Valparaíso travel guide

Valparaíso Tourism | Valparaíso Guide

You're Going to Love Valparaíso

Valparaiso is a UNESCO World Heritage Site with its hilly streets, amazing murals, and bohemian atmosphere. Riding the city's funiculars is the perfect way to enjoy the hills and the sights over the Pacific Ocean.

This used to be one of the main Chilean ports, and the port is still one of the busiest areas of the city. You can go people watching on the pier, watch the ships, or shop for fresh seafood.

Valparaiso will surprise you with its intricate streets, brightly hued houses, and rich naval history. The city also hosts many artistic events and is an ideal spot for nightlife and for food enthusiasts.

Top 5 Reasons to Visit Valparaíso

1. The Carnival

Tourists flock to Valparaiso during the last week of the year for the Carnival. A different country is celebrated each year in a series of musical performances and plays before the Carnival ends with an impressive firework display.

2. The 45 Cerros

Valparaiso is built on 45 hills, which gives the city its sloping architecture. You can ride several funicular lines to go up and down the hills and enjoy the amazing sights on the rest of the city or on the ocean. The Ascensor Reina Victoria and Ascensor El Peral are the most popular ones and date back to 1902.

3. The Colorful Houses

You will come across several houses with vibrant facades because metal used to be torn from shipping containers to build houses. Make sure you visit La Sebastiana, the former home of Pablo Neruda, and take a walk through the many residential areas to discover murals and admire the brilliant houses.

4. Museums and Street Art

Discover traditional art at the Galería Municipal de Arte or head to Templeman Street on Cerro Alegre to admire the street art. You will also find an open air museum with graffiti and murals in the Bellavista area.

5. The Street Markets and Busy Atmosphere

Valparaiso's atmosphere is truly one of a kind, with its narrow and colorful streets that attract artists. Head to the Feria Internacional de la Artesanía if you want to shop for handmade crafts, or see some artistic performances and go people watching at the Mercado Cardonal.

Where to Eat in Valparaíso

You absolutely have to try chorrillana during your trip to Valparaiso, a traditional food made with French fries covered in steak, onions, and eggs. J Cruz is the best spot to try chorrillana and other traditional fare. Restaurant El Pimentón is another good option for traditional Chilean fare and a relaxed and cozy atmosphere. Head to the port to find seafood restaurants such as Porto Viejo. Mains generally cost COL$1,900, and you can eat at an upscale seafood place for COL$16,000.

When to visit Valparaíso

Valparaíso in January
Estimated hotel price
$39
1 night at 3-star hotel
Valparaíso in January
Estimated hotel price
$39
1 night at 3-star hotel

Planning your visit to Valparaiso between October and March is ideal since the climate is milder. Visit the area between June and August if you want to go to the nearby mountains to ski. Keep in mind that the city is extremely crowded towards the end of December because of the popular Carnival.

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Celcius (°C)
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How to Get to Valparaíso

Plane

The nearest airport is the Arturo Merino Benitez International Airport (SCL) in Santiago de Chile. The airport is 80 miles away from Valparaiso. You can head to the bus terminal to catch a minibus to Valparaiso for COL$650, take a taxi for approximately COL$77,000 or book a private shuttle for COL$85,000. You can also drive to Valparaiso yourself by following Ruta 68.

Car

You can usually reach Valparaiso by following different well-maintained highways. Take Ruta 68 if you come from Casablanca or another southern location. Ruta 64 connects Valparaiso with different northern cities and Rute 60 connects Valparaiso with Quilpué to the east.

Bus

Several bus routes will take you to Valparaiso but keep in mind that some of these routes are extremely busy, especially during the Carnival. Bus fare between Viña del Mar and Valparaiso should only be COL$350. You can take a bus between Santiago de Chile and Valparaiso for COL$6,400, travel between La Serena and Valparaiso for COL$19,200, or take a bus between Mendoza and Valparaiso for COL$25,700. The main bus terminal is on Avenida Pedro Montt near Ruta 68. A taxi to the downtown area from the bus station is around COL$3,000.

Airports near Valparaíso

Airlines serving Valparaíso

United Airlines
Good (2,482 reviews)
American Airlines
Good (3,919 reviews)
KLM
Good (290 reviews)
Air France
Good (307 reviews)
Turkish Airlines
Good (1,084 reviews)
Delta
Excellent (2,681 reviews)
British Airways
Good (966 reviews)
Qatar Airways
Good (955 reviews)
Iberia
Good (685 reviews)
Air Canada
Good (677 reviews)
Emirates
Excellent (669 reviews)
Finnair
Good (469 reviews)
LATAM Airlines
Good (647 reviews)
Vueling
Good (278 reviews)
Air Europa
Good (97 reviews)
JetBlue
Good (1,156 reviews)
ITA Airways
Good (39 reviews)
Avianca
Good (701 reviews)
Aeromexico
Good (793 reviews)
Malaysia Airlines
Good (24 reviews)
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Where to stay in Valparaíso

The Hotel Ibis Valparaiso is a very affordable option if you want to have a view on the Ocean. You will find more boutique hotels in the Cerros, including the Hotel Boutique 17, Hotel Fauna, and Zerohotel.

Popular neighbourhoods in Valparaíso

Cerro Bellavista - this is a residential area on a hill with a lively vibe. Go for a walk in the Cerro Bellavista area to enjoy the murals, the art installations, and the colorful houses.

Cerro Alegre & Cerro Concepción - this is where you will find the Café del Poeta, a popular cafe and eatery where guests can browse through an impressive collection of books. Palacio Baburizza, an art nouveau house with a museum inside, is also in this area.

Puerto - the port is always busy and is the perfect place to shop for fresh seafood, buy souvenirs from street vendors, or to simply watch the boats.

Where to stay in popular areas of Valparaíso

Most booked hotels in Valparaíso

Hostal Destino Bellavista
Excellent (9.6, Excellent reviews)
$37+
Sheraton Miramar Hotel & Convention Center
Excellent (8.8, Excellent reviews)
$285+
Best Western Marina Del Rey
Excellent (8.6, Excellent reviews)
$136+
Maki Suites
Excellent (8.5, Excellent reviews)
$51+
Hotel Pullman Viña del Mar San Martín
Excellent (8.2, Excellent reviews)
$163+
Gala Hotel & Centro De Eventos
Good (7.8, Good reviews)
$83+
See all hotels

How to Get Around Valparaíso

Public Transportation

Purchase a travel card when you get to Valparaiso so you can ride the bus and subway lines. The subway system is called the Merval and runs along the coast. Fare ranges from COL$200 to COL$1,000 depending on where you are going and on the time of day. There is also an extensive bus network. City buses are called Micros and riding a local route should cost you COL$250, but you will have to spend COL$380 if you are going to a different area of the city. Make sure you ride the funiculars or ascensores at least once during your trip. Fare costs COL$300, and this is the perfect way to experience the hilly streets of Valparaiso.

Taxi

You will easily find colectivos around the city. Taking a colectivo to nearby Viña del Mar should only cost COL$640 and a local route should cost COL$100. Regular taxis can be found by heading to the Plaza Aníbal Pinto or by calling one of these services. Expect to pay COL$300 for a trip within Valparaiso but prices are negotiable.

Car

You can rent a vehicle at the Europcar agency in Valparaiso or use the Sixt agency at the Santiago airport. Renting a vehicle should cost a little under COL$20,000 a day, and you will have to pay an additional COL$9000 a day for insurance.

The Cost of Living in Valparaíso

Shopping Streets

You won't find many shopping malls and department stores in Valparaiso. Head to nearby Viña del Mar if you want more shopping options. The only place where you can shop for clothes and accessories in Valparaiso is on Avenida Brasil. However, the street markets are excellent places to shop for souvenirs, handcrafts, home decor, and traditional clothes.

Groceries and Other

The street markets are the best place to shop for fresh fruits and vegetables as well as seafood. You will find different small grocery stores throughout the Cerros, including Mayorista, Express de Lider, and the Supermercado Unimarc near the port. Expect to spend COL$660 for a quart of milk, COL$1,500 for a dozen of eggs, and COL$600 for a loaf of bread.

Cheap meal
$10.61
A pair of jeans
$70.69
Single public transport ticket
$0.98
Cappuccino
$3.90