Most people have never heard of Valparaiso, Chile, but it’s actually one of the most beautiful places in the world. One of the unique features of Valparaiso is how it melds the past and the present into one amazing city. Valparaiso has just about everything – steep hills, a beautiful port, some amazing beaches, and an urban city environment that features great food and entertainment. The city was originally founded as a port city, and while that remains a focus of Valparaiso, today the city is known for much more.
Valparaiso is surrounded by several mountains, including Mount Alegre and Mount Concepcion. If you love skiing, mountain climbing, or hiking, you’ll find all of these activities in Valparaiso. And just like in America, you’ll find plenty of shops where you can rent all the equipment you need to participate in these activities. The mountains are also breathtakingly beautiful to look at, and photographers and painters alike will find themselves drawn to the incredible views.
Another great view is the port. Valparaiso has one of the most important ports in Chile, and it sees hundreds of ships visit its docks every year. The port’s great view of the ocean and the many ships docked there competes with the view of the funicular railways that surround it. These railways climb up and down the many hills of Valparaiso, and they’re work a look. Between these railways are tall, often brightly colored houses and other buildings that watch over the port and provide great places to watch ships sail in or the trains move back and forth.
After exploring the docks and Muelle Prat – a famous wharf where ships from around the world dock – you should move into the city itself and continue your tour. Sotomayor Square is a great place for history buffs, as it features a monument to those who lost their lives in one of the many battles of the Pacific War. There’s also the National Congress and several squares full of interesting architecture and statues. If you love museums, you’ll definitely want to stop by the Naval Museum and the Natural History Museum.
But if you’re ready to get away from the stuffy indoor sights, don’t worry. Valparaiso has a number of beaches where you can swim, sunbathe, build sand castles, or just stretch out with a good book. These pristine beaches are perfect for spending a day doing nothing but having fun with the family. Snorkeling, boat trips, and other water adventures are also available for those who want to do something a bit more exciting.
Of course, Valparaiso doesn’t leave out those who love food. The city has a number of great fine dining options. Shopping is another activity you can enjoy here, as there are a number of small shops spread out across Valparaiso that offer handmade crafts and clothing. The city really does have something for everyone, even if it seems a little odd at first. The interesting mixture of old and new, as well as natural and man-made items, creates a beauty that isn’t repeated anywhere else in the world, making Valparaiso a very unique place to visit.