Viña del Mar to Valparaíso
I got up pretty early, packed up my things, then headed downstairs for breakfast. Best South America breakfast award goes to Resedencial Jaguar Hostal!!! There was juice, yogurt with fruit and coffee, AND THEN I was served scrambled eggs with toast, YUM! I still am having a hard time believing I actually had that for breakfast in South America…
My goal was to make a 10 am free walking tour (tours4tips), but of course made it to my hostal, Casa Verde Limon, by 10 am.
Wandering the Streets of Valparaíso
I settled to do the one at 3 pm. I was able to drop off my things, armed with a map and some advice I set out to discover Valparaíso. I started by just wandering up alleys and walking through the Museo de Cielo Abierto, an open pathway with incredible views of the city and great murals from famous artists.
La Sebastiana – Home of Pablo Neruda
Noticing I was near Pablo Neruda’s house, La Sebastiana, I decided to check out the museum I have heard so much about. It was so worth the 4$! The tour was great and it really sparked an interest for me in Pablo Neruda.
He seemed like such an interesting man, which was truly reflected in his house. I could have gotten use to the views as well….
Breathtaking views from Calle Armenia + La Peral Lunch
I then walked calle Armenia, which is known to have some of the better views of port (which it did) and then made by way down to the port itself. I headed back up into Cerro Alegre (taking the famous ascensors) and got some lunch at La Peral. The food was great and the views were amazing. Felt really good to eat tasty food after my experience at the Chinese restaurant the previous day.
Tours4Tips Walking Tour of Valpo
Next I walked down to Plaza Sotomayor to meet for the free tour. The tour was great!! I did it in Spanish and learned so much about Valpo while meeting very cool people. We walked around Cerro Alegre and Cerro Concepcion, tried some Chilean alfajores, walked through some amazing walkways filled with graffiti, learned more about what it means to be an UNESCO World Heritage site, and finished the tour by seeing an old house and trying tcahi (a Chilean drink of partially fermented wine). She also gave us information on gold restaurants and bars to visit that night.
Colectivo Boat Tour of the Valpo Harbor
After getting some information on how to do wine tasting the next day I headed to do a boat ride. They do colectivo boat tours to see an expansive view of Valpo from the water along with lobomarinos for $3000CLP. I was hoping to do mine around sunset… faulty planning. IT WAS FREEZING. I got out there just as the sun was set and the temperatures dropped dramatically, especially being we were on a boat. The views were great and the lobomarinos were cool, but I would highly recommend doing it during the heat of the day.
Great Chilean Dinner at CinZano
I went back and relaxed for a bit at my hostal then headed out to CinZano, a famous Chilean restaurant, for dinner. I was immediately deterred by the sign out front that read “tourist restaurant and bar,” but decided to look inside anyways. Inside there was a live band and tons of native Chileans enjoying a dinner on the town, I chose well! My server was great; when my phone wouldn’t connect to wifi he turned on his personal wifi so that I could connect to it.
I had him get me his favorite dish on the menu; Reinada fish with a cream based seafood sauce. My dinner was great, but what the real treat was the pebre sauce they served with the bread. It was delicious!! I learned later that it is a very common Chilean sauce, spicy with tomatoes and maybe a little cream. Yum!
Terremotos and New Friends
I finished off my evening by meeting up with a group of students from clemenson, studying in Córdoba Argentina, for the classic terremoto drink of chile: partially fermented wine, Pisco, grenadine, and ice cream. They’re called terremotos (earthquakes) because after a couple you’ll be crawling home on your hands and knees like there is an earthquake hahah. There was live music and I had a really fun night. The people were awesome, I was bummed that I didn’t get to spend more time with them. Although I didn’t crawl home, I definitely felt the pain of those terremotos the next morning !
For my final day in the region I went on a solo-expedition of the Casablanca Wine Country – read here!