“Valparaiso, how absurd you are…you haven’t combed your hair, you’ve never had time to get dressed, life has always surprised you”. – Nobel Prize-winning poet Pablo Neruda (1904-1973)
One of the most famous Chilean poets of all time, Pablo Neruda spent a big part of his life living in the winding hills of Valparaiso at his house called La Sebastiana. Perched up high above city, La Sebastiana afforded Neruda sweeping views of the sea and bustling world below which inspired Neruda with much of his great work. Located in the neighborhood of Cerro Bellavista, an area favored by artists and writers, La Sebastiana (which is now a museum) is just one reason why Cerro Bellavista is worth a visit.
Cerro Bellavista is also home to a large, fascinating collection of street art including theMuseo a Cielo Abierto, a labyrinth collection of outdoor murals painted in the 1990s by various Latin American artists with the goal of reinventing the neighborhood.
With unique accommodation continuing to be on the rise this year, we’ve selected some of Airbnb’s best properties that are right on top of our wish list. From treehouses to yurts and traditional homes, there’s a place for everyone to stay.
Romantic Suite in a family home in Valparaiso, Chile
Enjoy sweeping views of the Pacific Ocean right in the heart of the UNESCO world heritage city of Valparaiso in Chile, South America. The house, which has more than 100 years of history, is on the third floor of a restored house and includes a bedroom, bathroom, balcony and veranda. At just €51 per night, this suite is an absolute steal.
Korean Traditional Hanok
Rent an entire house in the Hanok conservation area of Seoul. For €156 per night, the accommodation holds 3-4 people and was built in 1934. It has since been renovated.
Referred to as the “valley of paradise,” Valparaiso represents just that. This Chilean port city is a popular stop for cruises, especially those traveling the coast of the Pacific and into the Panama Canal. It was designated as a UNESCO World Heritage site in 2003 and since then, it’s become even trendier and more bohemian than before. Street art dominates the city, which is present in almost every street corner, including the famed funiculars. As your cruise ship docks for your day trip to Valparaiso, check out these must do activities.
Day Trip to Valparaiso: What to Do Once the Ship Docks
Check out the Street Art
During your day trip to Valparaiso, or Valpo to locals, make sure to scout some of the best graffiti art anywhere in the world. This port town is well-known for striking murals.
Many people often refer to them simply as “Easter Island statues” or “Easter Island heads” but the giant humanoid statues on Polynesia’s Easter Island are actually called moai. Carved by the native Rapa Nui people, the moai are 13 feet tall and nearly 14 tons on average, and have stood on the island since they were originally built sometime between the years 1250 and 1500. There are almost 900 of them left, and this past week they were just designated as a UNESCO World Heritage Site, along with the platforms, called ahu, they stand on; Rapa Nui National Park received this designation in 1995.
The fact that the moai have lasted for so many centuries is a good sign, pointing to them standing for many centuries more to come. However, a collaboration between two companies is now working to ensure that they are further preserved in digital form.
Cosmopolitan cities, deserts, ski resorts and World Heritage sites are all to be found in this land of stunning beauty and cultural quirks.
I’ve been warned to take care in Santiago. There are muggings, locals say. But from where I sit by the window of my restaurant in inner-city Lastarria, no one sashaying by looks shifty. I want their swagger, their dress flair, to parade before shop windows adoring my reflection. After dessert, I shift to the roof-top bar of my hotel, The Singular Santiago, where the city’s bold and beautiful drink under a rising gibbous moon that accentuates their cheekbones and the white tips of the Andes behind them.
Once dismissed as a city of industry, the Santiago of 2017 is an entirely different beast – “surprising, cosmopolitan, energetic, sophisticated and worldly”, as Lonely Planet puts it.
World heritage sites are in danger of vanishing due to climate change.
Climate change is becoming one of the most significant risks for World Heritage Sites, according to the United Nations Educational, Scientific and Cultural Organization (UNESCO) in its report entitled “World Heritage and Tourism in a Changing Climate”.
The study examines 31 World Heritage Sites from 29 countries which are vulnerable to phenomena such as rising temperatures, melting glaciers, rising sea levels, extreme weather events, or droughts.
The famous Easter Island’s moais, the canals of Venice, or the monumental Stonehenge complex are some of the World Heritage Sites that could be lost in the coming years if there are no “urgent and clear” actions to prevent it.
The “city of canals” has been threatened by rising sea levels for decades.
Abandoned sites all over the world have a unique story to tell.
Houtouwan on Shengshan Island in China, for example, is an abandoned village in which nearly all the former homes and buildings are entirely covered in vegetation.
Bodie, California, is a classic American ghost town that dates back to the gold rush of the 1800s.
From once-thriving hotels that have fallen into a state of decay to defunct hospitals that are said to be haunted, there is always a fascinating story behind anything that’s been abandoned.
There are many ghost towns in the US, for example, that were built during the gold rush of the 19th century and deserted soon after. Throughout Europe, there are forsaken castles and villages that shed light onto what life was like centuries ago.