Valparaiso is one of Chile’s most stunning cities, and an UNESO world heritage site. It is one of the most bohemian, cosmopolitan and elegant cities I have visited in South America. Once home to poet Pablo Neruda, we were told on the walking tour that the poet invited his artist friends from Mexico to come and paint the entire city. And they did a great job. Here is my guide on what to do if you have 24 hours in the city:
Breakfast – We ate the complimentary breakfast that was provided by Ibis Hotel. It was actually a good selection, and a great place to carb and coffee up before a big day of exploring.
Walking Tour – These free walking tours go at 10am and 3pm daily, meeting outside the Plaza Anibal Pinto, for a duration of 3 and a half hours. They are offered in English or Spanish and hit all the major beautiful places in Valparaiso, such as Ascensor Reina Victoria, Paseo Gervasoni, Ascensor El Peral etc. My favourite part of the tour was the in depth attention and explanations for the street art that is on EVERY wall (nearly). The tour ended with us trying a typical Chilean drink, Kalimotxo, coca cola and red wine mixed together… which was ghastly.
Lunch – This was a hard choice, as once you ascend into the hills of Valparaiso there are countless quaint and quirky cafes ready to feed you. We ravenously stumbled the streets (literally stumbled, because it was all up hill) and found Arte K-Fe which was a quiet little tea-room that had seriously amazing views and very friendly staff. I inhaled a vegetarian burger, and then received a video call from my family – proving that the Wi-fi in Art K-fe is super strong!
Boat Ride – This was extremely fun! However, a word of warning while you try and buy your tickets… there are a few tourist traps on the docks. Once approaching the docks you will hear different people shouting for boat rides, ignore them and go straight to where the boats are leaving from, you will pay on board. The people shouting will try and over charge you, or take you on a ‘private tour’. From the boat you will be able to get an amazing view of Valpo!
Drinks and pre-dinner snacks – El Internado – We met up here with some friends we made in Bariloche. The cocktails are super trendy and plentiful, we tried the negroni, two types of pisco sours (al tonica), dry martini, white russian and probably more that somehow slipped my mind. We also ordered the vegan sharing platter that was stunning (see pictured)! The bar itself was modern, with the upstairs having an amazing view of Valpo.
Dinner – Puerto Claro – Always fun to go to a high dining place in a new city. The setting was gorgeous, with an extensive wine list to boot (I went with my classic Cabernet Sauvigon Reserva). We tried the steak with foam potatoes and asparagus, along with the Chilean sea bass. All was exquisite.
Climb the streets at sunset – After our lovely meal, we walked outside and the whole sky was a wonderful dusty pink and yellow. It made for walking around the streets at sunset very picturesque and I would recommend it to anyone. The dusk turns all the colours of Valparaiso to perfect pastels!
Wow. What can I say, Valpo stole our hearts! The vibe and the aesthetic of the whole area was unlike any other city I have visited so far. A dreamy allure for poets, painters and anyone who loves art. This is a little gem hidden on the coast of Chile and a definite must see on anyone’s next vacation list.
Upcoming post – Atacama Desert, Chile