Valparaiso lies between the ocean and the mountains, with many of its buildings clinging on to steep slopes. To make them accessible, Victorian engineers designed and built and innovative funicular railway, which is still in operation today. Ride vertically in the Polanco Lift to the top of Polanco Hill, and you’ll quickly understand why the funicular is recognised by the World Monuments Fund as an Historical Monument.
The central part of Valparaiso is a labyrinth of cobbled streets and alleys. Many of the houses are brightly painted in a rainbow of colours, and important architectural monuments include the Iglesia de La Matriz del Salvador, Plaza Aníbal Pinto, and Plaza Sotomayor. The School of Valparaíso was one of the most experimental movements in avant garde architecture in the 1960s and 1970s, and there are plenty of buildings in this style around the Pontifical Catholic University
Balance exploring the beautiful architecture of Valparaiso with relaxing nature excursions. The Reserva Nacional Lago Penuelas is on the outskirts of the city, and has some idyllic forest hiking trails. Relax on the sugar white beach of Playa Canelo before returning to the city for a glass of Chilean wine with dinner.