Valparaíso, Chile – An underrated travel destination

Valparaiso, Chile - An underrated travel destination.

Valparaíso, Chile, a two-hour drive from Santiago, is often overlooked as a popular travel spot. I view it as a mix of San Francisco and Barcelona with its brightly-colored houses and buildings covering its steep hillsides overlooking the Pacific Ocean. This large port city has been called a little “San Francisco” with its hilly streets and scenic views of the city and sea. When visiting both Barcelona in May and Valparaíso in July, I noticed the cities are artsy with quirky character and fun to explore by foot.DSCN1453

One of the first things you will notice in Valparaíso is the intricate paintings and graffiti that cover the sides of buildings and staircases. Stunning art seems to be around every corner. The city rocks a bohemian vibe and doesn’t feature typical sightseeing spots but experiences you need to have.

The most important thing to do here is walk around to discover the uniqueness of the city. We even walked from nearby town Viña Del Mar to our hotel in Valparaíso. It was lovely walking along the sidewalk curving along the beach, even through rain. The narrow cobbled streets are packed with artsy shops, quaint cafes and beautiful galleries. It’s easy to wander around the winding roads and find wonderful views of the city. It’s a place that’s meant to be walked. But the hills turn it into a workout, so take a funicular once or twice.

Valparaíso, Chile

During our two nights, we stayed at Hotel Brighton with a view of the city and sea from our window. We really enjoyed its great location and relaxing atmosphere. If you don’t stay here, it’s worth getting a meal or drink on the hotel’s back deck. It was my favorite view of the city day or night.

We ate a lot of amazing soup and fish on our vacation. Another favorite was a drink that featured fresh fruit, milk and sugar, basically a wonderful light-tasting milkshake. Additionally, we found a chill bar on one of the main streets with light rock music and interesting cocktails and concoctions.

Laid-back Valparaíso is an underrated travel destination. What cities have you found underrated or overrated?

Viña Del Mar, Valparaiso, Chile

Valparaiso, Chile

19 thoughts on “Valparaíso, Chile – An underrated travel destination

      1. The Hubby and I have decided to go to Valpo. It was either going to be there at the end of our cruise or Sao Paulo at the start. Valpo looks much more interesting. I was looking at Airbnb for a place to stay. The prices seem higher in Valpo for accommodations. How are the prices on food, transportation and sightseeing?

      2. Accommodation is a little pricier there. We found not too expensive restaurants and cafes. When we’d get seafood, we’d just get a platter to share and it was usually big enough for the the both of us. We honestly didn’t spend much at all on transportation and sightseeing. It’s really a city that’s to be walked, we took a tram to Vina del Mar but walked back along the coastline. I hope this helps! Let me know if you have any other questions and I’ll do my best to help!

  1. I love that little castle by the sea and I’m a total sucker for great street art (who isnt??). Haven’t been to Chile but I’ll have to keep this in mind when I go!

  2. Looks gorgeous! My favorite way to explore almost everywhere is walking so this looks right up my alley. Was it quite easy to find your way around the city?

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