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Valparaiso

 

  

The city of Valparaiso (meaning ‘Paradise Valley’) is situated 120km north of Santiago. This UNESCO world heritage site (since 2003) has its roots as the main port of Chile since the country’s independence.

  

The commercial center of the city lies on a strip of roadways and the rest of the city (mainly residential housing) is perched on the steep hills that rise up from the sea.

The immediate visual stimulation of Valparaiso is its color. Each building has a distinct and brightly painted facade.

  

Looking up the hill you see an array of colors divided by steep roads and alleys, in the other direction the enormous port seated on the Pacific Ocean.

Colorful houses on the hills of Valparaiso - Photo Juan Catasus  

Murals in the alleys - Photo Vince Shuley

  

  

The city is full of murals, each one unique and contributing to the artistic feel of the city. Wandering through the many alleys you get the impression that here there is no such thing as graffiti, just expression.

The restaurants of Valparaiso specialize in seafood, with some amazing variations on dishes not seen elsewhere. Walls of all bars and restaurants also have artwork all throughout the premises. Prices are very reasonable and of course the wine is fantastic.

Surfs up at Viña del Mar -Photo Vince Shuley

  

Just north of Valparaiso is the beach town of Viña del Mar. Surfers are out riding the breaks year round and the beaches are very popular during the summer months.

  

A relatively new city, Viña del Mar has grown in recent years with many of Santiago’s elite buying holiday homes there

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