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.
A green vegetable stall at Valparaiso’s produce market with outer leaves and husks discarded on the street
A cat guarding fish in trays at Valparaiso’s produce market
Colours of Valparaiso from painted steps to murals to graffiti
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.
Colourful Valparaiso extends to house exteriors; note the funicular lift in the bottom right corner
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!
This riot officer had time to put on her lipstick before facing the students
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.
Birds eagerly awaiting this Valparaiso house opening its front door
This girl displays more character than many real people
Colourful Valparaiso steps (did you notice the cat next to the down pipe?)
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.