Photo of Valparaiso

About Valparaiso

Libertine and labyrinthine, the bright and colourful homes of Valparaiso tumble down a series of hills facing the Pacific Ocean. A World Heritage Site, the city has long inspired painters and poets from all around the world, who flock to its narrow winding streets and fishing wharves for its wild vibe and lack of pretension. Our pick of the best places to stay in Valparaiso will ensure that you're right in the heart of this vibrant and quirky place. With its creaky historic elevator-cars running up and down the hills, steep, art-covered stairways, crumbling mansions, colourful street art and non-stop nightlife, this is a city of soul and passion.

Valparaiso (or Valpo as the locals call it) is married to the sea (the Naval Museum charts the story well and its headquarters can be found here too). Standing at the port and the fishing wharves, you get a real taste of marine life: sailors dockworkers congregate there, their population forever in flux; seafood markets abound and in the early hours of morning, you can see the fishermen hauling their catch-of-the-day from the quaysides to the restaurants.

The city has few historic sites to visit, and while this is usually a sign of a marked lack of culture, it is surely a blessing in Valparaiso. The whole city is really an open-air art gallery, featuring some of the finest street murals in South America - especially in places like Cerro Bellavista and Cerro Polanco - not to mention the fact that the houses, stretching across many hills, are a rainbow of colour.

It is a city best explored by getting utterly lost. Follow stairways snaking around dilapidated mansions, alleyways decked with charmingly shabby restaurants, secluded art galleries and cute cafes. If you're hungry, be sure to wander around Cerro Alegre and Cerro Concepcion, where some amazing new restaurants have opened in recent years.

You can't go to Valparaiso without riding in an Ascensores - a rickety old wooden tram-like car - that runs up and down the steep hillsides. It is the perfect way to see the city in all its gritty glory: up on the Mirador del Cerro Artilleria, you gain a spellbinding panoramic view of the city and coastline.

What Not to miss

  • Try some traditional street food, Chorrillana, fries topped with strips of steak, fried onion and fried eggs.
  • Immerse yourself in local history at the Naval Museum!
  • Head out to La Matriz Church, originally built in the 16th century and ransacked by Sir Francis Drake. It has a bloodthirsty and chaotic history.
  • Check out the street murals on Cerro Bellavista and Cerro Polanco.
  • Enjoy the stunning panoramic views of the city atop the Mirador del Cerro Artilleria.
  • Get on one of the Ascensores, the rickety old wooden trams that go up and down the hills.
  • Visit the seafood market down by the port.

Valparaiso is a vibrant city with a Bohemian air, an inspiration for poets and artists alike, featuring some of the finest street art in all of Latin America. Whether you're partying into the early hours, riding an Ascensores or eating Chorrillana while watching the fishermen drag their wares to market, you will fall in love with this fantastic city. Use our pick of the best places to stay in Valparaiso and start to plan your trip...

The best places to stay in Valparaiso

Chic boutique

  • Palacio Astoreca: a beautiful red historic house offering chic rooms with parquet flooring and lovely wallpaper, a pampering spa and a wonderful restaurant. Ideal for couples looking for intimacy.
  • Zero Hotel: with epic views of the Bay and in a very central location, this hotel offers cool contemporary rooms and wide, flowered terraces. Great for unwinding.
  • Casa Higueras: a great hilltop mansion boasting superb views of the city and sea, offering chic rooms with antique furniture, an infinity pool, spoiling spa and gourmet restaurant. Pure luxury.
  • Another good boutique choice is Casa Galos. Situated in the heart of Cerre Alegre, it couldn't be more central. The rooms and apartments are stylishly done and all come with a kitchenette for convenience.

Value for money

  • Fauna Hotel: a trendy eco-hotel with an industrial decor, perched on a hill with marvellous views. The restaurant is sumptous and the wide open terrace is the perfect place to relax with a drink. Great value for money.
  • Cirilo Armstrong Hotel: a cool and contemporary hotel offering spacious suites designed with plenty of wood and glass. Indulgent breakfasts. Bike hire is available. Ideal base for exploring the city.

For an apartment or villa

  • Our partner Booking.com has a wide range of villas and apartments in the nearby area.

Travel information

  • Fly to Santiago and get a bus to Valparaiso from the terminal, the journey takes around 2 hours max.
  • If you want to rent a car, contact our partner Rentalcars.
  • The best time to go is during the winter months, when the temperature averages at around 19 degrees. For good weather without the crowds, we recommend either November or March. Be aware that New Year is incredibly busy and room prices go sky high!

Still not sure?

Best Hotels in Valparaiso

  • Fauna Hotel 16 rooms from £83

    Valparaiso (Cerro Alegre)

    A contemporary eco hotel well located in Cerro Alegre Hill. Slick design throughout sees wood, metal and brick mixing to create a trendy industrial like feel. An international restaurant boasts a large terrace with epic views. Walking distance from many of the city's main attractions. City chic.

    City Style  -  A trendy eco hotel in the heart of the UNESCO area of Alegre Hill.
    Sights nearby  -  Be sure not to miss the Cerro Alegre (mythical mountain) and watch as various artist create everything from poetry to music.
    Views  -  Great views from hotel
    Check prices
  • Hotel Oceanic 30 rooms from £92

    Valparaiso (Reñaca)

    This chic seafront hotel is situated on the coastline between Viña del Mar and Reñaca in Valparaíso, Chile. Bright and spacious rooms boast wooden floors, comfortable beds and local textiles; book a luxury suite for sea views. Sample Chilean cuisine at the cosy restaurant; a charming seaside stay.

    Local exploring  -  Set between the centre of Valparaíso and the best beaches on the coast, this hotel is in a great location for local exploring
    Beach Life  -  With a prime coastal location close to local beaches, this hotel is perfect for a relaxing seaside break
    Romantic Break  -  Couples love the romantic rooms at this hotel; book a luxury suite for sea views
    Sailing  -  Take a sailing trip and discover the coast from a different vantage point; head to the Concon Yacht Club for boat hire
    Check prices
  • Cirilo Armstrong Hotel 11 rooms from £97

    Valparaiso

    An architecturally beautiful building in Valparaíso's UNESCO heritage area. Comprised of just 11 suites with clean contemporary design, plenty of glass and natural materials used. Find indulgent breakfasts served and quiet spots designed to sit with a glass of wine. A lovely tranquil city base.

    Local exploring  -  Well located within walking distance of Concepción Hill and Alegre Hill.
    Sights nearby  -  Wander around the surrounding area, marked as a UNESCO World Heritage Site, and marvel at the churches and old houses.
    Views  -  Great views from hotel
    Check prices
  • Casa Galos 15 rooms from £104

    Valparaiso (2370949)

    A boutique property boasting one of the finest locations in Valparaíso. Stunning light rooms use plenty of natural materials giving a rural feel against the city views. Feast on indulgent breakfasts and step out of the property into the UNESCO heritage site of Alegre Hill. A fabulous city base.

    Local exploring  -  Located in the UNESCO heritage site of Valparaiso’s Alegre Hill, there's plenty of sight's within walking distance.
    Sights nearby  -  Wander down to San Luis Square just 100m from the property.
    Designer  -  Uniquely designed interiors.
    Views  -  Great views from hotel
    Check prices
  • Voga Exclusive Guesthouse 6 rooms from £123

    Valparaiso (Cerro Alegre)

    This boutique hotel offers accommodation in a Victorian-style house in Valparaíso, Chile. Guestrooms are bright and airy, with contemporary furnishings and cosy linens; book a luxury suite for sea views and living space. Unwind with a drink on the terrace overlooking the city. A charming city stay.

    Local exploring  -  Perched on the top of Cerro Alegre, one of the most picturesque hills in Valparaíso, this hotel is great for local exploring
    City Style  -  Set within a beautifully restored 19th-century property, this hotel has lots of local city style
    Romantic Break  -  Couples love the romantic rooms at this hotel; book a suite for extra living space
    Great walks  -  Wander Valparaíso's colourful streets, great for photo opportunities; don't miss the bright houses on Dimalow Walk
    Check prices
  • Palacio Astoreca 23 rooms from £154

    Valparaiso

    A chic boutique hotel located in the heart of Valparaiso. A historic building, lovingly converted. Find smart rooms with parquet floors, feature wallpaper and the best have small terraces boasting spectacular city views. A contemporary spa and fine-dining restaurant make this a superb stay.

    Local exploring  -  Located in the historical city centre in Valparaiso and with many of its major sights within walking distance.
    Spa breaks  -  A glorious contemporary spa (all black slate and verticle gardens) with an extensive treatment list.
    Sights nearby  -  Walking distance from the impressive Barburizza Palace.
    Romantic  -  Good for couples.
    Check prices
  • Zero Hotel 9 rooms from £230

    Valparaiso

    A charming converted town house with epic views of Valparaíso bay. Quiet bougainvillaea filled terraces make for the perfect place to completely unwind. Rooms keep their original charm with wooden floors and sash windows. With easy access to the town's attractions this is a winning choice.

    Local exploring  -  The perfect tranquil retreat to return to after a day exploring the region.
    Sights nearby  -  Visit the homes of Pablo Neruda, Chile's celebrated Nobel prize-winning poet.
    Views  -  Great views from hotel
    Traditional
    Recommended by  -  I Escape
    Check prices
  • Casa Higueras 20 rooms from £246

    Valparaiso (Cerro Alegre)

    An impressive hillside mansion now turned boutique hotel. Chic rooms feature parquet flooring, antique furniture and lovely city views. A smart infinity pool and spa will meet all pampering requirements. An atmospheric restaurant serves international fare, specialising in seafood. Superb.

    Local exploring  -  Boasting fantastic city views and with easy access to the main attractions this is a winning spot.
    Restrictions on children  -  Children over 12 years old are welcome.
    Views  -  Great views from hotel
    Romantic  -  Good for couples.
    Recommended by  -  I Escape
    Check prices