"Valpo" came highly recommended by a family friend and in some ways I can understand, but it's also a bit of an "up and comer", to be polite. Valparaiso is the sister city to San Francisco, CA and you can easily see why. The port town is very hilly, colorful and still retains its edge.
On our way to Valparaiso, we attempted to stop in a few vineyards, but were denied due to not having a reservation. Apparently you always need a reservation unlike at US vineyards where you walk right in for a tasting. Vina Casa del Bosque took pity on us and sat us for lunch. We will post separately on Chilean wine country.
We stayed at the RC Art Deco hotel, which is an old house turned hotel. Very unique, but very noisy due to the stairs and open, high ceilings. It has a spectacular view when the sun is setting as seen in our "About Us" cover photo.
I made reservations during our trip for two nice dinners, and one was in Valpo at Espiritu Santo for the night of our arrival. It had received rave reviews and didn't disappoint. Conveniently, it was about 10 feet from our hotel. Laura, the owner, was a divine hostess and the food was exceptional! Lamb, Beef Ravioli, Lemon Conger Eel. All of it was amazing. Brian was treated to the house signature cocktail recipe and gave Laura his famous Minted Man recipe in return.
The next morning we visited the house called La Sebastiana of famed Chilean poet, Pablo Neruda. The views are lovely and the interior is just so weird. He was an avid collector and had a love for naming things-like his armchair was called "The Cloud."
We took the 612 bus (300 pesos/person) to San Luis and wandered to Paseo Yugoslavo. We had a fabulous lunch at El Peral; the Pastel de Jaiba was one of the best things any of us at the table had ever eaten. It's a traditional Chilean dish of crab, parmesan cheese, wine, and cream.
It's amazing to think at one point in time there were 26 working funiculars. Now they are down to just 8. It certainly is the very best way to get up and down the hilly city for a fair price of 100 pesos/person (about 16 cents).
Valpo is very colorful and trying to make a comeback via art. Wandering the streets of the city is a treat for the eye, as everywhere you look is street art. It was nice to see a city regaining its identity but still maintaining some grit. Brian and I agree that it will be incredible to come back in 20 years and see how much has changed.