Different. Sometimes different is good, sometimes different is bad. We thought Valparaiso was good different.
After 13 months of travel, cities start to blend together—tall buildings, main streets, restaurant row, shopping
district, same, same, same. Valparaiso has all of these “city” elements, but due to its unique geography and
location the “same old, same old” takes on a delightful twist.  
   Valparaiso is located on the coast and is home to a
commercial and naval harbor. That alone gives the city a
bustling atmosphere. But we gave our heart to
Valparaiso when we boarded our first ascensor and
clattered to the top of cerro Concepcion (Concepcion Hill).
Much of Valparaiso sits atop (# of hills, dramatically steep
hills. When we say dramatically steep we mean it. We’re
from San Francisco, we know hills. The hills in Valparaiso
are so steep that the city boasts 17 ascensores, which
are rickety elevator-like contraptions that transport
people up and down the hills. Think of old metal boxes
that travel vertically up and down the hillsides. Jarrod
and I aren’t afraid of heights, but as we watched the
ground recede from sight and listened to the moaning
and groaning of the ascensor we both had thoughts of
plummeting to the ground.

   Safe and sound atop cerro Concepcion Jarrod and I did
what we do best—wander.  In fact, we wandered for
From cotton candy pink to sea foam green, no color is too bold
for the houses of Valparaiso.
three straight days. Luckily for us,
wandering is a highly
recommended activity in
Valparaiso because a visual feast
lurks around every corner. We
first noticed the brightly colored
houses made out of (corrugated
steel). A single street boasts as
many different colors as a box of
Crayolas. As if the houses are not
alluring enough, Valparaiso is
known to be a bohemian artist’s
enclave. Outside the handful of
official galleries, the city itself is
an open canvas for local artists.
Outstanding murals cover all
building sides, cement walls and
staircases. There is hardly a blank
surface left untouched. Some are
official, such as the ones in (insert
mural gallery info here) and some
are more free-form, like high-end
Lawn art in Valparaiso
Erin in front of one of the street murals
   Then there are the works of art that we don’t know how
to classify. We just know that we admire their creativity. Our
favorite was a television set artistically perched in a front
yard with the message “Turn off the television. Live your life”
painted on it.      

   With its artistic vibe and premier views Valparaiso charms
those who are cool with a little bit of grunge and a touch of
funky. We found it a welcome change from the glass and
steel that dominate most big cities.  We place it at the top of
our list of favorite cities in Chile.
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Glamorous Graffiti!
Different Valparaiso
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