Valparaiso – the port, the coast, the artsy town
In this post we provide information on how to get from Santiago to Valparaiso, how to spend two days in Valparaiso, and where to stay in Valparaiso.
Valparaiso is a UNESCO World Heritage City since 2003 so we could not miss the opportunity to visit this hilly and colorful town while visiting Santiago.
The city of Valparaiso is also a major Pacific Ocean port and the second largest city in Chile. Locally referred to as Valpo, this seaport is a great weekend getaway for Santiago residents.
We spent two days in Valparaiso, arriving early afternoon on the first day from Santiago.
How to get from Santiago to Valparaiso
The best way to get to Valparaiso from Santiago is by car or bus. It takes about 1h30-2hr to get to Valparaiso from Santiago by bus. There are frequent buses daily from the various bus stations in Santiago. Cost per person should be roughly USD $8. Read our previous post about Santiago.
It is completely possible to do a day trip from Santiago to Valparaiso. Just take the 3 hour, round-trip, bus ride into consideration when planning your day. There are buses leaving Santiago for Valparaiso every 15 minutes from 6am to 10:30pm. Read more about how to get from Santiago to Valparaiso. Note: always confirm hours and costs at your hostel and at the bus station.
How to Get Around Valparaiso
The easiest way to get around Valparaiso by walking. You can also ride the funicular system or ascensores which have been around since late 1880s. The ascensores are all different and provide the different viewpoint of the city. You have to pay a small fee to ride the ascensores (between CHP 100-300 one-way – USD $0.10-0.30) so carry small change with your . They are open from 6am-11pm and note that not all ascensores in the city are active.
Where to Stay in Valparaiso
There are lots of hostels in this town. You can easily ask around if you haven’t made plans in advance. Camping in Valparaiso is also possible.
We stayed at Hostal Chaptex, the hostel is comfortable and rustic. It feels more like a homestay than a hostel but acceptable for our purposes (we only stayed one night and only spent time in the room to sleep). Breakfast was also included in the price. A private room with shared bath and WiFi costs around USD $25. We were a bit far from the renowned hilly streets of Valparaiso but close to the bus station.
We’d also recommend Casa Tokerau, a clean and tidy hotel, about USD $30 per night for a double room and shared bath. Very well located up in the hilly streets, close to restaurants and cafes.
What To Do in Valparaiso
Valparaiso is a sleepy and overall, peaceful town. You’ll see most people stroll in the streets, sipping on coffee, reading, writing and painting.
So, take your time while in Valparaiso, relax and browse the city!
Ride the ascensores
Due to the hilly streets of Valparaiso, there are over 30 ascensores in the city, also known as funiculars. Not all of them are active. Find out more about Valparaiso’s ascensores here.
Browse street art
Valparaiso is considered by many as the cultural city of Chile, and one of the graffiti capitals of South America. You can observe vibrant street art scene just by walking in the colorful streets of Valpo. Find out more about the street art scene in Valparaiso.
Visit to Pablo Neruda’s breathtaking home
La Sebastiana, one of the the homes of renowned Nobel prize winner, Chilean poet, Pablo Neruda. The house has been since transformed to a museum and you can visit Neruda’s home preserved with some of his belongings. Entrance costs CHP 7,000 (USD $8-9) & note that the museum is closed on Mondays. A worthy visit.
Walking and wandering
Stroll through the different hills and streets and admire different lookouts of the colorful city. The city is meant to be enjoyed by foot, so unwind and take your time.
From Valparaiso to Santiago and beyond
To get back to Santiago, you can go to Valparaiso – Terminal Rodoviário and there are multiple companies heading back to Santiago, multiples per day and per hour. The last bus is around 10:30pm.
You can also go beyond to visit the different beach points nearby like Vina Del Mar, a resort for local families to come and enjoy a weekend by the water.
What else did you do in Valparaiso? Share your experiences with us! We love to hear from you!
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By Rolling Coconut