10 Must-Dos In Valparaíso, Chile

Pablo Neruda, colorful houses, the Pacific Ocean, and a wealth of maritime history, Valparaíso has it all.

Hailee Chile 6
PHOTO HAILEE DONOGHUE

Built on the coast as a port city for ships making their way around the southern tip of Chile and Cape Horn on their way to California, Valpo (as it’s affectionately referred to) is a sprawling port city turned bohemian paradise. The city is divided into over 30 neighborhoods, the boundaries of which are decided by hills or cerros. Valparaíso has much to offer and endless winding staircases to explore but if you’re crunched on time here is what you must do:

1. Visit La Sebastiana

Calle Ricardo de Ferrari 692, Valparaiso, Valparaíso, Chile (map, website)

The Valparaíso home of Chile’s Nobel Laureate, Pablo Neruda, located on Cerro Bellavista. The entrance fee is $4,000 Chilean pesos (about $8 USD) and an automated guide comes with it. Explore the house at your own pace…the Foundation has kept everything exactly as it was when Pablo lived here. Here you can view his eccentric collections and see the room where he wrote his most famous poems, inspired by the view of the sea.

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PHOTO HAILEE DONOGHUE

2. Tour 4 Tips

Plaza Sotomayor, Valparaíso 8340457, Chile (map, website)

An awesome organization that operates solely off of tips, pay what you think the tour was worth. The Valpo tour is offered twice a day, at 10am and 3pm. It’s an awesome way to get to see the highlights of the city and get a layout of how the city works.

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PHOTO HAILEE DONOGHUE

3. Puerto deportivo

Located at the Baron Pier or Muelle Baron in Spanish (map, website)

Take a stroll down to the coast and out onto the pier. An excellent spot to look back on all of Valparaíso and admire the brightly colored houses, rolling hills, and blue water.

Hailee Chile
PHOTO HAILEE DONOGHUE

4. Cerro Concepción

Papudo 541, Valparaíso, Chile (map, website)

A chic neighborhood filled with cafes and artisanal shops, this is the perfect cerro for an afternoon stroll with marvelous views of the port.

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PHOTO HAILEE DONOGHUE

5. Try chorrillana

One of the most famous Chilean dishes, chorrillana is comfort food at its finest.  A mix of French fries, steak, sautéed onions and scrambled eggs, this favorite dash is raved about by Chileans.

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6. Ride an acensor

Acensors are what makes Valparaíso famous. With 10 acensors spread across the city be sure to ride one to the top. For those unfamiliar with the concept an acensor is a funicular that works by counterbalancing ascending and descending cars.

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PHOTO HAILEE DONOGHUE

7. Take a selfie with a mural

Valpo is internationally recognized for its street art. As the location for graffiti and mural competitions each street reveals a new work of art. Although graffiti is technically illegal, street artists are often hired by homeowners to design murals for private property and thus the streets are filled with diverse images and colors.

8. Nightlife on Cumming Street

Check out the bars that line this street if you’re looking to find the local nightlife.

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PHOTO HAILEE DONOGHUE

9. Day trip to neighboring Viña del Mar

120 km (74 miles) NW of Santiago; 8 km (5 miles) N of Valparaíso (map, website)

A beautiful coastal town, Viña del Mar is a must do especially if the sun is shining. With white sand beaches and a wonderful boardwalk for walkers, cyclists, and runners the Pacific Ocean is calling. For the hot spot, head to Reñaca Beach filled with restaurants and young adults.

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PHOTO HAILEE DONOGHUE

10. Ride “La O”

The infamous “O,” (612 bus) is also the best way to get a real taste of the winding hills and cerros of Valparaíso. Catch it along Avenida Alemania, which connects all the cerros together, the “O” will race through the streets and turn corners at harrowing speeds that will keep you on the edge of your seat.

Hailee Donoghue

Hailee loves Argentina. Her travel style consists of flowy pants and don't forget converses. She never travels without her Swiss Army Knife, it's a pair of scissors, a knife and a wine opener. It's essential.

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