Valparaiso Travel Guide
Valparaiso Local History
During Diego de Almagro's expedition around South America in 1536 two of his ships stopped by in the present bay of Valparaiso and the area was proclaimed as the bay of Santiago. Two centuries passed with little or no development until finally in 1802 the town of Valparaiso was proclaimed.
Things moved slowly until the gold rush and building of the railway link to Santiago greatly boosted the importance of the port town and by 1880 the population exceeded 100 000. The opening of the Panama Canal greatly reduced traffic to the port in the early 20th century. Following the Second World War, things have improved thanks to the growth of Chile Industry and today the port is one of the most important on the west coast of the continent.
Le Sebastiana This fine museum is located in one of poet Pablo Neruda's homes and honours this distinguished Nobel Laureate's work and life. There are pamphlets available that explain the importance and history of the items on display. Below the house you will find a cultural centre and gift shop. The admission fee for adults is about $2.50; the museum is open Tuesday to Sunday from 10.30am to 6pm.
Museo Naval y Maritimo This well designed museum covers Chile's war of Independence, the war against Peru and Bolivia, the war with Spain and the war of the Pacific. Each section includes a fascinating collection of exhibits and artefacts and is worth the visit. The address is Paseo 21 de Mayo; the museum is open Tuesday to Sundays from 10am to 5.30pm.
Museo de Historia Natural Located at Av. Condell 1546, this museum is housed in a 50 room palace dating back to 1881. The museum showcases the natural history and beauty of the country that includes Easter Island. The museum is closed Mondays but is otherwise open from 10am to 1pm.
Marco Polo Marco Polo, which is based along Pedro Montt is a franchise business all over Chile and is very famous. The food is to die for. And a couple of the staff speak a little English. I taught them.
submitted by Matthew, 11/11/07
Valparaiso Restaurants and Bars
Cafe Turri This restaurant is reportedly one of the best in the city. The entire experience is enjoyable as it includes fine food, scenic views and good service. The restaurant is situated in a converted house of which it occupies three floors. The speciality is seafood although the menu includes an assortment of meat and poultry dishes. Reservations are recommended here; the address is Celle Templeman 147. The restaurant is open daily fro lunch and dinner.
La Columbina This superb dining establishment features three floors that includes a tearoom, a pub and a fine dining restaurant with linen tablecloths and fine antiques. A wood fire oven and live music add to the ambiance and makes for a memorable experience. The address is Pasaje Apolo 91.
Coco Loco For a truly memorable dining experience this restaurant comes highly recommended. It features a revolving dining area underneath a glass dome allowing great views of the city. This is definitely one of the more upscale trendy establishments in town and includes a menu that specialises in seafood although beef and chicken dishes are also available. The address is Blanco 1781; the restaurant serves lunch and dinner daily.
Valparaiso Bars & Clubs
Cinzano While in Latin America, you should know that you are in the home of the Tango and this nightspot is but one of the places where you can enjoy the vibe of this timeless dance. The club hosts dinner dances and live music in an early 20th century ambiance.
La Piedra Feliz Located at Errazuriz 1054, this club has wooden dance floors and a friendly, relaxed atmosphere. The live music arrives in the late evening from Tuesdays to Sundays which really gets the place really gets going.
Bar Emile Dubois Situated at Ecuador 144, this interesting bar come disco is named after the first Chilean to die of capital punishment. The drinks here carry this bizarre theme with names like 'strangulation' and 'murder'.
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