A full day trip from Valparaiso is the hike up Cerro la Campana. Darwin made the trip up in 1834 and declared it one of the highlights of his journey. It's a 3-4 hour, reasonably tough but non-technical hike up to the top where you will be rewarded with incredible views of the Andes (including Aconcagua, the highest mountain outside of the Himalayas) on one side and the Pacific Ocean on the other. Quite spectacular.
Take 2-3 litres of water, some snacks, and get there early - 9am at the latest to ensure you're first to the top. Around 8.30am the ranger will turn up and sign you in. You cannot start the climb after 10am.
Sector Granizo just past Olmue, 45 minutes drive from Valparaiso
More info and photos: corrugatedcity.blogspot.com/2008/04/cerro-la-campana-ii.html and corrugatedcity.blogspot.com/2008/04/cerro-la-campana.html
If you want a real sense of Valparaiso's international roots, visit the three cemeteries on Cerro Panteon - Number 1, 2 and the Dissidents' Cemetery are full of British, German, Italian, Spanish, Chinese, Portuguese and other nationalities' tombs... all with beautiful sea views. A fascinating look at the history of South America's most unique city.
Cerro Panteon - from plaza Anibal Pinto take Subida Cumming and walk up.
More info: corrugatedcity.blogspot.com/search/label/Cemeteries
Valparaiso is a city designed for exploring on foot, albeit feet wrapped in sturdy shoes. Its winding roads, beautiful little alleyways and stunning views await the intrepid explorer.
The Sendero Bicentenario is a self-guided walking tour of the entire city.
The easiest and most popular part of the tour is around Cerros Concepcion and Alegre - the ex-British and German enclaves with the city's finest architecture, hotels and restaurants - but it's well worth exploring other parts of town as well.
You'll be treated to incredible views of the city and the ocean at pretty much every turn.
You should be careful not to wave around expensive cameras in some areas, especially behind the Matriz Church, but overall the city is safe and welcoming.
It is one of the "cerros", or hills of Valparaiso. Accessible on foot or by funicular, it has its own spirit.
Out of the seven cerros, it is the more artistic; home of many painters, writers and dreamers.
No specific place to recommend, a simple stroll through the Cerro Conception will remind you of Montmartre, Soho, and many other places with not only staggering beauty, but also a mind of its own.
Beautiful, and cultivated: the girl of my dreams!
City centre of Valparaiso, accessible by acensore (funicular), or on foot.
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