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Valparaiso - Pacific Heritage

Valparaiso, ‘Valpo’ as it’s fondly known by locals, has been declared a world heritage site by UNESCO. It has gained a reputation as South America’s most interesting city owing to its picturesque architecture and multi-coloured urban housing spread out over more than 40 hills, creating one of world’s most eclectic, unique cities. Narrow, winding streets line the hills, connected by hidden staircases and ancient elevators still in use.  

Pablo Neruda’s house ‘La Sebastiana’, overlooking the Pacific ocean, is a popular tourist attraction. Visitors also enjoy wondering along the fantastically steep winding streets, lined with small and colorful houses, using the iconic elevators, and visiting the main square, ‘Sotomayor’, housing the Monument for the Heroes of the Pacific War and the National Navy headquarters. Valparaiso is also home to Chilean Congress (in the Plaza Victoria), the world’s oldest Spanish-language newspaper still in circulation, and the world’s most ancient trolley-buses.

Quick Facts

  • Valparaiso was known by sailors as the Jewel of the Pacific
  • The golden age of Valparaiso ended when the Panama Canal opened in 1914 and ships were no longer forced to pass Cape Horn at the bottom of Chile
  • It is Chile’s third most populated city, home to approximately 300,000 people
  • Viña del mar, next to Valparaiso, is immensely popular with Chileans and foreigners in summer
  • The city was very affected by the 2010 earthquake in Chile and many old buildings were damaged

Weather and Climate

Valparaiso has a mild Mediterranean climate, with coastal influence. It rains in winter and temperatures fluctuate between 10-20º C, while summers are much dryer and temperatures fluctuate between 13-23º C. Nearby Viña del Mar is popular with sun-seekers throughout summer months when the beaches in the region fill up with tourists and Santiaguinos.