Chile: Santiago, Valparaiso – wine, fish and more volcanoes

To continue our fascination with volcanoes, we decided to stay under one of the most famous volcanoes in Chile – Villarrica. It is a beautiful stratovolcano, one of the most active in Chile. The last eruption was in 2015. On a sunny day, after a long and vicious hike to the rim of the crater, the lava lake is visible.

We were not fortunate with a good weather, so we decided not to climb it. But we enjoyed watching the volcano puffing during the day and glowing at night.

The two closes villages – Villarrica and Pucon offer a lot of activities. There are few hot springs spots for every budget. After two cold months in Patagonia and Antarctica, we really enjoyed nice soaking in Huife Springs. I haven’t felt so clean for a long, long time.  

The other interesting place is Caburgua Lake.

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Ojos de Caburgua is nice relaxing spot with bright blue water and beautiful small waterfall.

 

After waiting for half an hour the selfie obsessed tourists to finish, we decided to take a “selfie style” picture, as well. Here is our answer to the selfie culture.

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Santiago de Chile, or simply Santiago, is very livable and relaxed city. It doesn’t have the glamour of Buenos Aires, but it is full of many small shops, coffee places and restaurants, as well as, many green spaces.

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The parks in Santiago are full of life. People play music, talk, eat, sleep, flirt, dance and enjoy life there.

The Santiago fish market is a must-see place. Thousands and thousands of interesting, scary, funny looking fish and all kind of sea creatures are sold there.

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Some of them ended up at our table for Ivan’s pleasure.

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Valparaiso is colorful, psychedelic port on the Pacific shore.

It is full of brilliant graffities,  

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some of them very political.

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 Like any port city, it is messy, smelly, full of life and wonderful.

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On a traffic light stop in Valparaiso, the driver next to me indicated to roll down my window.

          “You are from Ontario, aren’t you?” – a guy with American accent asked

          “Yes, we are.”

          “Holy %$$&… What the ^%$^% are you doing here?”

          “Just driving. Going back home.”

          “OMG… It’s gonna be a long drive.”

Unfortunately, the green light interrupted us, we turned in different directions and couldn’t finish this interesting conversation. Usually people are very curious about our license plate, but most of the times they just scratch their heads and walk out puzzled. It was a nice surprise someone to recognize it.

In Valparaiso, Ivan got childish again and hurt himself doing this: 

A visit to Chile cannot be complete without a wine tour. We enjoyed wonderful wine and cheese tasting at Emiliana Vineyard, one of the world’s largest organic wine farms.  Of course, I enjoyed mostly the animals – lovely alpacas and birds.

According to the guide, they are used for pest control and natural fertilizer, but I’m suspecting they are there mostly for pleasing kids while their parents please themselves with wine.

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