Our last port in Chile was Punta Arenas, where we chose a 12-hour excursion to Torre del Paine National Park that used up most of our ship credit. While it was very good, it definitely didn’t live up to the expense or the hype.
After docking in Puerto Montt, we boarded a bus for a 90-minute drive with spectacular views of mountains and lakes.
After our walking tour of Valparaiso, we drove over to Viña del Mar, also known as la Ciudad Jardín. The lovely Reloj de Flores is one of its biggest tourist attractions, and there are a number of castles and palaces.
Valparaiso is Chile’s second largest city and most important seaport.
Our next stop was Coquimbo, where from the dock we saw la Cruz del Tercer Milenio – a giant, oddly stylized cross built in 2000.
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The town of Arica is dominated by El Morro, the giant hill where a crucial battle took place in 1880, during the War of the Pacific. The enormous Chilean flag on top, constantly exposed to intense sun and wind, has to be replaced every few months. And of course there are wonderful views of the city and sea.