Overlooking the Pacific ocean, Valparaiso is Chile’s second largest city. It’s the home of the Chilean National Congress and an important Pacific port, with a thriving arts and culture scene and a picturesque historic quarter.

The most notable resident of Valparaiso was the writer Pablo Neruda. His house, La Sebastiana, is now open to the public. Visitors can explore the house to understand more about Neruda’s working practices and inspiration, with Valparaiso itself taking a starring role. The house is perched on a hill overlooking the city and the harbour, with fantastic views over the ocean. Next to the house is a small cultural centre with exhibitions about Neruda and his contribution to modern Chilean culture.

Valparaiso is built on around 45 hills, some of which are incredibly steep. Explore the narrow streets in the historic quarter to find cute cafes and bars, before picking up a souvenir from one of the craft workshops. Instead of hiking the thousands of steps up the hills, head to the “elevators”; funicular railways that climb up and down the hillsides. Built in the late 1800s, they creep past the faded glamour of merchant’s mansions, atmospheric graveyards and some of the best street art in South America.

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Read more on Valparaiso below with flight options, current weather, maps, and activities to try while you are there.

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