Just two and half hours from Santiago, the town of Valparaiso offers its visitors a different side of Chile, from great street art, to stunning views and nearby beaches, here are my six reasons you should add this pretty city to your bucketlist:
1. THE STREET ART
Valparaíso, often affectionately called “Valpo”, is frequently named one of the top cities to visit for street art. Every nook and cranny of this seaside gem is popping with color. Furthermore, some of the top street artists in the world have contributed to the city’s vibrancy, including Un Kolor Distinto, Pure Evil, and Dana Pink. If you’d like to know a bit more about the history of these murals and their artists, make sure to take the Graffiti and Street Art Tour whilst in the city.
2. FAMOUS PHOTO SPOTS
One of the most popular photo spots in Valpo is the piano staircase. In line with the musical theme, this iconic staircase can be found on Beethoven Street. Another recognizable Valpo photo opportunity? The “We are not hippies, we are happies” staircase. One day in the city and you’ll realize this is a perfect catchphrase to describe this artistic haven.
3. IT’S AN UNDERRATED TOURIST DESTINATION
While the south of Chile can sometimes be brimming with tourists, Valparaíso still hasn’t been overrun by foreigners. Even with tourism bringing in a big part of the city’s revenue, Valpo still holds onto its classic Chilean charm. As you wander the streets in search for bright murals, you’ll undoubtedly run into locals. The best part? The people of Valparaíso are willing to help with anything you need.
4. THE VIEWS
A city doesn’t get a name like “The Jewel Of The Pacific” without having stunning views. Valpo is known for its rolling hills, creating perfect viewpoints. My favorite spot? The Fauna Hotel Restaurant. Make sure to ask to be seated on the patio. The picturesque skyline includes the city’s port and the famously green Lutheran church.
5. BUDGET-FRIENDLY DAY TRIP FROM SANTIAGO
Let’s say you’re running short on time, but you want to fit a quick trip in your itinerary. Valparaíso is the perfect day trip from Santiago. In fact, you can get a bus ticket for less than 3,000 CLP (around 5 USD) each way. The ride takes about 2.5 hours and will drop you off at the bus station, which is a relatively central location. From there, most of the tours offered throughout Valpo are also budget friendly. I personally recommend checking out the Highlights tour from Tours4Tips.
6. VIÑA DEL MAR
Valparaíso’s sister city, Viña Del Mar, is a hotspot for people looking to soak up a bit of sun. If you’d like a quick beach day in Chile, this is a great option. Valpo and Viña are right next to one another, so it’s not difficult to catch a bus to move back and forth between the two.
I hope this post has inspired you to adventure away from Santiago to explore this beautiful town.