Before I came to Chile, there was one thing I knew I wanted to do: explore Valparaíso! Commonly called Valpo, it is a beautiful port town filled with art and color! While it is a small area, there are plenty of nooks and crannies to explore!
I was super fortunate when I went to Valpo: a friend of a friend of a friend is a tour guide in the city, so he gave my roommate and I a free tour of the city! I really enjoyed it because it was very easy to talk with him if we ever had any questions or observations, and he was able to show us what locals actually see. On our walk we saw sites like the Paseo Yugoslavo, Paseo Gervasoni, Paseo Atkinson, the Anglican Church of St. Paul, and so much more! All of the paseos are pedestrian walkways that give you beautiful views of the port and the city. Each paseo is also very unique! Paseo Yugoslavo has the Palacio Baburizza, which was built with an eastern European influence and now houses the city’s fine art museum. Paseo Atkinson has a British feel, with the flat house fronts and small gardens in front. And the Anglican Church looks… Catholic? The reason for this is because at the time of its construction, only Catholicism was allowed in Chile so they had to practice their religion in secret! Getting to see and hear the stories of these buildings made the walking tour one of the highlights of the trip.
Everywhere you look, there is street art in Valpo! I was lucky enough to see some of the most internet famous pieces of art in the city, each one on accident! The first one we walked across say “We are not hippies, we are happies”. We got to snap a picture right before a number of tourists descended upon it! Later on walking back to our Airbnb, we found the piano stairs! They are actually right next to the Anglican Church, and knowing they were nect to such an important landmark made it easy to come back to later! There is also a lot more art than what people usually post on the ‘gram, so I definitely recommend walking around to see what art inspires you!
Piers and Docks
Valpo is a port town, so I recommend walking by the piers and docks! Close to Plaza Sotomayer is a market by the docks, and a lot of little boats that will take you around the docks to see the ships up close and personal! I did not do one of the boat tours, but I personally don’t feel like I missed out on the experience. One thing I definitely recommend is going to the pier to watch the sunset! The pier we went to had a place to rent kayaks during the day, but my friend and I opted to sit on the dock. (I was too scared of getting wet in the cold weather! Haha!) This simple activity was super fun: the pier was the perfect place for people watching, we could watch some people casting lines out into the sea, see the city change colors as the sun set, and get a look at some sea lions swimming near by! I was really happy we had the chance to go and enjoy relaxing by the ocean.
I barely scratched the surface of Valparaíso in this post. There are so many little cafés, restaurants, and art shops scattered throughout the city! Even while we were walkig around we only saw a portion of the city! Do you think you might want to go to Valparaíso? Have you visited other artsy cities in the world? Join me and let’s explore our world!