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Valparaíso Historic Quarter
Valparaíso Historic Quarter

Valparaíso Historic Quarter

Valparaiso, Chile

The Basics

The port city of Valparaíso was a major trading hub in the late 19th century—before the opening of the Panama Canal—and the historic quarter is famous for its colorful buildings and murals. Visit the area, which sits on the coastal plain and surrounding hills to see sights like bustling Plaza Sotomayor and the hills of Cerro Alegre and Cerro Concepcion.

Though some streets are steep, the historic quarter is best seen on a walking tour. Day trips from Santiago and shore excursions from Valparaíso’s busy port typically combine a few hours in the city with a visit to Viña del Mar, a coastal town famous for its beach and it’s archeology museum. Some excursions also include wine tasting in the nearby Casablanca Valley.

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Full-Day Tour of Valparaiso Port and Viña del Mar from Santiago

Special Offer

Full-Day Tour of Valparaiso Port and Viña del Mar from Santiago
star-4.5
$89.10 per adult
$99.00 $9.00 savings
Traveler Favorite
Fantastic tour of Valparaíso
Had a fantastic tour with Daniel as our guide and Emanuel as our driver. Pickup was extremely punctual, and Daniel was extremely knowledgeable about all the things we were going to see that day. His English is excellent, and he did a great job at balancing the English with the Spanish (rather than talking in Spanish for five minutes and then talking in English for 5 minutes, he would change sentence to sentence so that we were all hearing the same information at more or less the same time). We saw a great deal of Valparaíso and experienced some truly breathtaking scenes around the city, which has some of the most stunning grafiti and artwork I’ve ever seen. Daniel also took pictures of us throughout the day in front of various landmarks and scenes, as well as candids, and sent them to us via WhatsApp the next day. Then to finish the day off we went and drank wine at an incredibly beautiful vineyard on the way back to Santiago, a very pleasant end to a very pleasant day. All in all, I can unreservedly recommend this tour and am sure that you’ll have as positive an experience as I did.
nmmtbh5nqt, Nov 2021

Things to Know Before You Go

  • The labyrinthine streets of Valparaíso cause many first-time visitors to get lost; book a tour to avoid wasting time.

  • Steep hills and uneven terrain means that Valparaíso is a difficult place to explore in a wheelchair or with a stroller. That said, sturdy shoes are a must if exploring on foot.

  • Though the historic quarter is firmly on the tourist maps, some parts of the port city have high crime rates; avoid straying far from the main square after dark.

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How to Get There

Valparaíso is about 1.5-hours’ drive northwest of Santiago. To reach the city by car, take CH-68. Buses to Valparaíso depart regularly from Santiago’s main terminal and take about 2 hours.

You can also opt for a day-long tour from Santiago that includes round-trip transportation.

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When to Get There

For blue skies and the fewest crowds, visit Chile during the shoulder seasons, in November and March. Valparaíso is also a great place to be on New Year’s Eve, when the city hosts one of the world’s most impressive fireworks displays.

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Outside of the Historical Quarter

Though most tours only cover the historic center of Valparaíso, there are plenty of attractions outside of the Old Town. Make sure to visit La Sebastiana, one of three former homes of revered Chilean poet Pablo Neruda. You can also head to Robinson Crusoe Island, a deserted island just off the city’s coast where you can go trekking, fishing, or kayaking among unspoiled natural landscapes.

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