Valparaiso: Step by Step

Valparaiso is good for your health. Not only did I walk up and down several steep hills today, but I enjoyed the scenery along the way. I started my day by walking around my cerro (hill), Cerro Bellavista, for these couple of days, including a stroll through the Museo a Cielo Abierto, an outdoor museum consisting of murals painted by students in the early 70s.

I continued on through the flat El Plan neighborhood, strolling past the usual: churches, buildings, dogs.

I then took the oldest ascensor (elevator/cable car) up to Cerros Concepcion & Alegre. Built in 1883, it was a rather steep, but seemingly safe ride up.

I strolled. And then strolled some more.

On the advice of Lonely Planet, I then tried to follow my map to Cerro Miraflores to get a view from Plaza Bismark. I chose the wrong street to climb. I discovered this when a man washing his car near the top of the hill informed me there was no way through. Back down I went. And then up I went on the correct street. Turns out the view was worth it.

After all that ascent, I went down and found another ascensor to take me back to the top of Cerro Alegre for lunch. Along the way, I went over Cerro Carcel, which houses a prison which closed in 1999. The grounds are now home to a cultural center. They’ve also done some beautiful landscaping. Not a bad way to reform.

I also spotted the Painted Ladies’ cousins and stopped to consult my map in a lovely little park.

After lunch, I, guess what? I strolled some more and then stopped at Paseo Atkinson to sit on a park bench and read – clearly I had many important things to do today.*

After such a sufficient rest, I decided to head toward Cerro Cordillera for another view recommended by LP. The ascensor was closed or broken or who-knows-what, so I took these stairs. Each set was approximately 35 stairs, so that was at least 150 stairs. Fun.

And then I got to the top and the park with the view was gated and locked. Awesome. I went back down the hill via some different stairs and landed in El Puerto, the port neighborhood. Gritty, smelly and full of characters with whom I didn’t want to interact, I strolled a bit quick on out of there.

I passed through Plaza Sotomayor, proud owner of the Naval Command Building and the Monumento a los Heroes de Iquique.

Next up I wanted to go over to Cerro Baron to get a view of many of Valparaiso’s hills. I took the metro which runs along the water (thanks to my hotel for handing over one of the metro cards, which you normally have to buy for $5 and then fill with your fare). Upon arriving, I walked to the ascensor – also closed or broken or who-knows-what. Oh well. I decided to just walk back, given all the new-found free time.

I ended my exploration by taking the hundreds of stairs back up to my hotel. And then I sat on the roof and read in the fading sunlight.** Days like today are why I don’t get homesick.

*I really don’t want to come home in 6 weeks and look for a job. This is all just too fun.

**This picture is from last night, but you get the idea.

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55 comments

  1. Oh, wowzers…another place that I must visit…sooner than later!! :)

    1. Absolutely agree. I’m loving Chile!

  2. ratridevi · · Reply

    Your pictures are fabulous! Thank you for sharing them! :)

  3. Gorgeous pics! Such color! And the pics do tell a story! I can see why you wouldn’t want to ever come back and have to look for a job! ;) Congrats on being FP! :)

    1. Thank you! And thanks for stopping by. :)

  4. Great photos! I’ve added Valparaiso to my list of places to visit.

    1. Oh good – I’m glad to hear it! I really loved it and could have spent a lot more time wandering around.

  5. Lovely and colorful!

    1. So colorful! Thanks for reading!

  6. Thank you for taking us along on your tour of Valparaiso! . . . Love the photos!

    http://arabianmusings.wordpress.com/

    1. Thanks! Glad you enjoyed it! And thanks for dropping by.

  7. Pablo Neruda was in love with Valparaiso. I guess I can see why.

    1. Yes, very easy to see why. Smart guy!

  8. Outstanding post,amazing pictures.Jalal

    1. Thanks very much, Jalal!

  9. We were in Valpo a couple of years ago. You photos reminded us of how much fun we had there. Thanks.

    1. Oh, I love when that happens when I read others’ posts! Happy to do the same for you. Thanks for reading!

  10. I love these travel blogs they Freshly Press. Totally awesome!

    1. Thanks so much!

  11. Chile.

    One of my must do trips.

    Thank you for sharing!

    ghost.

    1. You’re quite welcome! I hope you make it here someday!

  12. Gorgeous! And congrats on being Freshly Pressed. I’m excited to read more.

    1. Thank you. It was quite an unexpected honor! Thanks for reading and I hope you enjoy what’s to come (and I hope I do too…).

  13. Beautiful pics–lots of public art! I was a student in Chile from Feb-July 1998 and loved it. When your route takes you south to Concepción, consider a side trek to the coal mining town of Lota. Take a bus or–heck, you seem to be in good shape from all those hills in Valpo–walk up to the top of the town to Parque de Lota. This was originally private land developed in the 1880s by the Cousiño family (of Cousiño Macul wines). Peacocks roam about through the marble monuments and green grass. There’s a restaurant up there too. Enjoy Chile!

    1. Thank you. And thanks for the tips as well. Indeed, tip from a friend is how I ended up in Valparaiso!

  14. katrinamillen · · Reply

    What a lovely and colourful place, never heard of Valparaiso but I want to go there now!!!!

    1. You definitely should! Thanks for stopping by :)

  15. Constance V. Walden · · Reply

    Nice photos. Thanks for sharing. Connie

    1. You’re welcome! And thank you for dropping by.

  16. Sounds and looks like an awesome day.

    1. It really, really was. Thanks for reading!

  17. I wander how long it took them to paint those steps! So colorful!

    1. Agreed; and I imagine it took quite some time. But what a good result!

  18. The painted steps are so beautiful! But I wonder how many steps to reach the top?

    1. Oh, it was a lot (if my heart rate was any indication…). :)

  19. Thanks for the trip back to latinoamerica! You captured so much of their spirit, warmth, and culture through your photos. Great job :)

    1. Thank you – what a lovely compliment! And thanks for stopping by.

  20. Great post! I look forward to exploring the rest of your blog.

    1. Thank you! I hope you like the rest as well.

  21. I miss being here. The two most wonderful weeks of my life were spent down here in the valley of paradise (Valparaiso) with the love of my life. Thanks for posting this. Brings back memories :D

    1. Thanks! So happy to have reminded you of such a fun time in your life.

  22. Isn’t it great when we have time to stroll around town, getting lost in the streets and finding great viewpoints! Has been years since I visited Valparaiso – but your photos through town bring it back like it was yesterday! Love it!

    1. Agreed – not having a specific agenda is really the best. Glad you enjoyed the post! And thanks for stopping by.

  23. Wonderful images!! Great post, congrats on being Freshly Pressed!

  24. Beautiful city and beautiful pictures! Thank you for sharing;)

    1. It was so lovely! Thanks for reading!

  25. donfitzgerald · · Reply

    Beautiful photos, it looks like you really got to see what Vaparaiso is all about! When I get back to Chile I will definitely spend more time there… thanks for the reminder ;)!!!

    1. No problem! And thanks!

  26. [...] Valparaiso: Step by Step (fiftystatesbythirtyyears.wordpress.com) [...]

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