–by Jade Shao
Only an hour and half away from Santiago by bus, Valparaiso is a vibrantly colored city that hugs the pacific coast. Once described to me as “San Fransisco, but more Boho and Spanish speaking,” the entire city is named a UNESCO world heritage site and the street art ranges from Van Gogh interpretations to puppy stencils. The air here smells more of sea than smog (a wonderful change) and with the salt water so close, the seafood here is going to be competing with avocados for our attention.
Walking around the city is not only a great way to discover 600 peso empanadas or hidden views of the ocean, but it is also an intensive form of exercise! After hiking up and down those steep, stair-filled hills at least a couple times a day, there is absolutely no shame (or guilt) in ordering that dessert after dinner AND going out for some gelato. Rest assured, the Valpo group will be in fabulous shape upon return to Santiago after this week!
Overall, our first day has been a great start to seeing all the different views this cultural city has to offer and we are so excited to share with you everything we will soon discover in the nooks and crannies of Valparaiso!