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Perched on the edge of a steep hill overlooking the Pacific Ocean is the colourful bohemian UNESCO World Heritage designated city of Valparaiso. Once the most important merchant port on South America's Pacific coast, this charming city if a fascinating example of South American heritage, and its enchanting character has long been inspiring poets, writers and artists.
This is a city where strolling without aim is one of the most enjoyable ways to spend your days, with outstanding panoramic views from its lofty lookout points, to the bustling port and fishing wharfs and its narrow maze of colourful streets all presenting wonderful surprises at every turn. From remarkable art galleries to quaint little eateries, brightly coloured tin houses to crumbling buildings, fascinating street art, lively bars and bustling markets, this once thriving port-town turned artisan mecca is a genuine delight.
A visit to Valparaiso works perfectly as a day trip from Santiago, but if you have time, it is well worth spending a couple of days here. Santiago is a 2-hour drive from the city and is also the closest airport.
The city is compact and ideal for walking around, however its many hills can be steep and there are a lot of steps to climb when wandering the streets generally. However, there are many of the city's unique historic funicular elevators scattering the city, as a means to help you up.
Summer (Nov to Feb) is the most popular time to visit, with clear sunny days and temperatures averaging 28°C. While temperatures are much cooler in winter, it is usually much quieter and you can still enjoy most of the city's attractions.
Looking for more inspiration? Check out some of our Chile itineraries.
Travel through the most exciting locations in Chile such as Torres del Paine, the Atacama Desert and Valparaiso whilst staying in some beautiful luxurious accommodation along the way.
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