The former principal port of Valparaíso is within easy reach from Santiago along the coast. Colourful houses, boutique shops and restaurants are sprawled across hillsides, reflecting the relaxed and informal atmosphere of the city. Those who wish to soak up the vibrant bohemian atmosphere of the city can stay in centuries-old mansions converted into character hotels and visit one of the eccentric homes of Nobel prize-winning poet Pablo Neruda.
Valparaíso’s famed funiculars were constructed in the late 19th and early 20th centuries to connect the lower and the historic upper part of the city and are officially listed as national monuments to serve as a reminder of the city’s prosperous past. As well as providing a welcome respite from steep hillside steps, they reward visitors with fantastic views of the colourful houses and the bay.