fun to do kids central chile   Travel for Kids

Central Chile

  Valparaiso – Valparaiso, "Valpo," was the commercial hub of Chile in the 19th century, and retains some of that flavor today. This hilly city is still the major port in Chile. Take the old fashioned "elevators," (funiculars) called "ascensores," up the hills for views of the wide bay. In center of city, Ascensor Artilleria takes you to Paseo 21 de Mayo, a lookout with views, and also the Museo Naval y Maritimo (maritime museum) where kids can find out about Chile's ocean-going history. As you walk through the city, look for colorful wall murals.
      On the water, Prat Pier (Muelle Prat) is the spot to watch the boats go by, from fishing boats, to freighters. Explore some of the crafts markets and plazas, and stroll along the "paseos."
      La Sebastiana – Visit Pablo Neruda's other house, here in Valparaiso, a colorful experience in itself, and set up as it was in the writer's lifetime.

Vina del Mar – Vina del Mar is a beach resort next to Valparaiso. The town is famous for its gardens by the sea, filled with plants from all over the world. Quinta Vergara Park has exuberant gardens and an amphitheater for the Festival Internacional de la Cancion. Ride in horse drawn carriages, "victorias," around town. There are plenty of beaches edged with parks and gardens. The Museum of Sea Culture (Castillo Wulff) is literally right over the water.

    Cachagua – This beach town north of Vina del Mar is a great place to relax with the kids on long sandy beaches. Rent horses to ride on the beach and bring your binoculars to look for the Humboldt penguins on the rocky island off shore.

Pablo Neruda House (Isla Negra) – South of Valparaiso, Isla Negra is not an island, but the house of Pablo Neruda is like a boat. Pablo Neruda, the famous Chilean poet, filled his house with figureheads and old wood salvaged from ships, ships in bottles, miniature ships from Africa and Southeast Asia, and his collections of butterflies and beetles.

Galeria de Historia, Concepcion – The highlight of this museum is the dioramas, miniature painted wood carvings, depicting scenes from Chile's history, the Mapuche Indians, arrival of the Spanish, earthquakes, modern day scenes. (The dioramas are carved by the same artist, Rodolfo Gutierrez, who made the dioramas in the Museo de Santiago in Santiago.) This is a gem for kids.
Termas de Chillan – Termas de Chillan, up in the mountains, is a resort noted for its skiing, with trails for all abilities and snowboarding. In summer there is hiking and horseback riding. And, all year long, you can soak in the hot springs in a spectacular setting. The town of Chillan, 80 km away, is a market town with a popular artisanas fair where you can buy woolen, leather and copper handicrafts.
travel for kids | chile | central chile
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