Saturday, December 17, 2011

Vina del Mar - Presidential Palace

About 11 miles north of Valparaiso is the beach resort of of Vina del Mar.  The two cities actually have melded together and over 1.6 million people live here.  While Valparaiso is old and a world heritage site, Vina is new and beautiful.  A beachfront condo here costs over $4.5 million US, more than an equivalent condo in Miami.  The president of the country has a second residence here, called the Palace as contrasted to La Moneda, his home in Santiago.  In order to divide the power, the Congress is located here on the ocean and the main offices of the government is in Santiago, about 90 minutes drive up the hills and into the inland valley.  The beach is beautiful, but the water is cold thanks to the Humboldt current that brings cold water from Antarctica up the western coastline. 

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