Tourism Ireland

Under $100: Valparaíso, Chile

by Emeri Callahan

Feb 6, 2019

© Mira Agron | Dreamstime

Under $100 / South America

Just an hour and a half outside of Santiago, Chile, lies the seaside town of Valparaíso. The town is characterized by steep funiculars (elevators) from the late 1800s, quirky cliffside homes and streets brimming with colorful street art. An ideal daytrip from the capital city, you can reach Valparaíso via a direct bus for about $4 each way.

 

Once there, get your bearings with a three-hour tour from the enthusiastic guides at Tours4Tips, who start free group tours daily at 10 a.m. and 3 p.m. The tour of the city’s highlights is a good place to start; you’ll learn the history of the town in the main square, take a ride up a 100-year-old funicular and spot all kinds of graffiti along Cerro Concepción. Simply tip your guide what you wish at the end of the tour ($15 is standard).

 

Rest your feet at Restaurant La Concepción for lunch and request to sit on the outside terrace overlooking the port and ocean. The food is delicious and the views are unparalleled. For an appetizer, entree and Pisco Sour, you’ll only spend about $20.

 

Next up: La Sebastiana, the former residence of Chilean poet Pablo Neruda. The English audio guide provides fascinating insights into the life of the iconic poet, who spent his days quietly writing at this eccentric home. Entrance and audio tour will cost you $10.

 

For some free activities, head to Parque Cultural de Valparaíso. The old prison once held dissidents of the military dictatorship that ruled the country for 20 years in the late 1900s, and has since been converted as a place for street artists to express political messages.

 

The neighboring cemeteries are also a worthwhile venture. Grand marble tombs line the streets of the cemetery like marble houses, making for a photo-worthy stop.

 

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