Valparaíso – Chile (the Center)
Valparaíso, a 1.5 hour drive from Santiago, is a charming town of historical architecture built on 45 steep hills that look out onto the Pacific Ocean.
Cerro Concepción and Alegre are the lively, bohemian parts of town, which probably gave Valparaíso its reputation as a place of poets, painters and dreamers. The city has a great nightlife and is full of multicoloured private residences that seem to be stacked atop each other on the hillside.
The best way to get around Valparaíso is on foot and using one of the 14 ancient “elevators”, remarkable feats of engineering that creak their way up the impossibly steep hillsides. These elevators and the historical sector of town have been listed as UNESCO World Heritage Sites. Interesting attractions include the Museo La Sebastiana, the old home of the famous Chilean poet, Pablo Neruda, as well as the Centro Cultural Ex-Carcel, the open-air museum, the natural history museum and the Museo de Bellas Artes. Head to Mirador Diego Portales for a great lookout, catch a boat ride on the inner harbour or follow the wine route to the Casablanca Valley.
To get back to nature, the Parque Nacional La Campana has beautiful hiking trails. Just 5 km from Valparaíso is Viña del Mar, one of the more chic cities in Chile with modern architecture and trendy beaches.
HOSTAL CASA AVENTURA – Budget Category
Hostal Casa Aventura, a hostel for travellers, is a perfect place to spend a few days relaxing in Valparaíso. The hostel is located in Cerro Concepción, the historical part of the city, and close to numerous restaurants, bars and cafes.
There are 8 rooms with high ceilings, including 3 small dorms, 4 double/twin rooms and 1 single room, all with shared bath and a spectacular breakfast included. The common space has a large table to sit around and socialize, and there is a spotless kitchen with everything a self caterer would need.
Casa Aventura welcomes young travelling families – children below 13 can even come free (although they must be accompanied by their parents…)!
The experienced owners are geographers and will go out of their way to be helpful with information of the entire country (in Spanish, English and German), giving a great atmosphere to the place.
THE YELLOW HOUSE B&B – Flashpacker Category
The Yellow House B&B is a family house located in the historic sector of Valparaíso, on the Cerro Artillería, one of the city’s most picturesque hills. It’s situated in a quiet primarily pedestrian road, just a short walk away from the Artillería Elevator, the Paseo 21 de Mayo, and other major points of interest.
This B&B has breathtaking panoramic views of the city, the sea & port and the surrounding hills, has nice rooms, a cosy feel and a wonderful atmosphere created by your helpful hosts.
Choose from matrimonial rooms with or without private bathroom, a double room with shared bath or a bigger ensuite family room, all with towels included. A delicious breakfast is served and the kitchen can be used for a small extra charge.
They offer different alternatives to make you feel part of the city: maps, walking tours, cooking classes, scuba diving, tours to La Campana National Park, wineries and the Pablo Neruda house in Isla Negra, transfers and discounts in restaurants!
CASA VALPARAISO HOSTEL – Budget Category
Experience staying in the heart of the Unesco World Heritage part of Valparaíso. The hostel’s colourful façade is a regular stop for tourists taking a photo of its famous graffiti. The very cozy common area of the hostel just invites you to hang out and chitchat.
Casa Valparaíso’s strength is their interaction between their bilingual staff and the guests, every 2 to 3 days they organize free activities like ‘national cocktails evening’, pub tours and outings and meals like asado, curanto & ceviche are cooked up to perfection (extra cost).
The hostel has 2 dorms with 8 beds & lockers and private rooms for 1 up to 6 people to choose from and several shared bathrooms. The breakfast is definitely one of the hostel’s flagships, it’s delicious with exquisite fresh juices & fresh warm eggs and you won’t miss it because it’s served till 12 o’ clock!
CHILEAN CUISINE – Cooking Class
One of the best things about Chile is the cuisine! Enrolling in a morning or afternoon class with Chilean Cuisine Cooking Classes is a great way to discover tasty traditional Chilean delicacies while getting hands-on experience with an enthusiastic, expert, English-speaking chef. Go grocery shopping to the local market, prepare a heavenly 5 course menu of your choice and then obviously enjoy it, yummy!
It is a fun day of cultural immersion and you will be able to prepare the dishes when you get back home and impress your family and friends! There is also a combination Casablanca Valley Wine Tour and Chilean Cuisine Cooking Class.
Classes are offered every day so what are you waiting for? Get cooking!
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