Study Abroad in Viña del Mar, Chile

Study Abroad in Viña del Mar: Cultural Excursions

Included in your program fee are a range of activities which will take you outside Viña del Mar and deepen your social, historical and cultural understanding of Chile.

Isla Negra (day trip)

Included in program fee

Isla Negra, on the central coast, is not only a holiday resort where visitors can enjoy the brilliant sunshine, take a dip in the ocean and practice nautical sports; it is also an international cultural shrine, due to the presence of one of Nobel laureate Pablo Neruda’s houses; the house has been turned into a museum, and its garden contains the tombs of the poet and his wife Matilde Urrutia.

Includes transportation, sightseeing, local guides and entrances.

Pomaire (day trip)

Included in program fee

Explore the charming Chilean town of Pomaire, located in the commune of Melipilla, 37 miles west of Santiago. Previously a settlement of indigenous people, Pomaire now features single-story adobe dwellings and a busy weekend scene with visitors coming from all over Chile.

With abundant natural clay in the surrounding hills, Pomaire features a thriving pottery industry and is famous for its brown greda, or earthenware pottery, that is used throughout the country. You’ll want to visit some of the town’s shops, many of which are overflowing with vases, pots, plates and many other items made from the local clay.

Includes transportation, sightseeing, local guides and entrances.

Santiago (day trip)

Included in program fee

The Chilean capital Santiago has a population of six million and is located in a valley of the Andes mountain range. It flaunts a remarkable cultural, architectural and urban diversity. Walking the city streets it is worth noting the confluence of various styles, such as Colonial Spanish, French and American.

A trip to Santiago entails a visit to the Plaza de Armas, the historic main square where Santiago was founded, the Cathedral of Santiago, the Museo Histórico and the Palacio de la Moneda, the Presidential Palace. You will stop for lunch before visiting La Chascona, the former home of the poet Pablo Neruda and named in honor of the abundant red hair of his secret lover. Finally you will take the funicular for a spectacular view of the city and the Andes mountains.

Includes transportation, sightseeing, local guides and entrances.

Valparaíso (day trip)

Included in program fee

Among Chilean cities, Valparaíso is unique in terms of landscape, topography, urban layout, history and traditions. A seaport renowned for its bohemian and cosmopolitan character, it offers a host of cultural and artistic activities. It is home to several important universities, and has recently been awarded UNESCO World Heritage status.

Not to be missed are the characteristic funiculars (called “elevators” by the locals) which run along the hills’ slopes, intruding on courtyards and obscuring windows on their way; from them you will have an unobstructed view of the docks bustling with activity and the city’s amphitheater overlooking the sea, interrupted by ridges, gullies and irregular slopes that taper down as they reach the narrow plain.

Some other obligatory stopping points: Prat Wharf; La Sebastiana, one of Pablo Neruda’s houses, now turned into a museum; several traditional promenades that afford an opportunity to visit interesting museums and to have a closer look at the winding hillside roads where most of the locals reside.

Includes travel, sightseeing, local guides and entrances.

Optional Excursion to Pucón (4 days - $595) (Spring only)

Take an overnight bus to Pucón, a small town with views of the Villarica Volcano that is popular among travelers who enjoy beautiful scenery and activities. In the summer it is one of the most popular places to go in Chile for young people. Villarica Volcano and lake, beaches and nearby waterfalls, draw people back time and time again. Upon arrival you will have a city tour and a welcome lunch. Then in the afternoon there is time for rafting and relaxing in the hot springs. The following day you will have the chance to climb the spectacular volcano with guides who provide expert guidance as well as all the equipment you will need for the climb. On the final day enjoy free time in the morning for optional activities such as horseback riding or cycling, before returning to Viña del Mar by overnight bus. Outdoor enthusiasts will find plenty to do in Pucón and Villarrica as well as time to relax and enjoy the stunning scenery. The two locations combine the cosmopolitan legacy of the German colonists who settled there in the 19th century with the customs and traditions of the Mapuche people.

Fee includes round-trip bus transportation (overnight), transfers when in Pucón and the local area, accommodations and breakfasts, welcome lunch, city tour, entrance to the Villarica National Park with guides and hiking/climbing equipment and entrance to the hot springs. A minimum enrollment of 10 students is required for the excursion to run.

Students must enroll and pay for the optional excursions in the U.S. by the final payment deadline. Once paid for excursions are non-refundable except in the event of cancellation.

Dates and itineraries of all excursions and day trips are tentative and subject to change.