Nancy Huynh is a third year student at Hamline University in Saint Paul, Minnesota. She is majoring in Communication Studies, double minoring in Spanish and Education, and pursuing a Certificate in International Journalism.
I had been in Chile for almost an entire month without exploring Valparaíso. I'd decided it was long overdue for me to see what all the hype was about. With the help of my map of the city and a copy of the Lonely Planet's guide to Chile, I picked out highlights of the city that I absolutely had to see. The first place I went to on my day trip was an overlook of the city called Mirador Diego Portales. Here, I saw the city and sea stretched out before me. It was amazing to see.
The second stop on my agenda to see Congreso Nacional and Plaza O Higgins. Here, my friends and I made a pit stop at the open-air market, where we looked at the artisan crafts for sale. We also bought fresh fruit to snack on as well as choripán, which is grilled sausage on toasted bread, a traditional Chilean food.
After our pit stop, we continued onto El Museo Cielo Abierto, or the Open Sky Museum. This museum is unlike any other art museum I'd ever seen. Everything was outside hence the name and the murals were created by art students at PUCV. What I like most about the city is that you don't have to go to an art museum to see beautiful paintings and murals. I saw plenty of murals just walking down the street. Valpo is home, not only to murals, but huge mosaics, as well.
My last stop of the day was La Sebastiana, Pablo Neruda s home in Valparaíso. His home was converted into a museum and the entrance fee was only $1,500 pesos with a student discount. Here, I saw the most breath-taking view of Valparaíso. Pablo Neruda was one lucky man to be able to wake up to that view every day.
What did I learn by the end of the day? Comfortable shoes and a bottle of water are very helpful when exploring Valparaíso there are more hills and stairs than you can even imagine. More importantly, Valparaíso is even more beautiful than everyone says. Photos cannot begin to capture how gorgeous this city is.