I'm having trouble working out where this photo was taken from. By my reckoning, it must have been around Cerros Florida, Bellavista o Yungay but I can't be sure.
Anyway, the most interesting thing about the photo is the huge dry dock to the middle right. Not really being a sea-faring man myself, I hadn't ever really thought about when dry docks were invented, but it's easy to see that the system hasn't really changed much over the years. The photo below is obviously not from the same angle but shows the Sociber (Sociedad Iberica) dry dock that lives in the harbour these days. The Sociber is a little further around the harbour than the 1864 version was.
I wonder whether the sea-lions commandeered the dinky little boats in 1864 like they do today?
Another interesting thing to note is the building with a spire in the middle of the photo. This building was Latin America's first ever stock exchange.
Anyway, with a gay abandon so typical of Valparaiso today, the building was torn down in 1884 to make way for this pretty crappy statue to a Prat and the 'Heroes' of Iquique (there's a British flag wreath there because there was a Royal Navy ship in Valparaiso at the time).
The water used to reach all the way to its front steps until a couple of hundred metres of land were reclaimed. The following two photos- borrowed from Churchy's website-show what the area looked like in 1861 and 1874, with a small dock out the front of the building.
I haven't been able to find out when the land was eventually reclaimed. I'm guessing around the time the building was knocked down, in order to build the Plaza Sotomayor around it? Anyone know?