Bike travel, commuting and more


Chile II: Valparaíso, Vina del Mar & Isla Negra

Valparaiso Arquitecture

Nice houses in Gran Bretana street

Visiting the coastal cities next to Santiago

After our few days in Santiago, we took a bus to Valparaiso, just two hours away on the highway. The weather was overcast and it was even raining when we arrived. Luckily our hostel was near the bus station so we didn’t get wet.

Valparaiso view
Great view of Valparaiso from above

Valparaíso is known because it is on a hill facing the see, it has a lot of street art, mostly grafiti, and it was one of the many residencies for poet Pablo Neruda.

Museo Baburizza
Museo Baburizza

It is also the nearest coast for the people of Santiago. And finally it is the main base for the Chilean army and a big goods port.

Valparaíso harbour
Valparaíso harbour

The city is divided between the city center on the lower and flatter area near the coast, and the hills around where most people live. To get there you need to walk on very steep streets, or take one of the famous cable cars.

Valparaiso cable car
Taking one of the cable cars up
Valpo cable car
And going down another

Unfortunately many of them are broken, out of service or abandoned, and many neighbors had signs on their windows complaining about the lack of services.

Abandoned cable car
An abandoned cable car

Despite the average weather we liked the city. There were many nice wooden houses everywhere, apparently owned by descendants of British families that used to trade and live here.

Grafitti in Valparaiso
Some street art on the way

The views from the higher streets on the bay were great, and there were many original shops and cafes, although prices were high, despite being mostly a student city.

Stairs in Valparaiso
Not an easy city for cyclists
Neruda house in Valparaiso
Neruda house in Valparaiso, closed when we were there

One of the days we took the tram along the coast to nearby Vina del Mar, another coastal city but much more upscale, with a nice long beach and many holiday apartments.

Tram to Vina del Mar
Taking the tram to Vina del Mar

Because it was now winter, the city was nearly empty though. Susanne took the chance to meet a University professor in the local university who is also interested in sustainable building.

Long beach in Vina del Mar
Long beach in Vina del Mar

Before going back to Santiago we did a little side trip to Isla Negra, a coastal village where Neruda had his main residence. It is now a museum with all his collections and furniture, and a great view of the coast.

Isla Negra, Neruda's house
In Isla Negra

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1 Comment

  1. katherine

    Ooooh que recuerdos me han traido de Chile. Alla por el 2007 las cosas eran distintas y vaya que los telefericos de valparaiso estan al abandono. Espero hayan comido harta palta y mote con huesillo en la once!

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