Valparaiso & Santiago

We bid farewell to rural Chile as we depart from Puerto Varas and head to Valparaiso on the coast. We’ve heard cool things about this bohemian city.

The city was founded because of its port, which still functions today. The coast is mostly closed off for container ships and cranes, though there are a few piers, a couple small beaches and some good seafood restaurants.

Our first order of business is to make our way up one of the many steep hills to find our hostel, The Yellow House. There is a lot of funky colonial architecture, in all colors of the rainbow.

The city reminds me of a very miniature San Francisco. The hills are much steeper, the general vibe is grungier, but the whole town is quite small and has more of a community feel to it.

We spend a couple of days walking around the many steep hills, stairways, and back alleys checking out the street art which is everywhere!

Eventually it’s time to leave this funny little town and head to Santiago. To be honest, we’re not exactly looking forward to this, because everyone tells us that Santiago is a horrible place, and that the people are stupid. But we have to go, because we’ve got planes to catch. We arrive apprehensive.

Guess what? Turns out Santiago is not all that bad!

There are lots of parks everywhere. You can even hike through the town for a few hours.

People are keeping cool however they can, with children straight chillin’ in the public fountains, and stray dogs attacking the hundreds of sprinklers. They even have a giant public pool in one of the parks. That’s cool, no?

There’s also tons of street art in Santiago as well, just like Valparaiso.

Alright then, let’s enjoy this place. We stay in a neighborhood called Bellavista, which has a bit of a bohemian vibe. It was a great area to walk around, easy to move to other parts of town by walking, taking the metro, and also a really cool funicular lift to the top of a hill.

Most importantly, there are several rivers made of Nesquik that flow through the city. Free chocolate milk, people.

As we pack our bags one last time, it starts to hit us that we are leaving Santiago…that we’re leaving South America…that we’re leaving this whole chapter of our lives.

How will we live, if not from our backpacks?

Categories: Posts in English

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