Valparaiso, Vina del Mar, and the Fonck Museum
Santiago (Valparaiso), Chile
- Valparaiso: Listen as your expert guide reveals the soul of this fascinating Bohemian city, from the monuments of Sotomayor Plaza to a scenic hilltop overlook.
- Viña del Mar: See the summer mansion of Chilean presidents, the 1930s casino, the beautiful Flower Clock, and other sights of the elegant and exclusive "Garden City."
- Fonck Museum: Learn about Chile's diverse fauna and flora, the cultures of its ancient civilizations, and see the only Easter Island moai statue on the Chilean mainland.
About this Valparaiso tour
How do you describe a city that defies description? The late Nobel Prize-winning poet Pablo Neruda may have said it best: "Valparaiso, how absurd you are; you haven't combed your hair, you've never had time to get dressed, life has always surprised you."
The city once known as "the Jewel of the Pacific" is a Technicolor tableau of old and new, sophisticated and raunchy, cultural capital and rough port town, that seems to have tumbled down the mountains with no semblance of planning. Yet somehow it comes together magnificently. It is artistic, historic, bohemian, ornate, faded, shiny, reserved, and expressive.
But never predictable. And certainly unforgettable.
A drive through the city and a view from a hillside overlook give you a feel for the ramshackle charm of Chile's second-largest city from within and above. Then you'll head in the opposite direction: the organized elegance of Viña del Mar, an upscale seaside resort of manicured lawns, stylish malls, coastal high-rises, even a clock made of blooming flowers.
In other words, this tour is a tale of two cities that play off each other, the contrasts perhaps best demonstrated in their most prominent museums: Valparaiso's converted from a dilapidated prison, Vina de Mar's from the mansion of a wealthy family.
Uncombed Valparaiso, just five miles from the immaculately groomed Garden City. Somehow, the strands come together beautifully.
Hanging in the balance
To conquer the steep cerros, or hills, of Valparaiso, a system of funicular trams was designed that uses the weight of the car going down to help winch the car going up. The first such "elevator" went active in 1883, and today the ascensores still move people up and down the hills. Not bad for 19th-century technology.
Please proceed pier side and look for our GoBe Representative with the displayed logo sign.
Please bring some cash for any purchases you might like to make.
This tour involves moderate walking over uneven surfaces and paved walkways. There are some steps at the Fonck Museum.
Cultural, Family Friendly, Walking Tour, Bus Tour
Beverages - Water
Tour Participation Requirements
This experience is rated moderate. Full participation may require extended periods of walking over even and uneven surfaces, steep terrain and/or water activity in a slight current. There may be steps, inclines, cobblestone surfaces, and extended periods of standing. Participants with physical limitations should take this into account.
Suitable for all ages.
Full refunds issued for cancellations made 7 full days prior to the date and time of requested services. Cancellations made within the 7-day and 72-hour window will receive a 50% refund of purchase total. Purchases are non-refundable inside of 72 hours.
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