Valparaiso is a big city and seaport with an incredible history. It is 2 hours away by bus from the capital of Chile, Santiago. It was home to tons of artists, writers, musicians etc. One of the most famous former residents of Valparaiso is Pablo Neruda – a Nobel prize-winning poet. Valparaiso is known for its hills, colourful buildings and beautiful lookouts. Valparaiso has a nickname – “little San Francisco”. It is one of my favourite and unique places I have visited in Chile.
Here are some tips and recommendations on what to do and see. We stayed at Hostal Alimapu
La Sebastiana Museo de Pablo Neruda
This was the home of Nobel prize-winning poet Pablo Neruda. He called it La Sebastiana in honor of its builder, Sebastián Collado.
“I feel the tiredness of Santiago, I want to find a house to live and write in peace at Valparaíso. Certain conditions must be given. It may not be too high or too low. It must be solitary, but not in excess. I wish neighbors were invisible. I wish I did not see or hear them. Original but not uncomfortable. Very light, but firm. Neither too big nor too small, far from everything. But close to the stores. As well, it has to be very inexpensive. Do you think I can find a house like that in Valparaíso?” Letter from Neruda to his poet friend Sara Vial.
Cost General admission:
- Ch$7,000 per person
- Ch$2,500 for students and Chileans over 60 years
J Cruz M – Chorrillana restaurant
You will see this dish all around Valparaiso. It is originally from Valparaiso. J Cruz M is the restaurant where this dish was born. There aren’t any signs. You will have to go into an alley and you will see a door. This is a very cool restaurant, also chorrillana is the only dish they serve.
Here is the restaurant. https://goo.gl/maps/YL2BkDkRs9Tr8MsZ6
This is a great lookout point. I recommend bringing a bottle of chilean wine, sit there and enjoy the view.
Hotel Brighton – Great place to have a coffee
Hotel Brighton has an outdoor restaurant and cafe. It is an amazing place to rest and have a cup of coffee. I love this place because the view from the restaurant is incredible.
Ride the ascensores de Valparaíso
They were mainly used in the late 19th and early 20th centuries. As of 2018 only 7 of elevators are in operation, the other 9 are under a process of restoration and modernisation.
Free walking tour around Valparaiso or just walking around yourself.
I think this is the best way to explore and understand the city that was declared a UNESCO World Heritage Site. There are tons of colourful and beautiful alleyways and staircases that are not accessible by car.
Las Deliciosas – A seafood empanadas restaurant
Their empanadas are like their restaurant’s name – DELICIOUS. Their empanadas are the best I have eaten in South America. Yes, I know this a bold statement but try it first and you might agree with me. It is located in Viña del mar. Here is the restaurant: https://goo.gl/maps/SJ9TjjXLniE6nQTr7
Viña del Mar Botanical Garden
The Botanical Garden was planted in the 30s. It was built for private use by Don Pascual Baburizza, nitrate leading industrialist, who personally planted many of the beautiful and large trees. After his death he donated the garden to the city. The area is well maintained, has over 3,000 plant species of great beauty and a picnic area for conditioning. There are priceless botanical species such as the Tomir which is a tree extinct in its natural place, Easter Island.
Entrance costs: Ch$1200 for adults, Ch$400 for children
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