"Valpariso is Paradiso"

Trip Start Sep 09, 2006
Trip End Aug 18, 2010

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Flag of Chile  ,
Thursday, August 9, 2007

Valparaiso is one of the most picturesque cities in South America.  It has the perfect mixture of beautiful architecture, historic quarters, colorful hillside communities with boardwalk vistas overlooking the port at the Pacific Ocean, and perfect little romantic passageways hidden in a labyrinth of cobble stoned streets.  Add museum-worthy graffiti on the walls, and over 15 rickety and ancient "ascensors" (funiculars) to take you up and down and you've got the perfect place to live!

No one in Valparaiso can really agree on where one Cerro or Hill begins or ends.  Each community builds its homes where they can...streets in the old town end with no exit...the sign "calle sin salida" is pretty common for most streets.  The Ascensors are actually cable cars that act as elevators between the old and new cities.  Valparaisans use these outdoor elevators ($0.25 USD) as a main form of transport throughout their days. 
Despite the many street dogs following us all day long, Valparaiso remains one of our favorite cities in South America. 
- Transport:  Pullman Bus Company from La Serena to Valparaiso, 5000 Chilean Pesos, 7 hours
- Hotel:  Alecon Program Hostels, Address:   Cerro Concepcion, www.alecon.cl, tel:  56 32 2491164, 16 000 Chilean Pesos, extremely comfortable beds, huge TV, shared bathroom,
- Restaurants:  "Puerto Viejo" has fantastic seafood choices, with operatic singers and karaoke, and cheap but delicious Chilean wines.  "Cinzano" is a great spot on Cerro Conception that has vintage tango singers playing every evening around 9pm.
- Cafes:  La Colombina Cafe is a gorgeous place to enjoy Valparaiso's views over cappuccinos at descent prices.

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