October 7, 2010
The buses leave from Santiago
for Valparaiso every 10-15 minutes from Terminal Alameda
. TurBus seems to be the cheapest option at CLP3200/$6.60. The trip only took about an hour and a half. In Valparaiso, we stayed at Casa Valparaiso Hostel
, which cost us CLP9000/$18.60 for a private double with shared bathroom, kitchen, internet, cable TV, and extras! On our first night, the owner of the hostel, Jorge, invited us to enjoy some Pisco sour with him and the other guests. Despite the bickering between Peru and Chile as to who invented Pisco and who makes a better Pisco sour, having sampled both, I think they both taste delicious. Think a whiskey sour, but with a bit more kick. After our Pisco sours, Jorge and his friends invited us all to come out to a local bar and experience some night life. It was then that we were introduced to a drink called “Terremoto”. Terremoto is made with pipeno (a sweet fermented wine) and pineapple ice-cream. Terremoto means earthquake, and the drink is supposedly named because after drinking it, your legs will shake like there is an earthquake… although I’m convinced it’s named for the earthquake in your head that you wake up to the next morning. We parted ways with Jorge to explore a few more bars; there were plenty of hole-in-the-wall places that offered good live music and cheap drinks.
Part of Valparaiso’s Open Air Museum.
The next morning we fought off the terremotos in our heads, and started our walking tour of the city. To celebrate Chile’s bicentennial, the fine folks of Valparaiso have published a bicentennial route that will take you to every nook and cranny of the city. The tour allows you to pick what you would like to see according to how much time you have. We stayed an extra day to do all the tours because they were so great.
Even the docks are magical in this city.
Amazingly, the route is marked in the pavement at confusing turning points to help you along. The maps and descriptions used to be listed here
, but as of my last check this website wasn’t working. Alternatively, this blog
has the tours but no maps… if you pick up a free map in Valparaiso, you could draw the route on yourself (this is what we did). You can also get the bicentennial heritage trail map from Gato Tuerto bookstore at the Fundacion Valparaiso (Héctor Calvo 205). Make sure not to miss Valparaiso’s Open Air Museum where you can see murals painted by revolutionary youth in the ’60s and ’70s. Check out this photo essay
to get an idea of what you will see.
There are scenes like this all across Valparaiso.
Paseo Gervasoni: There are many pedestrian passages like this hidden throughout the city.
Next on our agenda, we decided to stay in Valparaiso and take a day trip out to Viña del Mar, Chile