“Valparaiso, what absurdity you are,” the poet Pablo Neruda wrote in his ode to the city he sometimes called home. “What a head of disheveled hills, which you never finished combing.” While the hills and sea views are the most marked natural features of the city, it is the profusion of buildings with bright colors broken with one side of others, ambling for these views with dramatic funiculars, which make Valparaiso so unique – and a must-stop on any trip to Chile.
Most tourists to the nation will probably center their trip around the capital, Santiago. But just two hours away, near the beach and with a twin town in the seaside resort of Via del Mar next door, Valparaiso is the cultural heart of Chile. A visit to this South American country would not be complete without a visit to this seaside area, outstanding in both Chilean and international culture because of its history as the main port connecting the Pacific and Atlantic oceans before the Panama Canal. ; UNESCO first designated the city’s historic center in 2003.
WHEN TO GO
Chile is, of course, the southern hemisphere – so their seasons are durable. Still, the temperature is moderate all year round, floated in the 40s to 60s even in the depths of summer and winter. The hottest season by the sea of the river or the beaches of Viña del Mar is December march.
WHAT TO DO
Take a street-art tour.
Apart from the houses being swept away in apple green, purple, and Peto Pink, the historic center of Valparaiso is a jam-packed block with frescoes and artistic installations. You can explore on your own (and fill your camera roll with this animated charm) or grab your guide. Valpo Street Art Tours offers eight different tours, including one where participants can spray their graffiti, and that is based on Tip, AKA rest for free. Similar tours are also available through the “experience ” AIRBNB offers in the city.
Ride the funiculars.
The dramatic hills can be reached on foot or by a funicular. Railways-called climbing, or elevators in the Spanish language, although they are not strictly vertical-dotted port city on its commercial peak in the turn of the 20th century, fell into disrepair, only with a handful still functioning. Climb onboard one of these archival things for history, but also because it’s just comfortable and relaxed and costs a few cents: El Peral, Artillería, and Concepción is a popular choice.
Check out the flower clock.
Drive five minutes through Via del Mar, and you will probably pass the Reloj de Flores flower clock, created in 1962 for the World Championship. Three arms revolve around the bright red and pink flowers that form the dial, which is a corked but pretty tourist attraction.
Visit La Sebastiana.
Poet Pablo Neruda, who win the Nobel Prize 1973 shortly before his death, is one of the proudest figures in Chilean history, and his influence – and lovely words – are everywhere. He owns three houses in Chile and is now open to the public through the Pablo Neruda Foundation. His home in Valparaiso, known as La Sebastiana’s architect who created it, is a whimsical carnival horse, colorful glass, and comfortable armchairs, he writes. An excellent audio guide accompanies your visit, shares humorous stories and explains the source of interesting objects.