British Airways have launched a direct flight between London and Santiago, making Chile skyrocket to
the top of our sun-stalking
hit list this summer. Valparaíso, an artistic coastal town that
is slightly less trampled by tourists than the Chilean capital, is
the place to be for catching some rays while exploring the bohemian
art scene in this colourful city.
Known as the “jewel of the Pacific,” this UNESCO World Heritage
city has unique architectural charm. It’s built up onto steep
seaside hills and is the perfect place to spend a holiday getting
lost exploring its cobblestone alleys while popping between
galleries, pisco bars and Valparaíso’s Open Sky Museum, a maze of
funky outdoor murals.
Follow in the footsteps of Chilean poet Pablo Neruda and visit
his Valparaísan home, La Sebastiana. Overlooking the city and the
Pacific, this house will let you in on the poet’s secrets and
inspirations that led to him scrawling out lines such as, “The moon
lives in the lining of your skin,” and “You can cut all the flowers
but you cannot keep spring from coming.” His love of nature is
instantly recognisable once you set foot in the house. Immense
windows overlooking the ocean and old maps, music boxes and
curiosities such as a preserved merry-go-round horse allow visitors
to peek into Neruda’s artistic world that was so often linked to
the natural one – much like the city itself.
Who to take with you
This is a trip to take with your siblings; running down
candy-hued streets and sampling tres leches cake will take you
straight back to childhood holidays en famille.
When to go
Like Santiago, Valparaíso is a great place to visit year-round
in terms of the weather but spring and summer really top the
charts. From September
the city comes alive with bright blossoms and greenery, while
guarantee non-stop T-shirt top weather and late sunsets.
Most likely to bump into
Bourgeois-bohemians on the prowl for inspiration.
Essentials to bring with you
Notebooks for sketching your fairytale surroundings.
How to get there
Fly into Santiago International Airport and take a bus from
Santiago’s Terminal Alameda to Valparaíso. Busses leave every 15
minutes and cost £5.30 for the one hour and 15-minute drive. Once
you get to Valparaíso, hop in a cab at the bus terminal to get to