If you think Valparaiso is an extraordinary city then you ain’t seen nothing yet. This tour is about places and people that only locals can show you. Combined with the highlights of the city, the quirky graffiti streets and pictures view points, you are actually going to see why we fell in love with, the locally called “Valpo”!
Start the Morning exploring the Highlights of Valparaiso! You were wondering what the local bread is, where the Wanders (local football team) fans favorite dive bar is, and what a Chileans dinner consists of? Only a local can answer such things.. introducing your Wally! You will learn about president Salvador Allende, the competition for the oldest bar in the port (cheers to that) and Chile’s native Mapuche indigenous people. Discover all of this while strolling through the Graffiti filled walls of Valparaiso.
In the Afternoon continue your discovery, while walking from port to high hills and find your feet and lose your mind as you get to know the Heritage Site of Valparaiso. You will ride a 100 year old funicular, learn about Chileans favorite food and find out which Valpo street dog is called David Bowie. In Valparaiso it is easy to get lost in the maze of alleyways and street art. We lead you around not only enhancing your sense of direction but filling you with our knowledge and wisdom of “Valpo”. An adventure that takes you through your senses of taste, smell, vision and laughter (ok that last one might not be a sense, but if it was it’s going to be tickled). End your day the chilean way, in one of the countless recommended pubs!
The best part? This is a pay-what-you-feel tour. The pressure is off and the culture discovery is ON…
PRIVATE OR SPECIAL GROUP OVER 8 PEOPLE
To make sure everyone has a good experience on our tours, we aim to keep groups relatively small. In our experience, big groups traveling together have a higher than average no show rate, and can commandeer the tour and make other guests feel unwelcome. To be fair to all of our customers, we ask groups of over 8 to reserve a private tour or contact us on firstname.lastname@example.org
Why take THIS tour, Why THIS tour with Tours 4 Tips? This is our newest and most perfected tour yet. After 8 years of tour creating and 4 years of experiencing Valparaiso and the locals, we are for sure the Johnny Depp of tours (can’t get better than us). We are a small tour company, specialized in small personalized tours. We have low turnover because our team is a family. Our free lance guides are selected on the basis of how much love they have for Valparaiso. Once they have convinced us of that, all that’s left is a sense of humor and a love for people…
CHECK and CHECK! Look at our Tripadvisor for our sweet reviews on our other tours. Because this tour is new, we don’t have ones for OffBeat yet. However to quote Napoleon Dynamite… if you take this tour: “all your wildest dreams will come true”.
Who should NOT take this tour? Get tired easily? This tour has lots of walking (2 hours, 8km, mostly downhill, which can be hard on knees). If this is not for you, check out our Highlights Walking Tour. It has about 50% less walking and more public elevator usage. If you’re looking for a standard tour led by an umbrella-carrying guide who dictates facts and dates and helps you point your camera in the right direction…then you’ve come to the wrong place. Our Walking Tours use an extensive and unique set of routes, giving you the chance to learn about Chile by experiencing it through sights, sounds and flavors.
Price:Pay-What-You-Like (Prefer private?)
Duration:5-6 hours (with a 2 hour lunch break at approx. 1pm)
Availability:Every single day!
Distance:8km Uphill and downhill - We use public buses to get to the top of Valparaiso
Difficulty:Medium. Need to be careful on the uneven streets with your hips and knees
What To Bring:Only yourself and comfy clothes, maybe slap on some sunscreen!
10:00am: Meet your red and white striped Wally at our Plaza Sotomayor (easier to find than in the children's books we hope). Our adventure starts in Valparaiso’s original neighbourhood “Barrio Puerto”. Here we will explore the social realities of the city. Once one of the richest in the world, now it has experienced 100 years of decline.
Our walk through the port neighborhood will include a discussion of the Chilean diet, Valparaiso’s strong social history and the unique democratic layout of the city referred to as the ‘Jewel of the Pacific’.
10:15am: Spot your 1st street art mural, 1st funicular and learn about the local porteño style bread (Valparaiso people are called porteños).
10:30am: Dive into the forgotten treasures of Valparaiso Golden Era. Plaza Echaurren has lots of soul, along with poverty. Wally will point out the best dive bar, just know that it gets a little crazy after sundown (your cue to leave).
10:45am: Catch the O bus (pronounced OOOOOhhh bus). This rollercoaster ride will take you up and through some 14 odd hills stricken by poverty, but rich in history, street art, political organization and pride. This bus ride takes the same route made famous by Che Guevara’s arrival to Valparaiso in the film “The Motorcycle Diaries”.
EX CARCEL CULTURAL CENTRE
11:10am: Standing 100 metres over sea level, you will see why Valparaiso is a real life post card. We hope for your sake your camera doesn’t run out of battery here. Learn how the immigrants built this city up to the "Camino de Cintura" before we head back down into the oldest standing jail in Chile. The descent gives us views of the bay and neighboring cities of Viña del Mar, Reñaca and Concon.
11:45am: We unravel how this cultural park was once the powder house for explosives, before becoming a 100 year old jail house. We should mention it was used to torture, and kill political prisoners during the dictatorship. Do the names Pablo Neruda, Augusto Pinochet and Salvador Allende ring a bell? This tour explains their importance in Chile and tie to Valparaiso. Up next former prison house, present cultural centre, Parque Cultural Ex-Cárcel.
DISCOVER THE STREET ART MOVEMENT OF VALPO
12:15pm: See Valparaiso’s wealthier hills as we walk alongside the oldest Protestant cemetery in Latin America. Discover the best graffiti of the city. We show you how local street artists make fun of the Pope, Starbucks, Pinochet’s capitalistic model and McDonald’s through their controversial art. If you are easily offended, this tour might not be for you (and this city either).
12:45pm: Our first part of the tour ends in a century old palace where we enjoy a local cocktail. You’re now ready to explore the city on your own. This is not your typical boring dates and old dead-men tour. Our free lance guides are going to show you the heart and soul of Valparaiso. A perfect way to discover Chile's Golden Jewel for you culture seekers. And remember, only pay what you think is fair!
3:00pm: After a more than deserved lunch, you meet your red and white striped freelance Wally again at 3pm at Plaza Sotomayor. Once we have all met one another we make our way to the port.
3:15pm: Spot the port, we discuss the “Golden Era” of the mid 19th Century. Valpo played a huge role in trade, stock exchange and had Chile’s first public library. We discuss some of the most important buildings around the port before heading off to the center of town together.
3:30pm: By now you will be raring to discover the winding cobbled streets. No better way to get there than the local bus which is older than your grandparents! By taking this we skip past the more commercial side of town heading towards the nitty and gritty of it all. You will see the difference when you disembark of the bus. The streets are bended and the bars and restaurants are plentiful. Your freelance guide will tell you their favorite spot for notorious Valpo grub.
3:45pm: We continue up up up! You’re knees won’t be as strong as Valpo locals who have experience in constantly walking on hills. So it’s time to take a somewhat safe but shaky ride on Valparaiso’s infamous funiculars (beginning with FUN for good reason).
CERRO ALEGRE, CONCEPTION
4:00pm: Together we will explore the wealthy hills of Cerro Alegre and Concepcion. You will discover bohemian hotels, 5 star restaurants and wild nightclubs.
Valparaiso is build on a natural amphitheatre of 45 seaside hills connected by a maze-like system of side-streets and endless stairways. Lucky you have your freelance Wally to lead the way through these streets with jaw dropping views.
4:15pm: With the backdrop of both Catholic and Protestant churches we will discover how they came to be. Now there is mostly peace between the two churches, but your freelance Wally will tell you stories of the strange arguments in the past between the two religions.
GRAFFITI RICH WALLS
4:30pm: Onwards we go to the poorer hills, but with lack of money comes an inflow of creativity visible on these even more boho hills. You will struggle to find a section of wall that isn’t covered in art. We will see weird and eclectic homes. You will begin to understand why Pablo Neruda wrote that if we walked all Valparaiso’s stairs, we would make a trip around the world.
5:00pm: But not to worry we stop at one of our favorite locals house, he even has a delicious treat for us!
5:15pm: We begin our descend through the winding alleys to go back to the flat area.
AFTER THE TOUR
5:30pm: We end the tour in one of Valparaiso’s oldest buildings, which also happens to be our office. Good thing we end before dark, we insure to leave before sundown when the potential ghosts come out. Ask your freelance guide any questions that might be left. Wally will point you in the direction you need to go weather it be the bus station, somewhere for a good meal or your hostel. All this while we sip on Chile's famous Chichon cocktail.
Before you leave your can tip your freelance Wally whatever you feel! Just know that those who tip double don’t get a date with the beautiful freelance Wally’s… nice try!
Our tour ends in a century old palace where we enjoy a local cocktail. You’re now ready to explore the city on your own. This is not your typical boring dates and old dead-men tour. Our freelance guides are going to show you the heart and soul of Valparaiso. A perfect way to discover Chile's Golden Jewel for you culture seekers. And remember, only pay what you think is fair!
If you wonder what to do before or after the tour, don’t forget to check Tours4Tips allies to find a good place to eat and drink!
JDROCK14: ... We also learned about the different buildings, street art and history of the city. Highly recommend...
Marlynne P: So happy with the guides, the information and the areas we saw. The kids are fabulous, happy, knowledgeable and FUN! ...
MarchinArgentina: The guides are all bright, intelligent young people who are eager to share their love of this very intriguing city ...