We’d been travelling through South America, (Peru, Bolivia and Chile) for about three weeks and our final stop was Santiago. When we arrived, it was rainy, damp and colder than expected so we ended up not doing much that day. Our flight the following day wasn’t until midnight, so we had a full free day. We decided to visit Valparaiso, a coastal hilly town which is about an hour and a half journey by bus. Pullman and Turbus are the main companies that go to Valparaiso, and they run every twenty to thirty minutes. Getting to the bus terminal in Pajaritos required a trip on the Metro so we bought a bip card, loaded a couple of trips and off we went. Tickets for the bus was about US $7.00 and the Metro Red line, roughly US $ 5.00 from our center city location. Santiago’s public transit system is very good.

The drive took us through the Casablanca wine region.

I’ve never seen broccoli and artichokes this big!

Walking through the “old town” with its UNESCO world heritage status, you could tell that this place used to be something very special, now a lot of the historic buildings are in a state of disrepair. Renowned for its street art scene, we were excited to see what we would find. Early in our walk, we began to notice a lot of graffiti on most of the buildings, even the statues and monuments in the parks were not spared. There was lots of political messaging, protests seem to be a regular thing here. Armed with a city map, we carried on.

More scenes from the city.

As we left the city proper and walked through the neighborhoods, we began to see the real art, the beautiful murals and colorful houses perched on the side of hills. The streets are steep but there are some still working funiculars to get you to the high points.

Palacio Baburizza, formerly a private home, now a museum.
Maritime Museum.
City overlook.

Steps, steps and more steps but oh so steep!

Around every corner there’s more beauty to behold. We love walkable cities; you can really get into the alleys and find those hidden gems.

We had mixed feelings about Valparaiso, however, we did enjoy our time there. There was a grittiness to the city that has seen better days. We didn’t like the grafitti on the historic buildings and the fact that most of them seemed to be crumbling and rotting. We loved the colorful neighborhoods, the murals, getting a little lost as we tried to find “the steps” and of course riding the funicular. Well worth the trip from Santiago.


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