Located on 44 hills which cascade into the Atlantic Ocean, Valparaiso was my last stop in Chile and perhaps my favorite. I only had a day here, which was just enough time to get to grips with the rainbow city, but not quite long enough to explore every nook and cranny of the city, something which I would have loved to do, but perhaps which would take a lifetime. Valparaiso is known for its laid-back, bohemian atmosphere, and after experiencing Independence Day in Santiago, and then enjoying the wilds of Araucania region, it felt like the perfect end. From the city, to the mountains, to the sea.

Rainbow morning views from my hotel window

This hotel was incredible – you must check out Hotel Fauna if you head to Valparaiso!

We had lunch in the most beautiful restaurant in an old glass building with sweeping views of the city.

The streets of the city are dotted with amazing street art. You’ll find murals painted on walls and quirky back streets with unique items and cafes around every bend.

Perhaps the best place to get a wide view of the city, port and bay is at the Paseo 21 de Mayo.

Next to this you’ll find lots of little tourist stalls selling Alpaca jumpers and souvenirs from around Chile.

Wandering the streets, you’ll often just find random promenades on the edges of the hill side which open up to sweeping views of the city.

Down at the flat portion of the city, you’ll find traces of colonial history – with buildings from all around Europe.

Valparaiso used to be one of the most important ports in the whole world until the Panama canal took a lot of its business away. Today, it’s still the busiest port in Chile.

The fishing harbor and market are also worth a stop if you’d like to see some local life in Valparaiso.

Right next to the fishing harbor is two long stretches of beach. Although I’ve heard the water is very chilly, it’s popular with locals who come to relax and sit on the sand after work.

Walk along the piers by the fishing harbour to look back at the hills of the city, and perhaps spot a sealion or two in the waters below!

The best way to see the city is to get up high; there are so many view points.

Street art is everywhere, especially in the Cerro Concepcion and Cerro Alegre areas of the city. See if you can find this piano staircase!

Views of the colorful houses built with so many stories and lodged precariously into the hillsides.

A row of colorful houses, cafes and boutique shops.

Sunset is the most breathtaking time in the city, as birds fly over the buildings and the light fades into the layers of the bay.

Goodnight Valparaiso, see you again!

Thanks to Chile Travel for inviting me to Chile and Valparaiso.

All photographs by Annapurna Mellor

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