Only two hours northwest from the Chilean capital of Santiago sits the eccentric port city of Valparaíso. Some consider it the San Francisco of South America. Valpo, as the locals like to call it, has all the charms of a hillside town overlooking the sea.
Parts of the city looks elegant, refined, and very old, like Europe. Other parts are a mishmash of architecture typical to many South American cities, with neighborhoods climbing up the sides of the city’s 48 hills, surrounding the bay.
It also has various modes of noteworthy transportation (ascensor & trolley bus).
Not to mention a picturesque port near white sand beaches.
I was content seeing just those sites. It wasn’t until our serendipitous art walk that I realized why this city of more than 284,000 inhabitants was so remarkable.
Valparaíso is surging with vibrant street art, cultural displays, and quirky graffiti done by intriguing imaginations unleashed with cans of spray paint.
Life here does appear to be imitating art. The woman causally strolling on the street looks like she posed for this mural.
Here is some of my favorite artwork.
I left my mark on Valparaíso, as it did on me.
To see the rest of my photos of Valparaíso on Flickr, click here.
This city is really worth more days to wander aimlessly about and partake in a unique cultural pastime (without getting arrested, of course).
…and then, she paused for thought.