Overwhelmingly packed with rich history and beautiful buildings, Valparaíso was once known as “The Jewel of South America”.
The city’s youthful revival over the last 20 years has truly brought the area to life, making it a must-visit destination when touring Chile. Whether getting lost in the artsy alleyways, sipping on craft beers and cocktails, or just looking to escape the heat of Santiago for a day, Valparaíso is the place for you.
Exploring Valparaiso’s rolling hills is an absolute must for many visitors; the beautiful Pasaje Bavestrello is definitely worth stopping by for its colorful street art and bright murals. The passage lies atop Cerro Alegre, and the hilly neighborhood is perfect to explore with its bohemian vibe and artsy residents.
Its many bars and restaurants often host music and poetry performances and there a lively atmosphere prevails. A favorite among locals and foreigners alike, Pasaje Bavestrello is the perfect introduction to Valparaiso and its fascinating hilltop neighborhoods.
With over forty hills found across Valparaiso, visitors will quickly discover that the best way to traverse this hilly city is by funicular; Ascensor Artilleria is just one of sixteen scattered about. The third to be built, it was constructed all the way back in 1892 and is now a popular tourist destination; people use it to get to the top of Artilleria hill.
The only funicular in Valparaiso with four tracks, Ascensor Artilleria offers visitors fantastic views from up high, and riding it is a magnificent experience. Although it may look a bit run down, this only adds to the funicular’s charm. Its enduring popularity means there are often queues to ride on it.
Built all the way back in 1916, this historic building is now a historic monument and is named after the Croatian businessman Pascual Baburizza who used to live here. The palace has a very distinctive style and wouldn’t look out of place in the Alps with its wonderful woodwork, balconies, and small turrets.
Inside is equally delightful; the palace now hosts the Fine Arts Museum and the collection on show is fascinating to explore and learn about. The galleries are home to some great artworks by Chilean and European artists.
Located at the top of a hill that overlooks Valparaiso’s beautiful bay, La Sebastiana was once the home of Chile’s most famous poet – Pablo Neruda – and it is now a fantastic museum that is dedicated to his life and works.
While walking to the top of the hill is certainly steep and quite hard going, the views from the top and from within the five-story house are stunning and well worth the effort. Neruda’s former home is very distinctive and the architecture is eclectic to behold, with its colorful stories that jut out one above the other. It is here that he won his Nobel Prize for Literature.
The museum houses memorabilia, furniture, and art, and the audio guide will tell you all about Neruda’s life and La Sebastiana itself. Asa fascinating place, it is well worth visiting to gain a greater appreciation for the poet’s life and to see Valparaiso through his eyes.