite old and dirty but even so it didn´t look too pretty the city has some kind of charme. After lunch in one of the seafood restaurants (Valparaíso has a big port – so fish is fresh and tasty) I went uphill to some of the so called Cerros and viewpoints. The view on one side is nice but much more fascinating are the houses. Pretty colors, different architecture and lots but lots of street art. Now it finally made sense why this city is declared patrimonio cultural de la humanidad.
After some hours of just wandering around and have some coffee in one of the alternative bars it was time to end the day and I arrived back in Santiago with the last sunlight of the day.
Buses cost between 3.000 and 6.400 CLP and run every half an hour. If you stay in Santiago, don´t miss to get to know the coast, even if it is only for one day.