They call it Valpo. Valparaiso on a day trip while on study abroad…you can easily go by bus on your own as well, even we took the bus. It is an enchanting city and now one of my all time favorites.
The universities here organize trips for the international students, I missed my Uni trip so I went with La Catolica. A weekend trip with a group of about 40 students from local universities. About 5 were from my program, most from La Catolica. Quite the diverse group, almost all continents represented, or maybe all were there, yeah I think all were there! All backgrounds and varying ages. I decided to go because 1) I wanted to see Valparaiso, 2) I wanted to meet new people, 3) others I knew were going, and 4) I had nothing else planned.
Great idea! I met tons of people and got to see a new city at a lower price than I would have if I went for a night. I did not expect to see it all because I went to meet people and I figured I would return a few more times because it is 2 hrs away. For others this trip was not enough because they wanted to see it all. Bummer because it ran on Latin time which means nothing happened at the expected hours, things were slow to say the least. The guides were not super organized and they wanted to keep the group together, meaning lots of waiting around, ha because adults can take care of themselves and tend to wander. Perfectly fine, although it was quite funny when we all missed the bus and not enough people showed up to take it in the first place because only one person had the tickets, yes they were in my group, and no she did not tell us she was the responsible one who had everything until 10 minutes before that bus departed!!!!
Valparaiso may not be the safest but it is definitely pretty in creative ways, fun at night, and has a great vibe! It is a city on hills, I think there are 8 or so hills in total. I thought it seemed perfect for running…probably only me ….
The City is Chile´s largest port although it used to be the largest in S. America (before there was Panama) and because of all this port business the beaches are not the best here, but Viña del Mar is right next door and has nice beaches. The port is also the reason that the whole city is a UNESCO world heritage site. Large shipping companies tried to modernize the buildings to accommodate for their company growth, but it made the city look ugly and blocked views, so with nothing else to do the City petitioned for UNESCO and got it in 2003!!! Now no building can change the traditional Valpo style. Just imagine lots of colors and lots of awesome art!
Also because the city is hilly it has elevators, some even have them directly to their homes! BTW this is the 2nd largest city in Chile.