Situated at the foot of 45 hills along the Chilean coast, Valparaíso was a key port in the South Pacific during the 20th century before the construction of the Panama Canal. Thanks to its rapid industrial and commercial growth, the port underwent an urban transformation, attracting thousands of foreigners and cementing its reputation as a bustling South American cosmopolis rich in society, culture, and architecture.
Described by The Guardian as a “Berlin by the seaside”, Valparaiso’s historic downtown was declared a World Heritage Site by UNESCO in 2003 and the city’s cultural and architectural wealth make it a must-see for tourists and architecture aficionados alike.
In this article, we present a guide written by one of the city’s many enthusiasts that will give a complete and in-depth look at the port’s many treasures. The guide is written as if for a walking tour, starting in Plaza Sotomayor, the city’s main square. The route can be divided into two days, with the first part ending at the Palacio Baburizza and the second beginning with the Valparaiso Cultural Park. Take a tip from the experts–if you get lost, don’t trust an app to find your way. Ask a local!