This week’s city of the week is a major city and seaport in the South American country of Chile, a little over 100 kilometers from Santiago! Historically, Valparaíso served as a stopover for ships that crossed the Straits of Magellan to access both the Atlantic and Pacific Oceans. Since 2003, the historic quarter of the city was declared a UNESCO World Heritage Site.
The port of Valparaiso welcomed immigrants from all over Europe, served as a place for the import and export of many goods, but has also become the only port in central Chile able to accomodate cruise ships. The seaport culture of the city makes it full of seafood restaurants, serving fresh delicacies daily.
Besides its history, Valparaíso is known for its cobbled alleys and colorful buildings. The entire city is also quite hilly, which explains the numerous funiculars that are used as public transportation to climb the hillsides and to also see breathtaking, panoramic views of the city. Be sure to visit the Alegre and Concepion Hills, and also take a ride on the Ruta Ascenores! Cerro Concepcion is a perfect place to explore while in Valparaiso because it is filled with little shops, plenty of vibrant street art, and beautiful views of the city. There are also many staircases to explore in the city, like the Piano Staircase!
For an outdoorsy adventure, head to Quebrada Verde Park, located bout 10 kilometers from the city where you can hike, bike, and experience views of the Pacific Ocean. If you’re looking to soak up some sun while in Chile, you can visit Reñaca beach or Playa Caleta Portales.
In terms of nightlife, explore Valparaiso to spend your night doing the tango. Known as the cultural capital of Chile, Valparaíso is a place where creative tourists can indulge in various opportunities such as painting, music, dancing, and painting. You can explore Valparaiso’s Cultural Park, or even “La Sebastiana,” Pablo Neruda’s house, a well-known Chilean writer and poet that received the Novel Prize for Literature in 1971. Valparaíso is full of culture, which is why visits to its museums, such as its art museum, Palacio Baburizza, or its natural history museum, Museo de Historia Natural de Valparaiso, or even its military museum, Museo Maritimo Nacional, would be worthwhile to your vacation and to learn more about the city’s interesting history.