After a 3 hour flight from Punta Arenas, we arrived in Santiago. With a taxi, we arrived at our nice B&B, Marilu’s place, within half an hour. Our neighbourhood, Bellavista, is wonderful to walk around in, with nice places to eat.
After dropping off our Patagonian dusty laundry, we went for a long walk towards Costenera Center, also called the Gran Torre Santiago. A huge modern skyscraper with a mall below. As our old camera lens tragically died in Patagonia, we bought a new one (with camera as it was the same price). I guess this will be our Sinterklaas gift to ourselves!
We had dinner, and went to bed early as the next day we’d leave for Valparaiso.
It was surprisingly easy to get to the city. We took the metro to the bus station, and every few minutes a bus would leave for Valparaiso. We bought a ticket (4.50 dollar each only), and spent 2 hours chilling in the bus.
Once we arrived, we walked the 20 minutes to the city centre to start the street art tour we found online.
As we started the walking tour, our first stop was a funicular ride! There are 16 funiculars in Valparaiso, and they save a lot of steps. This one cost only 30 cents USD.
Street art is everywhere in Valaparaiso. Literally. At this point, it’s part of the culture of the people it seems. Everything must have colour. Maybe it’s because the city is so hilly and all the colourful art cheers you on to keep going up those stairs:)
We ended the tour back in the city centre. The Plaza de Armas of Valpo (Valparaiso) is huge. It also houses the gorgeous Navy building. Needless to say, the navy has an influential history in this city.
Behind the Plaza de Armas is one of the first high buildings in town.
It was fun to walk around the streets looking for nice art. And with our post-Patagonian stamina, it was no problem to tackle the dozens of stairs and steep streets.
In fact, we decided we wanted to see all point of interest in the city centre, and decided to go on another tour of our own design. And so we made it up a second funicular, and oversaw the harbour.
We walked back down, and spotted this beauty:
We decided to walk all the way up to La Sebastiana, the old house turned museum of Pablo Neruda. It was an extremely long, steep climb, but we were rewarded with more shows of colour!
Finally, we made it to Pablo Neruda’s house. It was prettier than expected with the tree in full bloom!
After some empanadas for extra energy, we walked to one last viewpoint over the city.
Satisfied, we walked the half four back to the bus terminal and returned to Santiago. Valparaiso is a great and easy day trip, and truly recommended!