Corrugated City

Sunday 11 October 2009

Top 5 Wanders In Valparaiso

  • Around Cerro Concepcion and Cerro Alegre.
-Start at the bottom of Ascensor Concepcion on calle Prat and take a ride on the oldest funicular in Valparaiso. Wander along Paseo Gervasoni, past the hotel and then double back on calle Papudo and then take a left towards Paseo Atkinson. Walk along Paseo Atkinson, avoid going into the horribly over-rated and terribly run Brighton and then go right on Beethoven. You'll see the Iglesia Luterana on your right; if it's open go in and have a look, it's worth a few minutes. Walk right out of the church until calle Templeman and take a left past the Iglesia Anglicana (only open on Sundays). Take a right down Pasaje Templeman (there's a silver workshop on the corner) and walk down the steps. Stop at the bottom and look up at the awesome red casa crucero, a house completely renovated by yours truly.

Go left down Pasaje Galvez, down the steps and across Urriola. Walk up through Pasaje Bavestrello and at the top you'll find the other casa crucero in the neighbourhood. Continue down towards the sea to Paseo Yugoslavia and admire the embarrassingly crumbly Palacios Astoreca and Barburizza.

Walk back around and up calle Miramar, taking a left on calle Lautaro Rosas, Valpo's fanciest street. At the end, turn left down Alte Montt and head back down to Cerro Concepcion.

  • Along Avenida Alemania to Cerro Bellavista.
Start at the top of Cerro Alegre in Plazuela San Luis and walk left along Avenida Alemania. There's not much to see along this route apart from the incredible views of the port, Andes and Pacific. Do take a look at the clown museum on Plaza Bismark, though. Keep going until you reach Neruda's house, La Sebastiana, on Cerro Bellavista.

An essential walk to get a feeling for Valpo's history. Start in Plaza Anibal Pinto and walk up calle Cumming. After a few minutes walk, you'll find three cemeteries on your left, Numero 1, Numero 2 and Disidentes. Take an hour or more to wander through the graves of Valparaiso's oldest and most illustrious families and look at all the different nationalities who came to make Valpo one of the richest and more cosmopolitan cities in South America.

After the cemeteries, head across the street to the ex-carcel to see some fantastic graffiti and the cultural centre.

  • Plaza Sotomayor to Cerro Artilleria
Start off in Plaza Sotomayor and walk along calle Serrano. Poke your head into the awesome Bar La Playa for a quick beer. Just past the bar on the same side of the street there's a huge wooden door- if it's open, walk up the marble steps to see what was once one of the grandest offices in Valpo...

Continue to Plaza Echaurren and take a vistazo in Iglesia La Matriz, Valpo's oldest church. Afterwards, keep walking along Serrano until you hit ascensor Artilleria. Take the funicular up to Paseo 21 de Mayo and pay 500 pesos to go into the surprisingly good Naval Museum.

This is a Sunday walk. Wander across Plaza de la Intendencia towards Plaza Victoria. Spend a few minutes in Plaza Victoria admiring the trees and fountain. Walk all the way along Avenida Pedro Montt until you reach Plaza O'Higgins, taking in the Teatro Victoria on the way. Upon reaching your destination, you'll find the stunningly ugly Congress building and a small antiques market.