Valparaiso Journals

The San Francisco of South America

Best of IgoUgo

An August 2005 trip to Valparaiso by quinius

Hotel Brighton Photo, Valparaiso, Chile More Photos
Quote: Now declared a UNESCO World Heritage Site, the unique port town of Valparaiso should be on your MUST-SEE list when traveling to Chile. Similar to San Francisco, Valparaiso is a picturesque town located on the bay with hills rising up from the water, filled the with history and authenticity.

The San Francisco of South America

Best Of IgoUgo

Overview

Ascencores Photo, Valparaiso, Chile
Quote:
Valparaiso is separated only five minutes from Vina del Mar, Chile, but they are miles apart in their activities and makeup. While Vina del Mar is more of a beach-style resort, Valparaiso is rich in history and uniqueness. This small port town is similar to San Francisco in that it is located on the bay with hills rising from the water. One the most unique things about Valparaiso are the ascensores. These are small elevators that are used to carry people up the hills. Some highlights of Valparaiso include the quirky house of Pablo Neruda, inspecting the day's catch and grabbing a bite to eat at the local fish market, spending the night at the Brighton with an incredible view over the bay, and a...Read More

Hotel Brighton

Best Of IgoUgo

Hotel

Hotel Brighton Photo, Valparaiso, Chile
Quote:
Hotel Brighton is a classic bright-yellow hotel atop the famous Cerro Concepcion in downtown Valparaiso. It is the most authentic hotel you will find in this port town, with such highlights as the commanding views of the entire city stretching across the bay all the way to Vina del Mar. My dad and I had very differing opinions of our stay here, but this entry is about my opinion, not his. I was used to staying in very authentic hostels that might not have been the nicest, but were definitely fun and interesting, places that you would remember. That is why I loved the Hotel Brighton. This hotel is not for those looking for a generic five-star hotel. For example, there are things that might get...Read More

Member Rating 4 out of 5 on August 3, 2005

Hotel Brighton
Paisaje Akinson 151
Valparaiso, Chile
223-513

Mercado Central

Best Of IgoUgo

Restaurant

Quote:
"Venga! Venga! Senor, aqui aqui, la mejor de Valparaiso!" you will hear as the restaurant owners try and counter each other with a much wiser and more enticing advertisement that the next guy. I didn't know there could be so many "best" restaurants in one town, but they all claim to be just that at the Mercado Central. On the second floor of the market is where you will find all of the restaurants. There is a plethora to choose from, and everyone will say they are the cheapest and the best with the most specials, but really, you cannot go wrong with one over the other. They all pretty much serve the same thing and have amazing specials for around $3. For $3, you get a full-course seafood l...Read More

Member Rating 4 out of 5 on August 3, 2005

Mercado Central
Av. Brasil
Valparaiso, Chile

Color Cafe

Restaurant

Color Cafe Photo, Valparaiso, Chile
Quote:
Unfortunately, my meals were already paid for while I was studying abroad in Chile, or else I would have come to this unique find as often as possible. Color Cafe is a local hole-in-the-wall restaurant on the famous Cerro Concepcion. Therefore, if you do eat here, you get to experience this historical area of Valparaiso and have one bargain of a lunch. If you blink while walking past it, you might miss this restaurant. It is not a big place at all, with only room for about five or six tables. The fact that it was not just another tourist spot is what attracted me most. To go along with the local flavor and atmosphere, they serve excellent vegetarian dishes, as well as non-vegetarian. Each meal ...Read More

Member Rating 5 out of 5 on August 3, 2005

Color Cafe
Papudo 526 on Cerro Concepcion
Valparaiso, Chile

Club El Cielo

Best Of IgoUgo

Attraction | "El Cielo"

Quote:
Arriba El Cielo! Arriba! The bartenders would yell throughout the night. After my first trip to a discoteca like El Cielo, I will never forget the bass thumping the walls next to my ear as I walked up the stairs to the heart-pounding techno music blaring above me. I am not the discoteca type, but when in Rome, do as the Romans. Discotecas aren't really the thing in the States, I guess, but in Latin America, that is thing to do. If you do visit a Latin-American country, then you must set aside at least one night for the discoteca. If I hadn't gone to the discotecas, I would have felt like I had been to Paris and not seen the Eiffel Tower. I'm not an expert on clubs or discos, but ...Read More

Member Rating 4 out of 5 on August 3, 2005

Club El Cielo
Errázuriz 1152
Valparaiso, Chile
+56 (32) 218036

Piedra Feliz

Attraction | "La Piedra Feliz"

Quote:
Although it is mostly known as a great tango bar, we called La Piedra Feliz home on Wednesday nights for something very different. Wednesday night jazz was something we looked forward to every week while studying in Valparaiso. La Piedra Feliz is a stylish, laid-back club catering mainly to an older crowd that brings in different jazz groups every week. It was a great place to relax and a definite change from the bass-thumping techno music you hear all weekend. The bar is similar to any jazz club you would find in New Orleans, with tables surrounding the stage covered by a smoky haze. You can order drinks throughout the performance that are around $5, but that’s not what is important, the music i...Read More

Member Rating 4 out of 5 on August 3, 2005

Piedra Feliz
Avenida Errazuriz #1054
Valparaiso, Chile
+56 (32)256788214729

Pablo Neruda House: La Sebastiana

Best Of IgoUgo

Attraction | "Pablo Neruda House Part 1: La Sebastiana"

Pablo Neruda House: La Sebastiana Photo, Valparaiso, Chile
Quote:
Pablo Neruda is a famous Chilean poet who, although originally known for only his way with words and poetry, is now equally known for his houses located in Chile. All of his homes have a unique flare to them, from being shaped like a boat to the odd collections of various things you will find throughout the house. After winning the Nobel Prize for literature, Neruda quickly became one of the most important celebrities in Chile, and definitely one of the most unique. Neruda had three houses located throughout Chile, La Sebastiana probably being the least known of all of them. Neruda did not live here, but loved this house for its view of the bay and the incredible location for viewing the annual...Read More

Member Rating 3 out of 5 on August 3, 2005

Pablo Neruda House: La Sebastiana
Ferrari 692
Valparaiso, Chile

Pablo Neruda House: Isla Negra

Best Of IgoUgo

Attraction | "Pablo Neruda House Part 2: Isla Negra"

Pablo Neruda House: Isla Negra Photo, Valparaiso, Chile
Quote:
La Sebastiana in Valparaiso is nice, but when you visit Isla Negra, you will begin to see why so many people want to visit these extraordinary homes. Neruda was obsessed with the sea, and therefore this house, located on the rocky ocean an hour south of Valparaiso, was the closest to his heart. Here you will find odd collections of mini-boats, pieces of ships, nautical instrument, and countless other strange, yet very intriguing, memorabilia. You will also find Neruda's tomb here. Isla Negra is different than his house in Valparaiso in that they only give guided tours of the house; there are no self-guided tours. Reservations are recommended, especially during the summer months. Tours can be ...Read More

Member Rating 4 out of 5 on August 3, 2005

Pablo Neruda House: Isla Negra
Camino Vecinal s/n
Valparaiso, Chile
+56 35 461284

Pablo Neruda House: La Chascona

Best Of IgoUgo

Attraction | "Pablo Neruda House Part 3: La Chascona"

Pablo Neruda House: La Chascona Photo, Valparaiso, Chile
Quote:
Pablo Neruda went the extra mile when designing this authentic abode at the base of Cerro San Cristobal in Santiago. I guess once you rise to the celebrity status that he had, you have the power to build houses in the shape of ships, with views that encompass all of Santiago. This ship-like house was my favorite of his three houses. They offer tours in English, French, German, and Spanish, which cost $5 and last about an hour. They have an excellent deal if you speak Spanish, and are a student...about $2! The tours are very informative and thorough, going into great detail about many of his off-the-wall memorabilia, furniture, and collections and why he had them. If I went into detail it would not do ...Read More

Member Rating 5 out of 5 on August 3, 2005

Pablo Neruda House: La Chascona
Fernando Marquez de la Plata 0192
Valparaiso, Chile
2/777-8741

Local Shopping Bargains

Best Of IgoUgo

Attraction | "$1 CD's"

Quote:
If you are like me, you hate spending $15 on an overpriced CD that really only has a couple good songs in it. You finally buy it and discover it really does only have a couple good songs. Then you have the empty feeling in your stomach as you watch the CD sit in your car for months while it never gets played, and you realize you wasted your money. Well, Chile has figured out a nice illegal way of fixing overpriced CD's. They are gonna burn them and sell them for $1 to $2. Guns N' Roses Greatest Hits for $2, sure I'll take it; Coldplay's latest album for $2, yep. I know it may sound skeptical, but they at least Xerox a copy of the CD cover to make it look somewhat real. The actual CD is just bu...Read More

Member Rating 5 out of 5 on August 3, 2005

Local Shopping Bargains
By the Main Plazas
Valparaiso, Chile

Bringin' in the New Year Chilean Style

Best Of IgoUgo

Story/Tip

Pre-Festivities Photo, Valparaiso, Chile
Quote:
Second only to Rio de Janiero, Valparaiso attracts tons of spectators every year as everyone crowds the city to watch the fireworks display. It is probably Valparaiso/Vina del Mar's biggest event, as it draw hundreds of thousands of visitor each year. If you happen to be in Chile to bring in the New Year, there is no better place to be. The actual fireworks go off from the waterfront at Valparaiso, but another great place to watch the spectacle is from the beaches 10 minutes away in Vina del Mar. This is where we viewed them, and it was not nearly as crowded and you could still see them fine. I would recommend Vina for a more laid-back atmosphere, but viewing them from Valparaiso also has its ...Read More