Blogs from Valparaíso Region, Chile, South America


Mendoza, Argentina to Vina del Mar, Chile..... We were to spend two nights here in Mendoza and take in the cultural and winery scene, well some of us stayed for three nights and really enjoyed the city. We went to Lopez Winery for lunch on our last day and we were in for a treat, this will now become part of our next Tarmac Tour. Gerardo, along with Bob and Mary, went onto Uspallata for the last night in Argentina, while we, D Duke and D Nurse stayed the last night in Mendoza, we made an early start, getting away by 8.00 am the next day and made a run for Chile...After a refuel and a coffee for us in Uspillata, a quick look at the Puente del Inca, we caught up with the advance party ... read more
Puente del Inca
The Stop and NOT Go man
Zig Zag all to us...

South America » Chile » Valparaíso Region » Valparaíso March 29th 2014

20 March 2014 – Thursday – Santiago to Valparaiso, Chile We arrived early at the Alameda station for our 11:30 am Tur Bus to Valparaiso. There are four buses from Santiago to Valparaiso every hour. We watched them arrive, park and passengers embark, and then depart, from 10:30am onwards. The 11:30 bus, however, failed to appear. The 11:45 bus, however, did appear, and we followed a Chilean woman who was also waiting for the 11:30 bus to the conductor of the newly arrived bus and he arranged for us three as well as two other western women to take this bus. We never did learn what happened to the 11:30 bus! The less than two hour trip was uneventful and the scenery unexciting compared to some of the extraordinary vistas we have previously experienced on our ... read more
Valparaiso I 013
Valparaiso I 016
Valparaiso I 020

South America » Chile » Valparaíso Region » Valparaíso March 18th 2014

Now, here is an insight of how my travel mind works. I bought the plane tickets for this vacation on November 2. On November 8, I wrote to the Chilean Cuisine Cooking Class for information on how to book a class with them. From its website and reviews on Trip Advisor placing it as the number one activity, this seemed like the best, most reputable Chilean cooking class out there. At this point I had no hotels lined up, didn’t know exactly what countries or cities I was going to visit, but I had my priorities. For food, wine and cooking I would go to where the class was. I knew it was going to be a great day, and it did not disappoint. The arranged meeting place was easy to find, down by a war ... read more
Wine Tasting
Ines and our Menu
Fenix 1

South America » Chile » Valparaíso Region » Valparaíso March 17th 2014

Now that I was in the know about the changing of the guard, I had my plan of attack. First on my list was to finish packing my stuff, store it and check out of the hotel. Next was a déjà vu of my first day. I went to the café across the street and had a smoked salmon bagel and café Americano. Things were falling into place and I couldn’t be happier. After a quick Metro ride, I was in front of the Moneda Palace ready for the changing of the guard. In Lima this ceremony was done behind big iron fences, giving all of my pictures the illusion of being shot from inside a jail cell. Here we were kept at least 30 to 40 yards behind big fountains with a glass wall surrounding ... read more
Mix of Murals and City
View from My Room
Guards at the Palace

South America » Chile » Valparaíso Region » Valparaíso January 8th 2014

Valparaiso, or Valpo as locals call it, is just 120km away from Santiago, but the atmosphere between the two cities couldn’t be much more different. While Santiago is a busy big city, Valparaiso, even though not small either with its 400.000 inhabitants and a busy port, seems more like a tranquil harbor town. Most that is interesting about Valparaiso is set on several hills around the town center: they are filled with colorful houses, cafés and artisan shops. It’s obvious that Valparaiso is quite a creative and artistic place: you just have to look at the amount of arty shops, skillful graffiti, and things like concrete stairs painted in bright colors you can find all over the place (who said stairs always have to be grey anyway…). The houses were often much like in Iceland or ... read more
Valparaiso colors 2
cheerful stairs and few dogs
another set of stairs and one of the hundreds of street dogs


South America » Chile » Valparaíso Region September 30th 2013

After more than a week in the capital, I headed to the coast and the colourful harbour city of Valparaiso, enclave of artists, poets , students and migrants from everywhere imaginable. Originally inhabited by local Chango people who were mainly fishermen, Spanish exploration in the mid-16th Century led to it developing into the main harbour for the Chilean Navy and also opened it to international trade beyond Spain and its other colonies. As time progressed, it became a required stopover between the Atlantic and Pacific Ocean crossings and played an important role supporting and supplying of the California Gold Rush during the mid 19th century. These days it is considered as possibly the largest seaport in Chile and the surrounding district is one of the most populous areas in Chile. In 2003, UNESCO declared Valparaiso a ... read more
Street Mosaics
Boutique Hotel
Connection to the sea

Well, folks, this is it. This will be my last blog entry here in Chile. After a trip so incredible, how can I sum it up in a blog post? How can I do justice to everything I have learned and experienced here? I think the truth is that I can’t. However, there are a few thoughts which I would like to share as my time here comes to an end. When Katie was here, she asked me about the three things about being in Chile that I would miss most when I am back in the US, either because we don’t do them there or because we do them differently. I found it a great question and have spent quite a bit of time thinking about it. Though there are so many things I will ... read more
I will miss this.
and this!
A restaurant inside an old train.

So its been a busy week. We moved from our hostels to Homestay, where we live with Chilean families. We moved in on Wednesday, and I got my Bip card, a Santiago transit card, and a new phone. On Friday, we took a trip from Catolica to Algarrobo, a little beach town on Chile's coast. We bonded as a group and learned about our two professors, the outgoing director and the incoming professor. I'd like to give a shout-out to Professors Fransisco Lomeli and Luis Martin-Cabrera, who worked so hard to make this all possible. Algarrobo was amazing, and we bonded and got to know each other really well. At Algarrobo, we were at a hotel where we were given a nice introduction to Chilean culture and wine, Cueca dancing and "Gato" wine. When we got ... read more

As strange as the title is to type, it is true. It’s crazy to me. I am down to my last two weeks. Besides being strange because it is the end, it is also weird because many of my friends who were here abroad with me have already left to go back to the US! I tried to convince them that it wasn’t allowed to go back without me, but, alas, they didn’t listenJ Though it was sad knowing we would all be parting ways, we made sure to take full advantage of our time by doing several things as a group. One night last week, we all went to a Mexican restaurant together for dinner. It started out just being an idea of a couple people but then more and more people decided to join, ... read more
Enjoying the once.
Last day?
we found a cool park

As I think I mentioned toward the end of my last blog, Katie was here for part of last week and into this week! In total, she spent 8 days here in Chile with me, and I had some awesome opportunities to show her around and show her what my life here was like. For a lot of reasons, it was a wonderful trip! It started on Wednesday morning when I met her at the airport. As I was waiting I met a man also waiting for someone to arrive. We chatted for a bit and it turned out he had a really interesting story to tell. Though Chilean, he had spent over half his life living in the US, and just recently moved back to Chile. He was there waiting for his sister who, as ... read more
API gives back!
Making friends with a dog.
Tasty tours.

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