Renowned for its colorful seaside houses, bohemian vibes, and elevator-like lifts that serve as public transit, our Valparaiso vacation rentals are in the cultural heartbeat of Chile!
Smaller than Santiago, with about 250,000 residents, Valparaiso was once an intensely busy seaport frequented by ships rounding South America. The city received thousands of immigrants from Europe, along with a diverse set of influences, lending to its singular yet international feel.
Facing decline in the 20th century after the building of the Panama Canal, a group of Valpo residents set out to illuminate the city's eclectic feel and arts scene, and were greatly successful. Over the last 20 years, Valparaiso has seen a huge resurgence in tourism - for very good reason! With charming cobblestone streets, panoramic vistas, endless cafés, mercados, and art, this stunning city continues to wow visitors from every corner of the world.
Valparaiso is a designated UNESCO World Heritage Site, and it's easy to see why with all the colonial architecture and charismatic boutiques. "Old Town" is the main historic area, where you'll find many interesting attractions within walking distance. The lower area has streets along the blue waters, while the upper area is more building-based and has the signature bright houses. "Ascensores", or funicular elevators, are the main source of transit for many people in town, and are a must-do if you're visiting!
Plaza Sotomayor is the central plaza in Valparaiso, with a huge monument in the middle dedicated to fallen soldiers. There's usually a touristy Fería (market), as well as plenty of spots to grab a beer or coffee. There's also Plaza Justicia, Cerro Concepción, and Cerro Alegre nearby, which all offer fantastic views of the bay and additional appealing neighborhoods to explore.
The Villa Victoria is a wonderful place to really immerse yourself in the history of Valparaiso - this restored Victorian home takes you on a tour through time of this spectacular city (all while dressed in full costume), and even provides refreshments towards the end.
With an abundant arts scene, our Valparaiso vacation rentals are often found near live music cafés, museums like Museo del mar Lord Cochrane and Museo de Bellas Artes, plus an absurd amount of street art. Take a tour of the town with a local street artist or just check out one of the contemporary museums! Valpo is also known as an educational hub of Chile and is often teeming with students and young people, plus the numerous mercados offer tons of options for sampling Chilean food and finding unique souvenirs.
Valparaiso is a convenient base for many types of vacationers - its next-door-neighbor, Viña del Mar, is perfect for any beach-goers thanks to its soft white sands, high-end resorts, and ample nightlife. If you're looking for that big-city feel, then Santiago is an easy hour or two away for a metropolis experience with lingering mountains in the distance.
Hoping to drink some world-class Chilean wine? Head out to the Casablanca Valley to try some of the world's finest grape juice.
If you're seeking a truly South American cultural experience, our Valparaiso vacation rentals do not disappoint. Whether you're into old-school architecture, modern artwork, or simply the sight of the sea, Valpo is a spectacular place to visit!
Photo credit: Sarah Stierch via flickr