Heart of the Hills – Valparaiso, Chile

by Dave

The Boston Globe

While Santiago may be the business-centric capital (which can also be rather conservative and dull) and the country’s soul is reflected up and down its skinny, 2,600-mile strand of deserts, mountains, lakes, and farmland, Valpara√≠so is Chile’s beating Bohemian heart.

The rest of the country can be buttoned-up, tight, tidy, and even occasionally moneyed, but “Valpo” is none of that; if you have a creative urge to feed, this is your town.

Like San Francisco in its hippie heyday, persistently irregular Valparaíso is driven by the alternative and the artistic Рa visual, cultural magnet for Chileans and centuries of adventurous expatriates who discovered the Pacific port city just before or after making their way around Cape Horn. While some world cities have corners that create a unique, authentic flavor, here, that magic is still blissfully spread across the entire town.

With a good dose of outside influence, a geography that forces
creativity, and an atypical reputation that attracts a certain kind of
Chilean, the city created itself on its own unique terms.