Valparaiso, a charming town and UNESCO World Heritage Site on the coast of Chile, is known for its colorful houses, bohemian culture, and stunning seaside views. And it’s only 120km away from Santiago, which is rather convenient.
Valparaiso is a great city for walking around. I explored the city on a Monday, which is like a Sunday in South America, meaning everything was closed, which made exploring difficult. At first, I failed to see the big deal with Valparaiso… everyone I met that had been adored it. But the weather was chilly, cloudy and foggy in late March, so that didn’t help, but it was also a little grimy.
There is a free walking tour in Valparaiso, which I highly recommend (as with any free walking tour in any city). I liked Valparaiso a lot more after the tour. The city certainly has its charm.
Street art in Valparaiso:
Visiting La Sebastiana, one of Pablo Neruda’s houses (a famous Chilean poet and politician), is a popular thing to do in Valparaiso.
Earthquakes and fires are common occurrences in Valparaiso. There was a huge earthquake and fire right after I left Valparaiso that devastated the city. Since the city is on the water, tsunamis are a major risk also.
Beware of pickpockets– I had let my guard down a little because Valparaiso is a small town, and small towns are typically safer, but someone tried to pickpocket me while I was crossing the street. After, I was told that Valparaiso is known for pickpocketing and it has some grittier areas.
Viña del Mar, while only 13km away, is like another world because it’s completely modern, unlike Valparaiso.
You can take a day trip to Casablanca, Chile’s white wine region, to visit the wineries for wine tastings.
Santiago is only 120km away.