Draped over steep hills and cliffs facing the Pacific Ocean, Valparaiso is a city of uniqueness. Not only in geography but also in style. Walls are dressed up in local artwork, and Chilean culture is knitted into the the city’s many neighborhoods. Sadly, our time here was slightly marred with the stress of paying border fines (note: don’t forget to declare any produce that you left in your bag when crossing the border into Chile), but we were determined not to miss out.
We arrived by bus, coming from Mendoza, Argentina, with a quick stop in Vina del Mar. From the bus station, it’s easy to walk to the downtown area, which bustles with activity in its open squares, restaurants and markets. (This first photo shows the location of our first clone – a hot dog smothered in avocado, tomatoes, and ridiculous amounts of mayonnaise.)
Going further into the city, the neighborhoods of Cerro Alegre and Cerro Concepcion take you up higher. Riding one of the historic funiculars, or ascencores, isn’t the only way to get up the steep hills in the city, but it is the easiest. There are many staircases that wind up through the cobbled streets and around sharp corners, passing walls covered in graffiti. The graffiti here, however, is intriguing and celebrated as it is one of the main attractions for visitors. There are even neighborhood maps which will guide you through the maze of paintings, pointing out which artists created which murals.
In addition to the artwork, guesthouses, and delicious restaurants, these hilltop neighborhoods also have a sweeping views of the city and the Pacific Ocean. An ocean overlook is a perfect place to enjoy an afternoon coffee after spending the day climbing staircases and eating mayonnaise.
Even if you only have a day to wander around the city, its possible to see a lot of why Valparaiso is an intriguing stop in Chile. It’s a city full of color and style, with a piece of unique artwork lurking around every corner. Literally.
AndiMay 24, 2012 at 4:25 pm
I’m dying to visit Valparaiso!!! I feel like I would be in photography heaven. Great shots!
annieMay 24, 2012 at 4:37 pm
i could have spent a week photographing everything – such a cool city.
GailMay 25, 2012 at 6:32 am
Wow, It must have been a unique vacation, take a long vacation in central america is my dream, I think that the Chile is a wonderful country,you have increased my desire to see it!!!
GregJune 1, 2012 at 3:14 am
Valparaiso looks beautiful…but I’ll be honest, the photo that speaks most to me is that delicious, mouth watering, spilling-over-with-avocado sandwich next to a nice beer :) Is that what clones is? Or am I just dreaming?
annieJune 1, 2012 at 9:53 am
That is a clone – the amount of avocado on it is heavenly! I had take a little of the mayo off though. The whole thing seems like it couldn’t possibly taste good, but it is actually really tasty.
AyngelinaJune 4, 2012 at 12:25 am
This place is definitely at the top of my list for wanting to go back to Chile I have heard such great things about it.
annieJune 4, 2012 at 10:17 am
it definitely worth the visit!
atlantic highlands restaurantsSeptember 17, 2012 at 5:48 am
I became fan of this beautiful city when I visited it last year. Still I remember the days that I spent there. The city has its own style which make it different from others. We enjoyed the food in a restaurant which was so delicious. Thanks for recalling all my memories through your article and these pictures.
annieSeptember 18, 2012 at 11:10 am
Glad you enjoyed. It is indeed and very unique and interesting place.