Ports of Call

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Valparaiso (Santiago), Chile

Valparaiso (Santiago), Chile

Picturesque Valparaiso was one of the first Chilean cities founded by the Spanish. The city is an historic port and university town, famous for its labyrinth hills, which are covered in quaint, colorful old houses and accessible only by a steep climb or by the city's unique system of funicular railways. Through the efforts of the Chilean government emphasizing the city's culture, heritage preservation, and economic development via tourism, Valparaiso was bestowed designation as a World Heritage Site by UNESCO in 2003.




Valparaiso (Santiago), Chile

Off the Beaten Track


Wine Tasting at Chonco Y Toro: Established in the late 1800s, Chile's most productive winery, Concha y Toro, is only an hour away from Santiago. Makers of the world-famous Casillero del Diablo, the winery is open to the public for tours and tasting. For a small fee you get a wine glass etched with the company's name; a tour of the impressive estate, vineyard, gardens, and cellars; and samples of the many wine varieties.



Customs


Pointing with the Lips - Instead of pointing with the index finger, Chileans will use their puckered lips to point. Whether pointed in a single direction or moving to indicate a larger area of interest, pointing with the lips aids the person whose hands are full. Chileans eat four meals daily. In addition to the standard three, Chileans also eat "Once," similar to British Tea Time. This light meal of sandwiches or bread and toppings is eaten between 4 and 7 pm. "Once" was created by men who wanted an excuse to drink alcohol during the daytime. The word for liquor, "aguardiente" had eleven letters and to disguise their actions, the men referred to it as "once" the Spanish word for eleven. Over time, tea time became known as "Once.' Be careful not to go outside immediately after eating or drinking something very hot. You could become a victim of Boca Chueca or Crooked Mouth. Chilean legend has it that doing this will result in your mouth being jerked to the side of your face and stuck in that awkward position. The opposite is also true if you can drink something cold and go outside into the hot sun.