Ports & Excursions

Santiago (Valparaiso), Chile

A bay bordered by steep hills, stately old Victorian homes, cable cars - no, it's not San Francisco, California. Welcome to Valparaiso. Populated in 1536, and named after the birthplace of conquistador Diego de Almagro, Valparaiso is Chile's oldest city. It is also the gateway to Chile's central valley and the capital of Santiago. With a population of over 5 million people, Santiago sprawls at the feet of the snow-capped Andes. The Maipo Valley, Chile's internationally renowned wine district is a short drive to the south.

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  • Maritime Museum Maritime Museum

    Located on top of a hill, this neoclassical mansion and former naval academy offers stunning views of the city and ocean. Walk the museum grounds and explore the history of this city's port.

  • Cerros/Funicular Cerros/Funicular

    Valparaiso's hilly topography and steep grades make good use of funiculars or "ascensores" to climb its 45 hills or "cerros," with each ride promising a more glorious view of the ocean.

  • La Sebastiana La Sebastiana

    Built by architect Sebastian Collao, who died before the house was finished, it became the residence of the poet, Pablo Neruda a decade later. Today, it is a colorful museum and center for the arts.

  • Viña del Mar Viña del Mar

    One of Chile's most popular cities for tourism, Viña has something for everyone. It is home to Chile's oldest casino, world-class restaurants, palm-lined boulevards, parks and miles of beaches.

  • Fonck Museum Fonck Museum

    A 500-year-old stone head from Easter Island greets you at the entrance to the museum named for Francisco Fonck, archaeologist and Viña del Mar native, just hinting at the treasures that lay inside.

  • Plaza de Armas Plaza de Armas

    Santiago's main square was its civic center when first founded by the Spaniards in the 16th century. Today it's a great place to enjoy a walk in the gardens and listen to music in the square.

  • National History Museum National History Museum

    Located in the building of the former Palacio de la Real Audiencia, this museum has a wide collection of historical objects from colonial until the modern times.

  • Constitution Square Constitution Square

    Located on this plaza is Palacio de la Moneda where General Pinochet sparked his 17-year reign on September 11, 1973. See the changing of the guard take place surrounded by 12 Chilean flags.

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