Valparaiso: a Colourful City for the Arty and Fit

On the Pacific coast a few hours from Santiago, Valparaiso is famous for its incredible street art. The town is also very hilly. Valparaiso residents would have to be some of the artiest and fittest people around as I found out in April.

Valparaiso has an excellent produce market and one morning I met up again with Cami and Sara to wonder around both the permanent market and nearby street market.

Valparaiso, Chile

A green vegetable stallĀ at Valparaiso’s produce market with outer leaves and husks discarded on the street

Valparaiso, Chile

A cat guarding fish in trays at Valparaiso’s produce market

Valparaiso, Chile

Colours of Valparaiso from painted steps to murals to graffiti

Valparaiso, Chile

Spy vs. Spy, Mad Magazine characters immortalised in Valparaiso street art (note the all-seeing eye between the spies)

Valparaiso’s steep hill sides led to the construction of funicular lifts, several of which remain operational today.

Valparaiso, Chile

Colourful Valparaiso extends to house exteriors; note the funicular lift in the bottom right corner

Valparaiso, Chile

Crab Ravioli, one of the delicious dishes enjoyed at La Concepcion for Lily’s birthday

In Valparaiso I stayed at Nomada Eco Hostel. As the name suggests, it is an eco-focused hostel. I really loved that the new manager Marco was seriously interested in improving the hostel’s environmental footprint and open to ideas. Marco even emailed me following my visit, providing feedback on one of my suggestions: water recycling.

Walking from the hostel into the centre of Valparaiso to eat lunch I witnessed security forces spray students with water cannon to disrupt their protest. My original intention to eat at a specific restaurant changed when I came across a Turkish restaurant. They even had Turkish coffee!

Valparaiso, Chile

This riot officer had time to put on her lipstick before facing the students

Valparaiso, Chile

Ascensor Florida is one of Valparaiso’s many funicular lifts sadly not operating

As in Santiago, Pablo Neruda had a house in Valparaiso which is now functioning as a museum dedicated to the poet. The Valparaiso house has unique architecture and great city and harbour views.

Valparaiso has so much street art and character that I highly recommend taking a free tips-based walking tour. Jessi and I took one and the public art amount and creativity blew my mind.

Valparaiso, Chile

Birds eagerly awaiting this Valparaiso house opening its front door

Valparaiso, Chile

This girl displays more character than many real people

Valparaiso, Chile

Colourful Valparaiso steps (did you notice the cat next to the down pipe?)

Valparaiso, Chile

Faces of Valparaiso – both alive but one is two dimensional and the other three dimensional

Valparaiso is a wonderful place to spend a few days, practice stair climbing and see amazing street art.