Written by catsholiday on 11 Aug, 2013
Funicular lift or Ascensor in ValparaisoValparaiso is built on a hill ascending from the busy port area. Most of the houses are up the hillsides. In order to allow the residents easy access to their homes from their jobs down in the city and port,…Read More
Funicular lift or Ascensor in ValparaisoValparaiso is built on a hill ascending from the busy port area. Most of the houses are up the hillsides. In order to allow the residents easy access to their homes from their jobs down in the city and port, the funiculars were built up the hillsides in various places. They have become quite an attraction of the city and if you are in Valparaiso then take the opportunity to have a ride in one. It is pretty cheap and lasts only a few minutes but it is experiencing a bit of Valparaiso history and you get a great view from the top.At the height of their popularity there were nearly thirty of these funicular lifts taking residents from the city and port up to the more residential areas on the hillside. Now I understand there are only eight still being used these days. The funiculars were originally built in 1892 and have of course been upgraded and repaired over the years. They have become so much a part of Valparaiso history that they were declared a National Historic Landmark in 1998.The funicular we went in was a bit ancient and scruffy looking and reminded me of a railway cattle truck like. It was wooden and rough with the windows quite high, broken and rather dirty and all in all it was looking its age. However looking at these carriages from the outside they were much more attractive with external bright coloured painting. The attraction of the ride was its novelty value and the very splendid view when you reach the top. As you leave you pass through several local stalls where you can buy drinks and food as well as souvenirs. The stall holders were the least pushy salespeople I have ever come across and we just walked straight passed them and out onto the area outside The view point looked a bit like a park bandstand, there was also a small market with lots of stalls. Very handy for us as we had been travelling quite some time was the fact that there were toilets pointed out by our guide. They were not the cleanest I have ever used but they were okay and did the job.Rather than spend money and time looking at stalls we chose to walk around the streets at the top here and take some photos of the colourful houses .We spent about forty five minutes walking around about four or five streets and alleys taking photos before we had to get back in the mini bus and continue the tour. Close
Written by Mandan Lynn on 11 Nov, 2011
Due to some bizarre circumstances that colored and defined our time in Chile, we needed to rent a car in Valparaiso to drive to Santiago and retrieve our luggage before continuing on to Buenos Aires. We wandered into Viña del Mar, following maps that should…Read More
Due to some bizarre circumstances that colored and defined our time in Chile, we needed to rent a car in Valparaiso to drive to Santiago and retrieve our luggage before continuing on to Buenos Aires. We wandered into Viña del Mar, following maps that should have but didn’t lead us to any car rental places. We finally came across a Budget, but there were out of cars. We were about to start laying out Plan B when we came across William Gonzalez Rent-a-Car. A sign on the door told us that William was in the restaurant next door when we arrived, so we wandered over and asked for him. He emerged after a few minutes and started getting us set up with a vehicle.It seemed pricey, and when we held out a little bit he lowered the price. We still had to cover the cost of the many toll roads, both the roads leading to the city, which you pay at a booth with cash, and the ones within the city that are tracked on a device that the car has, and you pay the rental company after you return the car. And gas is expensive in Chile. All in all, our three-hour round trip ended up costing about $100, but it was much less hassle than any option we could have come up with using public transportation, given our luggage circumstances.When we got back, there was no place to park, so Brent drove around the block while I went inside to ask where we should put the car. William (I admit, I’m totally just assuming this guy is William, I really have no idea) came outside with me and pushed a car forward so that ours could fit in.In Valpo and Viña, there isn’t a lot of purpose in having a car, so you might want to stick to public transportation to save money and avoid the stress that comes when you drive in another country, but if you need a car, William Gonzalez Rent-a-Car is a good place to get one. Close
Written by quinius on 03 Aug, 2005
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…Read More
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 advantages for those who are planning to party till the wee hours of the morning. In Valparaiso, the streets are packed with people, more like Times Square, and they have huge clubs/raves going all night long. This event is nice because it doesn't cost anything to sit on the beach and watch an incredible fireworks display. Really, this area is the place to be for any traveller to bring in the New Year, because they have something for everyone, from the laid-back tourists to the partygoers and everyone in between. Make reservations ahead of time if you plan on coming.
The big news in Chile during our time there was the student strike. University students all over the country were speaking out -- protesting, marching, striking, rioting a bit -- against the idea that they should pay for higher education.I went to school in the…Read More
The big news in Chile during our time there was the student strike. University students all over the country were speaking out -- protesting, marching, striking, rioting a bit -- against the idea that they should pay for higher education.I went to school in the US, where you not only pay for university, you pay a LOT for university. People in more than one country have stared, struck dumb, when I tell them what I had to pay for my education. Chilean students have no desire to go in that direction, and rightly so. They believe you deserve to be educated no matter what your financial background, and they are doing what they can to make sure that happens.In various cities, it wasn't unusual to see college campuses deserted, chairs and desks piled up against fences, roads into the university blocked, signs draped across doorways, graffiti painted on walls, and students organizing marches.One of the biggest occurred in Santiago while we were in Valparaiso, and the students in Valpo staged one at the same time. We were just coming back into town when we noticed spectators lined up on an overpass and in the streets, watching riot-gear-clad cops spraying water at the protestors. As we walked down the street later that evening, our eyes and throats stung with the residue of tear gas -- which, upon asking, we learned had been used hours earlier. That stuff lingers. Even the next day, people were covering their noses and mouths as they walked down the street, and my eyes continued to burn.I don't think I realized until halfway through my own college education that, unlike the US, not all countries require their students to pay such high prices to learn. And it makes sense. What better way to keep the rich rich and the poor poor than by making education available only to those with money? As some of the signs in Chile said, For equality in Chile, keep free education. Good luck, students. Close