Designated as a UNESCO world heritage site in 2003, Valparaíso is seamlessly attached to Viñ Del Mar, about a 1-hour drive from Chile’s busy capital, Santiago.
My partner and I hit the city’s hills in January, where we were constantly gob smacked by its array of bubble-gum painted buildings and giant murals.
While street art is most often associated with gangs and teenage rebellion, Valpo, as the locals call it, is the perfect place to defy the rigid stereotypes.
From portraits to cartoon-like animals, vibrant color is stretched from corner to corner on the sides of shops and homes.
Little caricatures are spray painted on the pavement to show you a way through the ups and down of the city to your hostel. Follow the booty, ant or footprints.
Surprisingly enough, street art is actually illegal in Valpo. If the police catch you with a paintbrush in hand, and going to town on a non-designated area, jail time could be in the books for you.
While the art is freeing, the sleepy, full dogs roam the streets.
While we didn’t try putting our artistic hands to the test, we did manage to fall in love Valpo’s bohemian feel and tiny hole-in-wall coffee shops. (Literal holes in the wall). It was a trip to remember and would highly recommend the Cerro Alegre hostel; it had an impeccable view with an impeccable host to match.
Text and Photos by Jordan Kroschinsky, @jordannkro