Home South AmericaChile Valparaíso, the city that dazzles

Valparaíso, the city that dazzles

by Bernard O'Shea

Busy seaports don’t come more picturesque than Valparaíso. Bernard O’Shea soaks up the atmosphere
in Chile’s vibrant seaside city.
 

 

When the people of Chile’s capital, Santiago, want a quick getaway to the coast, they head to Valparaíso and Viña del Mar, a mere 110 kilometres away. Viña del Mar has the beaches, the plush resorts and all the mod cons, Valparaíso has the colour and the character.

Set in a steep natural amphitheatre offering many vantage points over the ocean, Valparaíso is a busy seaport that somehow manages to exude the charm of a laidback fishing village. Chile’s most famous poet, Pablo Neruda, was among its many admirers – he had a house high up on the hill, now a museum which you can visit.

The city has much history – its old quarter is a UNESCO World Heritage site – but it’s the creative decorating of the houses in the overhanging suburbs that gives it much of its charm.  Here we pay homage to the people with paintbrushes. TTW

A beautifully decorated home.

A beautifully decorated home.

The cafes here tend to serve up visual feasts as well as tasty food.

The cafes here tend to serve up visual feasts as well as tasty food.

We weren't expecting to spot a giraffe, but here you go.

We weren’t expecting to spot a giraffe, but here you go.

Down by the docks, the fishing boats are just as colourful.

Down by the docks, the fishing boats are just as colourful. Photo: Pixabay

Here's something from downtown for those who prefer classic architecture.

Here’s something from downtown for those who prefer classic architecture.

Bernard O’Shea travelled to Valparaíso at his own expense. Photos © Bernard O’Shea and Pixabay.

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