Valparaiso, Chile: Private Tour of Valparaiso & Viña del Mar [Day 56]

Day 56 | Sunday, December 18, 2016

I found a local gentleman (born, raised & still living in Valparaiso) that will do a full day private tour of Valparaiso and its neighboring city Viña del Mar for a reasonable price and we figure that might be the best way to see all the highlights given our limited time here. So, we are starting our tour at 9:30am this morning.

The Highlights Include:

Arco Británico surrounded by a pretty Victorian garden on Avenida Brasil which was donated to the town in 1910 by the British community marking the centenary of the Independence of Chile. [Valparaiso]

Catedral de Valparaíso (St. James Cathedral). [Valparaiso]

Graffiti. Valparaiso is known as Chile’s street art Capital. [Valparaiso]

Countless examples of European architecture. [Valparaiso]  

Magnificent views of the bay and port. [Valparaiso & Viña del Mar] 

Multiple funicular rides. Including riding the longest funicular in the city. [Valparaiso]

Museo Maritimo Nacional. [Valparaiso]

Lunch at a very authentic outdoor restaurant where you had to know the secret handshake to get in. You had to have reservations and the only way to get them was to know the right phone number to txt. We had to open a random gate between two house and walk down a narrow alley that led to another gate and another alley. Once there we got some of those “how did those white people find this place” looks. Unfortunately, Steve thought he took a picture of the inside but didn’t. This is the best we have to represent where we ate lunch. We were sitting under the corrugated metal that is just being held down by loose wood. It is a dirt floor restaurant with two cats and a dog mingling with the guests amongst old tattered dinner tables and chairs. There were no menus, just the wait staff rattling off what the options were. They had 3 entrees and 2 appetizers to choose from. Lucky we had our guide to translate for us. It was the best dining experience we have had on our trip so far. [Valparaiso]

Reloj de Flores (Flower Clock). [Viña del Mar]

Iglesia Las Carmelitas (Church). [Viña del Mar]

Moai from Easter Island outside of Museo Fonck. [Viña del Mar]

Palacio Rioja which houses the Museum of Decorative Art. Originally a private residence built in 1910. [Viña del Mar]

To wrap the day up Juan (our guide) pointed out the largest grocery store chain in Chile (Jumbo) and told us that they carry lots of imported items. This could be very good news as we haven’t found great grocery stores yet in Chile. Second, even though it is significantly cooler than in Santiago it is still a warm beautifully sunny day and we have passed numerous ice cream shops and when we aren’t passing a shop we are passing by someone eating ice cream so I asked if there was a place we could get dairy free ice cream. Juan took us to Emporio la Rosa at Plaza Aníbal Pinto 1185. Sure enough they have several flavors of dairy free sorbet so we are able to end the day with a sweet little treat. All in all a great day. Things are looking up in Chile.

Private Full Day Tour of Valparaíso & Viña del Mar [$52 (USD) per person]
Private English speaking tour guide.
Funicular rides in Valparaiso.
Old trolleybus ride in Valparaiso (from Monday to Saturday).
Metro ride Valparaiso-Viña del Mar-Valparaiso.

Not Included:
Drinks or Snacks.
Tip (optional).




    • Summer Martindale

      Man it has been so long ago now…I had fried fish which I tried to peel most of the breading off of, rice and a salad. Steve had a traditional Chilean beef empanada, pork ribs, rice and a salad. I think.

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