What nonsense
You are
What a crazy
Insane Port.
Your mounded head
You never finish combing your hair
Life has always surprised you
Death woke you
In your undershirt and long underwear
Fringed with color
With a name tattooed on the stomach
And with a cap

Pablo Neruda

This chilean town is a free spirit. Wild and exotic and a little wicked. With uneven streets and houses in all rainbow colours, tatooed over and over with beautiful graffiti. To me Valparaíso is the definition of a harbour town. You expect to see pirates behind every corner, you drink Pisco in shabby bars with anchors on their walls and you feel a sea breeze on your face the whole time wooing you to leave everything behind and set off for a wild life on high sea. 

Getting there

From Santiago de Chile you can take numerous buses or trains to reach this wild beauty, but I think this is one time you really should splurge and get a rental car. The pitoresque route through Chile´s highest mountains and the beautiful wineyards of the country simply should not be missed and you should be able to stop and soak in the view. 


The entire town is a sight not to be missed. The seven hills sorrounding the harbour and the teeny tiny crooked houses along their slopes are quite the impression themselves. Make sure to book a hotel or hostel room a bit higher up to soak up the panorama as much as you can. 
In my opinion for Valparaíso you really do not need a tight schedule or plan, simply strolling through the hills is enough. Take on of the little cablecars to go up (and do not think too much about the fact that they have been going up and down these steep hills since 1883). The supposedly most pretty hills are Cerro Alegre and Cerro Concepción, including the prettiest and biggest of the famous graffitis and some of the cutest houses.
Just as in Santiago de Chile, Pablo Neruda build a very special houses in Valpo as locals lovingly call it and just like in Santiago it has been turned into a museum so no excuse to miss it.


Valparaíso offers an abundance of little bars and clubs where you can really have the local experience of going out. It also has an Absinth bar, called Verde Absenta, which is completely green and very impressive, so a cool way of starting the night.  
A lot of smaller clubs, who play mainly música quecka the chilean kind of Raggaeton are lined along the harbour. I really enjoyed a night in Proa Al Cañaveral. There is still only one real drink in Chile the Piscola (the national liqour Pisco and you guessed it Cola). If you are in time why not go for the national day of Piscola on February 8th? The parties for this event in Valparaíso are absolutely crazy.
Little warning: Please be save, Valparaíso is beautiful, but it is also a tough town and you might want to consider drinking not too many piscolas and going out with a local friend or in a bigger group. 


With all of this intense partying and sightseeing you need a hefty meal to get you through the day. Thank god there is the wonderful Chorillana consisting of french fries, scrambled eggs, sausage, meat and fried onions. Yes this is the combination we all have secretly dreamed off, but Chile has done it and the home of this monstrosity is Valparaíso. For the best on in all of Valpo head over to Bar Victoria, a cozy little place filled with lots of flags, pictures and handwritten notes from all over the world.
For the best breakfast had to the Desayunador, who offers a cheap breakfast and delicious coffee something which is not too easy to find in Chile.


If Valparaíso is the wild cousin that enters every family festivity with unkept hair, just back from a trip across the world and always behind on the work on their CV, Vina del Mar is her very polished and organized sister, always perfectly made up and very preppy. There is an obvious reason I prefer Valpo, but the beauty of Vinas beaches is worth putting up with the in-crowd there. Just make sure to wear lots of suncreen, since Chile is laying directly under a hole in the ozon layer and do not underestimate the power and cold of the waves, cold underlying tides keep the Chilean sea constantly chilly.  

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4 Kommentare

  1. Was sind denn das für zuckersüße, krumme, bunte Häuschen, getaucht in Sonnentrahlen und dazu dieser unglaublich blaue Himmel? Das sieht so traumhaft aus, fast wie in einer Fantasielandschaft! Hab noch eine gute Zeit dort, meine liebe :)

  2. So schöne Fotos. Ich will, dass es endlich Sommer wird!

  3. Traumhaft. Einfach nur perfekte Impressionen deines Abenteuers.
    Danke fürs Retten meiner Mittagspause im verschneiten Hamburg! :D

    Liebst, Sara.

  4. beautiful photos ;) would you like to follow each ohter? ;)



Thanks so much for your lovely comments, constructive criticism and suggestions. I will try to answer all of you!