Groovy chilean city of Valparaiso
The grooviest city in Chile which must be on any traveller bucket list is Valparaiso. Only 90 minutes from Santiago it is a worthy stop to make. Back in the 19th Century the city used to be a moneyed port traffic, until the opening of the Panama Canal which slowed down considerably the activity and economy of the city. This unique town which earned a UNESCO World Heritage is now recovering from its glory time, giving a nightlife, all with a distinct bohemian vibe.
The city centre is surrounded by “Cerros” all different and carrying a picturesque atmosphere. The trendiest ones like Cerro Concepcion and Cerro Alegre offer a wide rage of coffees, restaurants and bars to chill out day and night. The Cerro Alegre bears a special bohemian magnetism and vibrant mojo, defining the unique portrait of the colourful city of Valparaiso, with a flourishing urban arts scene. The Museo a Cielo Abierto (Open-Air Museum) in the Cerro Bellavista was a project initiating before Pinochet Dictator to protect and expose the art of the most Chilean creative artists offering a street open scene to graffiti artists.
Valparaíso has seen generations of musicians, poets, artists, and intellectuals who have spent some time to find inspiration in this peculiar place on earth. The most famous one is the local Nobel Prize-winning poet Pablo Neruda—Chile’s most adored and internationally known artist. His home has been turned into a museum, La Sebastiana, located in Cerro Bellavista, and offers insight into Neruda’s life and art.
We spent one night at the lovely and very comfortable Escalabajo hostel in Cerro Bellavista. A lovely and friendly hostal where you feel like at home.
We decided to get a tattoo—what a better place that the decadent and groovy city of Valparaiso. We went to Neyun Tattoo and got a runner for Andrea (just before he will run the half marathon in Punta Arenas, the southernmost run in the world!) I got a treble clef to never forget the special music of life, and specially the one of this one life travel experience.
Another singular place to see is the oldest bar/restaurant in the city called “Cinzano“- food is not the most refined, nonetheless the vibrant live music show (tango and classic latino ballads) from 8pm to 3am will blow you up! Local artists, famous in the 70’s will give you a delightful taste of Chilean and South American traditional music. Go and grab a drink and enjoy this incomparable atmosphere. After that, the “Ecuador” street was a good option to go get a last drink, you will find plenty of bars in this very lively street.
Valparaiso has been one of the highlights of the trip so far and we really loved our short but intense stay in the “porteña” most groovy city of the South Hemisphere.
Read also this fantastic blog post if you are looking for alternative adventures in Pucon, Chile