Greater Valparaíso (Gran Valparaíso) is the second largest metropolitan area in Chile, after Greater Santiago. It takes this name after the city of Valparaíso, the oldest city of the group and the most important harbour in Chile. Its total population is 979,127 at the 2012 census.
These communes have the following characteristics:
- Valparaíso, Viña del Mar, Concón and Quintero are coastal cities. Villa Alemana and Quipué are located in inner valleys and belong to the group of cities known as El Interior (The Interior).
- Valparaíso and Viña del Mar have traditionally concentrated industrial and commercial activities, while Quilpué and Villa Alemana are primarily residential, and therefore often considered ciudades dormitorio (bedroom communities).
Gran Valparaíso also has the third largest concentration of universities in Chile. Besides the Traditional Universities, it has several private institutions, including Universidad Adolfo Ibáñez, Universidad Andres Bello, and Universidad del Mar.
There is a metro system which serves most of the communes in the conurbation: The Gran Valparaíso Metro System
The area is a major tourist draw due to the internationally important Viña del Mar Musical Festival, its balnearios (beaches and resorts), and the world's largest pool San Alfonso del Mar in Algarrobo.
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