Almost an undiscovered secret, Valparaiso has until recently remained one of Chile's less well known tourist destinations. Since it's classification as a Unesco World Heritage site in 2003 however, the town has become increasingly popular with both Chileans and foreigners.
Valparaiso is a dive into the last century of the great sailors and people coming from Cape Horn before the construction of the Panama canal. This city port has a nostalgic atmosphere, complemented by the laid-back lifestyle here. Some fifteen old funicular systems (ascensores) transport visitors up into the hills of the city, where winding, cobbled streets are waiting to be discovered. A small cruise in the famous bay permits a beautiful view of the houses with wooden façades perched on the dark hills.
The laid back atmosphere here means some tourists may get bored - particularly those who like to be constantly doing something. In Valparaiso, it is more commonplace to simply walk around the city; sample the local coffee, drinks, and cuisine; and take in the beautiful scenery.
Surface area : 756945.0 km2
Population : 16454143 inhabitants