Jardín Botánico Nacional
At the east end of town, Chile’s National Botanical Garden owes its existence to Croatian nitrate entrepreneur Pascual Baburizza, who acquired Fundo El Olivar in the early 20th century and donated it to the Compañía del Salitre with the stipulation that, on the company’s dissolution, the city of Viña would acquire it for public use.
While it’s been a public recreational area for most of its existence, in the past two decades Conaf and the Instituto de Desarollo Agropecuario (Indap, the governmental Agrarian Development Institute) have paid greater attention to its research and educational missions; it has since come under control of a private foundation with continued state assistance.
From downtown Viña’s Calle Viana, on the south side of the Marga Marga, eastbound bus 20 goes directly to the entrance of the Jardín Botánico (tel. 0322/672566). From September to March, the grounds are open 9 a.m.–7 p.m. daily; the rest of the year, hours are 10 a.m.–6 p.m. Admission costs about US$1, half that for seniors, and a bit less for children.
© Wayne Bernhardson from Moon Chile, 2nd edition