Valparaiso, or Valpo as the locals know it, is a colourful, lively, sea port UNESCO World Heritage listed city in Chile. Known for its world famous street art and located only an hour or two from Santiago, it provided the perfect destination for our ‘holiday away from our holiday’.
Living out of a backpack 24/7 for months at a time can be tough! Which is why we decided to leave our huge packs behind and with only a change of clothes and our cameras with us, set off in sight of the famed Valpo with its brightly coloured houses, sea views and world renown street art. Valparaiso is beautiful, crazy, artistic and intense, a city you will never forget. Its incredible views, winding alleyways, never-ending staircases and exciting history will leave you wishing you had allowed more time to spend exploring this unforgettable city.
Valparaiso is an art lovers heaven – everywhere you look you will see bright, colourful artwork – some creative, some political but all expressive and emotive. It is known to have some of the best street art in the world.
The best way by far to see Valpo is by taking a walking tour with a local. We decided to take a three hour walking tour with Tours 4 Tips, having had a wonderful experience already in Santiago with them. We were not let down at all, our tour guide outdid himself and we were extremely lucky being the only three who turned up for the tour, hence were given a private tour of this wonderful city! The tour took us from Valparaiso’s main square, Plaza Sotomayer, where we explored the historic hills and port. The tour incorporated Valpo-style transportation, food tasting for the foodies out there, graffiti, architecture, art and history. Tours 4 Tips works as a free tour, and you simply pay the tour guide a tip at the end. Your tip is based purely on whatever you feel your tour guide deserves! It is a great concept and the tour guides are professional, funny and passionate about their city!
Valpo is extremely hilly and it is commonly said in Chile that women from Valpo are said to have the best legs in the world and I am not surprised! There are simply too many stairs to climb to see all of Valparaiso, so make the most of the local transport and take a ride on an ascensore/funicular!
Another great way to fully take in Valparaiso is from the water! If you head down to the pier/marina directly down from Plaza Sotomayer you can take a boat ride for next to nothing that takes you around the naval base, port and along the coastline! You may even be lucky enough to see some playful sea lions! I highly recommend doing this, its wonderful to see the colours and architectural heights of the city from afar.
Whilst these photos provide you an insight into this hectic yet beautiful city, Valparaiso is a city that needs to be experienced to fully appreciate it.
Add this one to your bucket-list, and don’t miss it on your trip to Chile!