The trip to Valparaiso, Chile wasn’t a part of the initial itinerary when planning the three week three country trip with my friends but I’m so glad we ended up adding it because it ended up being one of my favorite cities I’ve been to!
This colorful city is settled on the coast only an hour and a half away from Santiago making it a popular side trip for people heading to Chile’s capital. We were supposed to spend a few days in Santiago, but ended up deciding to go to Valparaiso first, and then liked it so much we pretty much skipped Santiago altogether.
Valparaiso is not a huge city but it’s definitely unique and has a lot of charm. It’s very hilly and there are stairs everywhere. In fact, some of hills are so high and staircases so steep, that they have elevators that you can take to get up and down. The houses and buildings that cover the hillsides are all different colors. As you roam through the maze-like streets, you will see huge murals and beautiful graffiti covering most of the walls. All three of us fell in love with this port city’s charm and we were sad to leave when we finally had to go.
We stayed at Casa Volante Hostel. It was a bit noisy, but had a nice common area to hang out and was in a great location!
Where to Eat/ Drink:
While we were on a backpacking budget, the one thing we did constantly splurge on was good food. Food is such a huge part of getting to know a culture and the we always ended up finding amazing places to eat, so it was worth the expense! Since we were by the sea I definitely wanted seafood. While wondering around looking for a place, I half jokingly whined to my friend Chris, “All I want is to find a place with great seafood and to sit outside on a terrace that’s overlooking the ocean.” Literally a minute later we stumbled upon Cafe Turri that had everything I had asked for and more. This was definitely our favorite restaurant we went to in Valparaiso - we went there twice! I definitely recommend the salmon ceviche (best ceviche I’ve EVER had!) and the pisco sour!
Normally when visiting a country you want to try the local cuisine, but if you’re craving something a little different, go for Thai! Samsara had amazing curries and Pad Thai and the meal included desert! Passion fruit sorbet and lychee cheese cake… need I say more?
Another great restaurant we ate at was Pasta e Vino. This place was probably the most expensive place we went to, but with things like Salmon Curry Ravioli on the menu it’s definitely worth it!
If you’re looking for a fun place to go out, our favorite spot was Brecon’s Valparaiso! We ended up there every night we were in town and made friends with the owner Willy. He even taught me how to make a Pisco Sour! The walls are covered with signatures and sayings and if you look around you’ll find a little Lauren Taylor Creates original! :)
While in Chile you have to try Chorrillana. It’s a local favorite that is basically a huge pile of french fries covered in meat, cheese, eggs, veggies, etc. It’s the perfect hangover meal after a night out at Beacon’s!
Things to Do:
Take a free walking tour - On our first full day we joined the Tour 4 Tips free walking tour. I’ve done a lot of walking tours and this was by far the best one I’ve ever been on. This walking tour goes above and beyond normal walking tours by stopping for a local treat, taking both an elevator ride and historic trolly ride and ending the tour with a surprise - all included in the free-fifty-free price! If you want to check out the street art and learn a bit about Valparaiso, it’s definitely something I would recommend doing! For more information click
Tour Pablo Neruda’s Home - La Sebastiana is the name of Pablo Neruda’s Valparaiso home. He was one of Chile’s most famous poets as well as a diplomat and national hero. His home sits on the top of one of Valparaiso’s infamous hills. The tour is an interesting way to learn not only about Neruda, but also what Chile was like during his time! Plus, the panoramic views from his home are incredible! For more information click
Take a boat ride - We ran out of time, but something we would have liked to do was take a boat ride around the bay. If you go down to the docks you will see a number of boats offering tours!