Known locally as Valpo this is the third largest city in the country, located 70 miles west of the capital Santiago. Established in 1544 Valparaiso was one of the Pacific’s most important ports in the late 19th century, when it thrived as a major stopover for the voyages between the Pacific and Atlantic oceans passing through the Magellan Straits. The opening of the Panama Canal in 1914 and the resulting loss of shipping was a devastating blow, however and the city was forced to re-invent itself.
It has bounced back very successfully and the historic port quarter is a UNESCO World Heritage Site. The area still reflects its former maritime dominance and multinational immigration. It is now officially Chile’s Cultural Capital.
Valparaiso’s attractive maze of cobbled streets and brilliantly multi-coloured buildings, have become a major international tourist attraction, with cruise ships visits becoming ever more frequently. It has become Chile’s foremost educational and cultural centre, with numerous universities, festivals, street musicians and artist and street traders. You can take a walking tour of the street art, a boat trip round the harbour or a ride on what is claimed to be the oldest working trolleybus in the world.
For advice on tailor-made Valparaiso holidays, ring our friendly South America team on 01582 766122 or email us via our online form to start planning a trip.
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