Eco-friendly travel guide to Valparaíso advises how to be a responsible tourist. Learn how to explore the attractions in a sustainable way and how to respect the local people and culture. Make your trip green by supporting locally owned hotels, organic restaurants and other businesses. Read more on how to protect the environment by making conscientious choices and how to travel green in Valparaíso, Chile.
- Air quality: 3.5 / 5
- Exploring by foot: 3 / 5
- Exploring by bicycle: 4 / 5
- Public transportation: 4.5 / 5
- Parks: 5 / 5
- Outdoor activities: 5 / 5
- Locals' English level: 3 / 5
- Safety: 3 / 5
- Accommodation: US$80 - $440
- Budget per day: US$150 - $540
- 1 Responsible Travel
- 2 Air Quality and Pollution
- 3 Respect the Culture
- 4 Top 10 Places to Visit
- 5 Explore
- 6 Eat
- 7 Drink
- 8 Activities
- 9 Accommodation
- 10 How to Get There
- 11 Moving Around
- 12 Sustainable Shopping
- 13 Recycling
- 14 Work and Study Abroad
- 15 See Also
Valparaíso is a Chilean seaport on the South Pacific Coast. It is often referred to as the Greater Valparaíso. It is the third-largest metropolitan area in Chile. The city also serves as the headquarters of the Chilean National Congress and homes two state-owned universities. In the past, Valparaíso was also known as ‘Little San Francisco’ or ‘The Jewel of the Pacific’ by the international sailors because of its dominating position in the Straits of Magellan. Apart from the many national and international significance that this city holds, this city is not that large in the area. It has a total area of 401.6 square kilometers, with an elevation of 10 meters. Also, the population of the city is less than a million. This city's major attractions are the many historical and cultural sites and the amazing Chilean food and local drinks. Since the Golden Age, this city saw high tourism rates as its popularity as a port city started building. Presently, a large number of tourists visit this city. If you are planning to visit Valparaíso, you will have lots of fun in this amazing city. You will find that there are many local Chilean communities present, which means that it is crucial to respect them. You can attend the many local festivals and other social events to pay tribute to the local communities for their hospitality. You can also show them your gratitude by supporting them and helping them grow.
Air Quality and Pollution
Air quality is somewhat good in Valparaíso, but very fine particulates are present in the air. They are inhalable pollutant particles that can enter the lungs and bloodstreams and causes severe health problems. There may be a moderate health concern for a very few people, who are especially sensitive to air pollution. The noise pollution and water pollution are also almost at the same level. Local people here try their best not to contribute to increasing the pollution.
- PM10 – 34
- PM2.5 – 16
- PM10 Pollution Level – Moderate
- Pollution Index – 54.55
- Pollution Exp Scale – 96.49
Respect the Culture
Cultural respect is about showing gratitude towards others and their values and beliefs. It is important to respect other cultures especially as a traveller visiting a foreign land. It may upset and deeply offend the locals if they observe you nitpicking or downgrading their lifestyle and culture. There are many cultural festivals in Valparaíso that you can be a part of to thornily enjoy your trip. You can also visit Valparaíso's staple places, i.e., mythical mountains surrounded by colorful street arts, bars, and restaurants.
Top 10 Places to Visit
- Street Art: Valparaíso is also known as the graffiti capital situated in South America. The best place that showcases graffiti arts is a museum which is called Museo a Cielo Abierto. The museum is home to about 20 colorful and classic murals, which have historical importance as well. To reach the museum, there is an elevator called Ascensor Espiritu Santo. This elevator is made to take the tourists to the museum. Moreover, the whole city is covered with graffiti and street art. These graffiti displays and street art makes the paths and avenues of the city look more alive yet cozy. One of the best places to observe popular street art is a street named Temple man street situated on the Cerro Alegre.
- Caleta Portales: Expérience the true essence of the city at Caleta Portales which is like a small cove with a beach, fish market, restaurants and what not. It will allow you to have a day filled with activities. You can enjoy the gorgeous view from the beach, spend a couple of hours sunbathing then taste some of the best seafood the country has to offer. Many pelicans are around the area as well so plenty of things will keep you occupied and will be fascinating to witness. If you are a foodie or just love the beach then this place is a must visit for you.
- Bar Cinzano: Bar Cinzano is a traditional bar located in Valparaíso. This bar is located near the harbor. It is famous for its visitors, who are basically guests and parishioners. They have been receiving these guests for the last 116 years. Cinzano is also famous for its good food and amazing music. If any visitor love to eats Creole food, this is a perfect place for them. This bar serves you delicious Creole food. Along with Latin American music, which is usually soothing to the ears. Sometimes it also gives a chance to upcoming bands and new musicians.
- Cerro Alegre:Cerro Alegre is basically a mythical mountain and is one of the best cultural icons of Valparaíso. This mythical mountain is traditionally surrounded by bars, restaurants, culture, and colorful street art. For the convenience of the tourist, an elevator called a Peral elevator is installed. The elevator is situated on the side of Plaza Sotomayor. Cerro Alegre is a place that encompasses an amalgamation of cultures. The place is bustling with people belonging to Chile, and not just natives but foreigners also who come to visit here are seen making arts in their own ways. The streets here are filled with people performing various forms of art like juggling, mimicking, etc. Various performances are also held here, including performances of music and poetry. This is a place loved by people like various forms of arts.
- Paseos and Walks : Although hills and mountains surround Valparaíso's city, its center is built very strictly following a city plan. There are many paseos which are designed very beautifully. Along the paseos, many lovely walks are also designed. Some of the beautifully designed walks are the Carvallo walk and Ruben Dario walk. These walks are built alongside the city's beaches and coastline as every city has some good and bad points. This city's bad point is that you will have to encounter a trip through the nostalgic and traditional roles to go through the city. Trolls are old and traditional buses which you will have to ride to pass through the city's historic center.
- La Sebastiana:: La Sebastian is a significant part of a great writer who also won the Noble Prize for Literature. The name of the winner is Pablo Neruda, a resident of Valparaíso in Chile. The home where he lived is unique and embodied with modernism. His home is now transformed into a museum. This museum gives you an insight into his story. A separate space for keeping the exhibits is also attached to the museum. The entrance inside the museum is based on a first-come, first-serve basis. Therefore, it is advised to plan a thorough visit so that you can reach here safely.
- Cerro Concepcion: This is one of the favorite tourist destinations of tourists from all over the world. The place is filled with many restaurants, as well as viewpoints. The two best restaurants and also the most reputed ones are Abtao and the Paseo Gervasoni. The best viewpoint over here the Mirador viewpoint. Cerro Concepcion is also home to many unique galleries consisting of various forms of art. Many quaint shops are also situated here. The way to the Cerro Conception is steep. But the climb here is worth all the hard work. Afterward, there are many fascinating things like murals, which are colorful as well as lively. The colorful walls are covered with these murals. Once you reach the top, the view from there is spectacular.
- Plaza Sotomayor: Plaza Sotomayor serves as a home to the culture, art, and history of Valparaíso. Because of this reason, there are a lot of things in which tourists can explore and experience an insight into the life of anyone. The plaza Sotomayor is dedicated to Rafael Sotomayor. This city square is trendy and is situated in the heart of the historic district of the city. Visitors are allowed to visit the Navy headquarters of Chile, which is near plaza Sotomayor. The museum pays homage to sailors who fell at the plaza's central monument, which is solely dedicated to a well-known battle called Battle of Iquique. Later on, the visitors can also visit the National Council of Culture and the Arts at walking distance from Plaza Sotomayor.
- Valpasario Historic Quater: Valparaíso historic Quarter has been declared as a world heritage site by UNESCO in the year 2003. This place is popularly called the Jewel of the Pacific. Another popular name given to it is Chile's version of San Francisco. Although it is called so, this place is incomparable. Once you come here to visit, you yourself will come to know why this place is incomparable. The city is divide into two parts, and the first part is the flat section. In this part of the city, you will be able to locate the bus station, port, and the market, The second part of the city, contains a more eye-catching view.
- Baburizza Palace: The Baburizza Palace was constructed in the year 1916. Bubrizza Palace is dedicated to a very famous businessman belonging to Croatia. The name of the businessman was Pascual Baburizza. The businessman started living here in the year 1925. Although his life, he collected various paintings from artists all over Europe. When he died, all his collection was transferred to the government of Valparaíso. At present, the Baburizza Palace serves as the home to Museo de Bellas Artes, one of Valparaíso's best fine arts museums. For the tourists' convenience, a cafe is constructed on the palace premises, which has proved to be one of the great places where tourists can relax and enjoy a cup of coffee along with a great view.
Valparaíso is known for its steep fun and colorful cliff-top houses. La Sebastian, the former Chilean poet Pablo Neruda's former residence, is now a museum with stunning Pacific Ocean views. In the nineteenth century, a stream of European immigrants left their mark on the city's architecture and cultural institutions, many of which gathered around Sotomayor Square in the city center. You can explore so much in this beautiful city, from city parks to museums, and many fun zone centers are there for kids. You can also experience Chilean culture here, and it will also help you create unique memories with your loved ones. It is a worth visiting city in the world. Here you can explore so many beaches also, Playa Torpederas is the must-visit beach here, it helps you escape from the city for a while to relax.
- Plaza Sotomayor Park
- El Litre Public Park
- Plazoleta Terra Placeres Park
- Plaza De La Victoria Park
- Nativo La Quebrada National Park
- Palmar El Salto National Park
- Roca Oceanica National Park
- Campo Dunar Punta Concon National Park
- Reñaca beach
- Playa El Sol
- Playa Reñaca
- Las Salinas
- Cerro Alegre
- Paseos and Walks
- Bar Cinzano
- Caleta Portales
- La Sebastiana Museum
- Naval and Maritime Museum
- Baburizza Palace
- Museo de Historia Natural de Valparaíso
Valparaíso has a variety of cuisines that you can enjoy while visiting this place. Ajiaco or meat soup is very famous here; it is a particular soup prepared with roasted meat leftover from the barbeque. Many other types of dishes and meals attract many locals and tourists. You can visit traditional restaurants also to enjoy their typical meal.
Traditional Local Restaurants
- Blackbird Cafe
- Pikk's Tavern
- Restaurante Don Quijote
- Tomato Bar Pizza Bakery
Vegetarian and Vegan
- Meditrina Market Café
- Boreal Vegan
- La Boca Del Oso
- Nitan Gourmet
- Empanada de Mariscos
- Grilled Reinata
- Empanada de Macha
- Lengua de Vaca
- Arrollado Huaso
- Mote con Huesillo
- Pisco Sour
Valparaíso's Department of Water Works is proud of its high water supply quality, which meets all drinking water standards. Here tap-water is also of very high quality that you can drink without any further filtration. People with delicate stomachs can also drink tap-water here. It is safe as it meets all the drinking water quality requirements. The public water system uses many water resources, including lakes, rivers, ponds, reservoirs, and groundwater wells, and provides you with the best quality drinking water.
- Roots Market Café
- Uptown Café
- Fluid Coffee bar
- Le Peep
- Windmill Brewing
- Chesterton Brewery
- Four Brother's Brewing
- Ironwood Brewing
- Hunter Brewing
You can do a lot of fun in Valparaíso with your family and friends as there are so many things and adventures to do. You can also visit games and entertainment centers, not only kids but adults also enjoy playing there. Art galleries, museums, parks, and so many places are there in Valparaíso to spend your quality time and learn about the city. You can also shop in local markets here to try out different kinds of outfits other than your country or city.
Yoga and Retreats
- Yoga IPA Sala Gandhi
- Espacio Durga
- Fit Pilates Academy
Valparaíso is a port city with a total area of around 400 kilometers square. It is the reason why there are fewer accommodation options. Still, these options vary and are classified into different categories, depending on the facilities you want and various situations that suit it. There are little villas and resorts to enjoy a premium luxury lifestyle in this city. It comes with some premium facilities such as spacious rooms, a private pool, Jacuzzi, etc. Other than this, there are a few three and four stars hotels available for accommodation. There are many rushes in these hotels during peak seasons that are best to visit in the city. Therefore, it is advised that you must free to book them online. Pre-booking hotels online will help you get different types of discounts, and also, these hotels launch various offers to attract customers like another package. You will get another day and night free or two days and nights free etc. While booking the tickets online, you must note that you only book at the genuine sites because there are cyber scams when any person books the hotel with a fraud website. The other categories include green hostels, guesthouses, apartments, camping.
There are few green hotels which are present in the city and are ready for accommodation. Green hotels are different from ordinary hotels as they are certified by the higher authorities as they are known for their eco-friendly methods to serve their customers. These hotels do not harm nature and create significantly less amount of pollution. Also, the cosmetics they use are organic and have less presence of chemicals in them. The bedsheets and towels are made up of cotton and are hand-stitched. They have large reservoirs to store water, and from there, they use rainwater harvesting.
- Holiday Inn Express and Suites in Valparaíso
- Wood Residence Hotel
- Hotel Cirilo Armstrong
- Winebox Valparaíso
- Hotel Ultramar
Hostels and Guest Houses
There are not many of the hostels present here, but the present ones are clean and hygienic. Along with it, you also get a separate kitchen so that you can cook your food. You can buy the essential products which will be needed from the nearby supermarket because you do not get much of the facilities here. As there are not many facilities, the rent or charge of these hostels is significantly less. Some guesthouses are also present. Guesthouses are the opposite of the hostel because you only get a room that is generally shared by two people in a hostel. In a guesthouse, you get a whole house on rent. These are best for those who are traveling with a large group.
- Escarabajo Hostel
- Valparaíso Hostel
- Hostel Casa Valparasio
- Hostal Acuarela
- Lemuria Hostal
Apartments are those flats that are available for rent. The rent of an apartment is charged based on a fixed duration rather than charging per day. Apartments are the best accommodation options for those who want privacy as well as their own flats. These apartments have a kitchen where you can cook your food. Cooking your food is beneficial for your health as well as it will also support your budget. The security of an apartment is efficient enough to keep the entire apartment safe and fair.
- Andover Park Apartments
- Compass Pointe Apartment
- Vale Park Village Apartment
- Uptown East Apartment
- Average Apartment
Couchsurfing involves staying at a locals house for free. The local with whom you are visiting will not charge any amount from you. If you want to help the locals, you can support them by assisting in daily household work or purchasing household products such as fruits or vegetables. Some fake hosts cancel the meeting at the end of the time, which causes trouble for the tourist. Therefore, you must keep an additional accommodation option with you. You can befriend the local, and he will help you to know the city in detail. He can also tell you various scams that happen to the tourist who is new to this city.
Camping is an adventurous activity that involves observing the night sky. It is an accommodation option also because at camping you sleep and live in a tent. There are different camping grounds present in the city. Other than camping grounds, you can also camp on several beaches. Camping on the beach is better than camping on extensive and open grounds because the sand that is present ton the beaches relaxes your body and the sea breeze helps you get a night of better sleep. However, it is a temporary accommodation option because after a specific time you will start getting bored. Therefore, you must use this accommodation type only for fun and enjoyment rather than an accommodation option.
- MINE Lake Campground
- Sandcreek Campground
- Camp Lawerence
- Camp Butternut Spring
How to Get There
Valparaíso does not have its airport. The closest airport to this city, which serves Valparaíso, is Vena Del Mar Airport. There is no airport present in Valparaíso because of its size, and it is also a port city. Other than this, you can reach here by ferry or cruise ship. Also, there is no other direct way to get here. You can travel intercity from the neighboring cities by buses or cabs. Different travel options will charge differently as they will take additional time to reach from one place to another. But concluding it, there are only two ways to get here directly.
This city does not have its airport because of the area of this city. The nearest airport is present in Vena del mar, which is only 15 km away from this city. It is a public as well as a military-type airport. This airport is not a huge but a compact airport with its route connected with some cities. Other than this, the airport is present on the hill so you can see nature and cliffs while standing at the airport. Else to this, other nearby airports are around 115 km away from the city. That airport is well established with a lot of flights reaching there.
There are no international bus facilities in this city because it is present at a corner of this country facing waterbody. However, there are intercity buses which can help you to reach this city from the neighboring services. Other such buses can be pre-booked online, saving a lot of paper and time. Other than this, there are different buses which cost differently and take additional time to reach here.
There are no international trains facilities which are present in the city. International trains are those trains which run from one country to another. Trains are a good travel option when you want to save time and money. The trains' seats are comfortable, and you can even sleep on them for the night journey. There is a canteen present on trains to purchase some snacks and beverages during your trip. There is a railway line of length around 187 km, which connects Valparaíso to Chile's capital city.
Hitchhiking can be done in this city from the neighboring towns. There are national highways that connect the city from other towns to be present on these highways. You must attract vehicles to help you. Also, the crime rates are moderate to low, which means that you will not get robbed or any other crime will not happen to you. However, hitchhiking can be a very lengthy process because sometimes you might not get a lift for hours. The locals may not stop to help. Therefore, you must try this only if you have the time and patience.
Other ways include a ferry or a cruise ride as it is a port city. There are different ferry rides, which can be used to reach the town, but the cruise ships are limited to some of the countries which are present nearby. There is a drawback of traveling by waterways that it takes a long time to reach the city. So, if you have a lot of time with you, you should use it as a transportation mode to get to the city. Another way is by hiring a private taxi to reach her. It would be best if you employed a taxi only in emergency conditions because using a taxi can cause a lot of pollution. The engine vehicles emit a lot of smoke from them. Also, taxi scams happen a lot of time with tourists as they are new to the city and do not know the standard rates.
Moving around in this city is very safe; however, you must be careful while traveling at night because some robbery cases have happened to travelers traveling at night. There are different options in the city to travel to. These additional options cost differently and take extra time to help you reach your destination. You can even try walking and cycling in the city to move around. Walking and cycling are beneficial for the body as it helps you to remain fit.
Walking in the city is beneficial for your health and will save you a lot of money during your visit. There are various city parks when you can walk and explore nature. In some of the gardens, there are walking tracks present where you can walk. Besides the gardens, the streets are also safe to walk on; therefore, you can explore many things in detail while walking around the city.
There are bicycle rental shops available in the city that provide rental bicycles. Other than this, there are Various second-hand stores with a sales bicycle to purchase from them if you're staying longer. You can use cycle paths, but you must be careful as many locals come to jog or play. Other than this, cycling is good for health as well as it will also support your pocket.
There are electric vehicles present in the city which are owned by the locals themselves. These vehicles enjoy various privileges like they get free parking at the airport or any other public places. These privileges are given to them to increase electric vehicles' consumption and reduce engine-operated cars. There are electric taxis that are also present for public use. These taxes cost lesser than regular engine operated vehicles. Electric vehicles help cut down pollution, and it also does not use natural fuel to run itself.
There are many local buses present in the city which will help you to reach your destination. You can even book these buses online to save paper. If you are paying in cash, then you must know that you must have exact change with you. Buses can take a lot of time sometimes because they have their fixed route. There are electric buses that are also present in the city in fewer, but the government is trying to increase electric buses' usage.
Tram, Train and Subway
There are fewer trains which are available to move around the city. Other than this, there are metro lines that you can use to move around the town. Along with it, metros are useful when you are running short of time and want to reach someplace. The metro trains do not cost much. You can meet a lot of locals while traveling via metro trains.
Everyone wants to buy those products which do not harm nature because nature is suitable for everyone. These products, known as sustainable products, do not abuse nature; therefore, they are preferred by most people. The production of these products requires many people; consequently, it generates a lot of employment. Other than this, these products are economical, which means they do not cost much—many products, such as handicraft items, second-hand items, sustainable clothes, flea markets, etc. The only problem with the second-hand market is that it does not guarantee; therefore, you must check the product before buying it.
The food market is of two types; grocery stores and food stalls. Both are sustainable at their own specific points. Some of the grocery stores sell organic fruits and vegetables. These organic fruits are good for health as they are grown naturally. These fruits and vegetables are freshly brought from farms. However, organic ingredients are slightly costlier than everyday products because their ingredients take time to develop. Other than this, there are food stalls that sell ready to eat food dishes made in front of your eyes as these dishes are made in front of your eyes to be satisfied with the quality and hygiene maintained while preparing these dishes.
- Town and Country
- Old World Market
- Sunrise Health Food
- Strack and Van Til
Flea markets consume a lot of lands. These are good for those who want to buy vegetables and fruits in bulk quantity. Usually, these markets are conducted by farmers who sell their vegetables and fruits individually on a collective ground. If you live in an apartment or at any place where you can cook your own food, then these are the best market. As the quantity is in a bulk form, so the price gets reduced a lot. These markets are occasional, which means that they occur on a specific day of every weak at a particular place. You can even bargain to get the desired rate.
- Chesterton's European Market
- Buyers Flea Market
- Swap o Rama Flea Market
- Wolff's Flea Market
Second Hand Stores
There are many stores present in the city that are ready to sell second-hand products. There are different shops for different categories of items. One can who want to sell a product can contact these shops. Along with this, second-hand products are useful in eliminating waste. The product that is sold as a second-hand product would not be dumped in an open landfill. These second-hand products do not cost too much as there is no additional raw material required to produce a new product.
- Bethesda Thrift Shop
Eco-fashion clothes are also known as sustainable clothes. These clothes are sustainable because they are made up of natural fabrics rather than using human-made fabrics. Also, the dyes which are used to color these products are made up of raw materials. These products require more handwork and less machine work; therefore, these products help generate a lot of employment. You must buy these clothes as they will help and support the local.
- Van Hussein
Recycling is a good activity which helps in protecting nature. There are recycling plants which recycle a lot of different things. The most common recycling item is the newspaper. The recycling of these newspapers saves a lot of trees from cutting down. There are a lot of other things which are also recycled. Recycling means reusing the product by giving it different shapes and sizes.
Waste is those products that are of no use; therefore, they are needed to be treated so that they cannot cause the problem. A landfill is a prominent place where all the garbage dumps collectively. From these landfills, if these are kept untreated, then it can cause create pollution. Other than this, incineration involves decomposing waste using thermal energy. These two are the main ways to treat waste. However, other forms may include selecting products that can be recycled out of garbage. It also helps in eliminating a lot of garbage.
Work and Study Abroad
There are a lot of job opportunities available in the city. These opportunities entirely depend on our education qualifications and skills you have. There are some other jobs also available such as guide, waiter, receptionist, and others. The various organizations have various kinds of work; therefore, you must contact them through social media or otter ways. It is a port town; thus, many education and universities are not present here. There are various job-seeking agencies which will help you to find the correct job.
It is a program that is built for students. The program is beneficial for students as it helps them to boost their self-confidence and independence. It helps a student to get a fresh start. The program is entirely free, and you only have to pay for living there. A college student is sent to another college in different cities or countries to complete their remaining semester in this program. Not everyone gets a chance to be a part of this program; therefore, you must be useful in education. There will be an entrance exam which will decide whether you can be a part of the program or not.
An au pair is a person who lives with the local, and in exchange, he helps the family by taking care of the child. This type of job is less available in the city because of the small demand for these people. The reason behind it is that there are fewer families who have working parents. Besides this, au pairing work will not help you gain some money because there is no money involvement. In exchange for your work, the local provides you with shelter and meals. You have to do a hard job to reach such families. It is a very responsible work, and you must handle the child carefully. People prefer the au pair rather than a babysitter because many of the babysitters only want money and do not want to perform any service. Therefore, if focused on the local's preference, they would prefer an au pair instead of a babysitter. Also, crime rates are low. Consequently, you can befriend the locals and their families. As the crime rates are low, the family can trust you but not entirely.
There are some volunteering organizations present in the city. Out of these, some help the government by cleaning various tourist spots and beaches. Some make people aware of different types of pollution and the harms of it. Out of these, other organizations help the needy. Some visit villages where there is less education and educates them. In conclusion, the organizations present in this city are active and always focus on expanding their team. You can contact these organizations through social media or the internet. You can also directly visit their office where you can see their works. You won't be paid for what you are volunteering because it is out of your own want.