At 120 km west of Santiago, Valparaiso is a unique city that not even a town planner could ever have imagined.
Its 45 hills give shape to a natural amphitheater looking to the port and the ocean, while in its narrow plateau next to the sea some streets run parallel to the coastline and others go up and down, zigzagging amidst its ravines.
A swarm of narrow alleyways, long stairways footpaths, viewpoints and houses that seem like they are going to fall into emptiness… which can be accessed by an old funicular railway that goes up and down the sloped hills, and cracks between walls with the sea bottom… that appear and disappear …, these are images of a city that looks up at itself from downtown and of viewpoints and terraces with restaurants that resist the law of gravityThis picturesque, distinctive and multiphasetic Valparaiso awaits its visitors, to explore the most hidden and captivating corners of its entangled city planning.
A number of restaurants, cafés, pubs and hostels have been located on the hills that surround the city center which receive tourists.
In the center, the improvement of the city and port infrastructure include a cruiser’s dock terminal and a long beach coast (coast line) avenue, that in the near future will have tourist services, the largest aquarium of South America and a marina for public use.
One of the greatest attractions is its historical central area, declared a World Heritage Site in 2003.
This city has been an inspirational place for painters and poets, especially for Pablo Neruda, Nobel Literature Award in 1971.
One of his houses, called “La Sebastiana” was turned into a museum and allows tourists to get near to the environment and the work of the great poet. Even Neruda declared his love for this “crazy port”, to this “madness” of a city, saying that if we walk up and down all these stairs we “will have walked around the world”.
For bohemians, the city offers a lively night life in bars, restaurants, pubs, discotheques and ball rooms the city and its hills can be traveled on foot through the different routes marked by stairways, the funicular railway (lift), that are entangled in the backyards of the houses that cross in their way.
By the end of December, Valparaiso’s streets are full of artistic and cultural activities. These are three enchanting days that end with a carnival and give way to the long awaited night of the year: New year’s eve, when the community and tourist take part in the most spectacular and breathtaking fireworks display of the year.
Other typical activities in this city are the nautical ones developed at Baron’s Pier, photography, swimming and hiking. Near Valparaiso is Viña del Mar, also known as the “Garden City”, with its city attractions, casino and beautiful beaches.
42 hills and their different names shape this natural amphitheater. Most of its population lives in these hills. They are never-ending with the stairs that gone up and down through they. Taken together the hills of Valparaíso are an unmissable and a great attraction, especially for the people who want to impregnate of all the magic and history that surrounds this port. Here is where Valparaíso born and here is where people live day by day. You can’t know Valparaíso if you don’t know their hills.
A trip through the history and present in these electronic artifacts which are unique and became part of the world cultural heritage. At this moment, Valparaíso has 14 funiculars and one elevator (perpendicular) unique in the world, has been declared national monuments.
Most of them are located in World Heritage Sites of Valparaíso with beautiful promenades having a panoramic view to the port bay. These characteristics elevators can subdivide in two categories: utilitarian and touristic elevators.
Tour Elevators of Valparaiso (5 to 6 hours duration)
Options: on foot (taking mobilization in Valparaiso) or minibus. A trip through history and the present in these unique and patrimonial electrical devices. In Valparaiso 14 exist at this moment funicular and an elevator (raised perpendicular) unique in the world, declared national monuments.
Several of them are located in patrimonial sectors of Valparaiso with exit to beautiful strolls with panoramic view towards the "Porteña" bay.
They have been operating in the city since 1953, they travel 8 km. between two circuits around the city downtown. Travel in these soft and silent trolley buses is a unique experience for the visitor, because they are the oldest trolley of their type operating in the World – real rolling museums – and because of their usefulness they are a urban symbol of Valparaíso.
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