As one of the most important seaports in the country of Chile – and in South America generally – Valparaiso is a popular place for cruise ships to stop in at. Valparaiso’s name means “paradise valley” in English, but those in the know tend to refer to this scenic city simply as “Valpo.” Ever since Spanish explorers first arrived during the early part of the 16th century, Valparaiso has attracted a number of different people for a number of different reasons. Today, it remains one of the most integral cities in Chile and is considered one of the top tourist attractions in that eclectic and multifaceted nation.

Sightseeing & Things To Do

Since, like many people, you’ll probably arrive at Valparaiso knowing very little about it, it is a wonderful opportunity to explore and get to know an eclectic, intriguing seaside city. Without a doubt, Valparaiso is one of the most unique ports of call in the South Pacific. From compelling art museums to breathtaking views, this city is sure to have something that will fascinate and amuse you. Be sure to take the time to roam a bit around its pleasant streets, too, in order to get a really good feel for this lovely seaside port.

Although Valparaiso isn’t incredibly well known around the world, those who stop here while on a cruise are always pleasantly surprised by the nice assortment of things there are to see and do here. From intriguing museums to plenty of opportunities for scenic views, Valparaiso has many great spots including:


Travelers who have grown weary of the same old art museums and who want to experience something with a bit more personality and flair should stop by the Ex-Cartel. This former prison has been made over into a thoroughly modern art museum. Another delightful twist? A lot of the artwork that is on display here was created by ex-inmates of this very prison. It is well worth a visit and combines a passion for art with a bit of off-the-wall history.

Ascensor Artilleria

Valparaiso is a truly scenic and stunning town, but the best way to truly appreciate that is by getting more of a bird’s eye view of it. The Ascensor Artilleria is a 100-year-old hillside tram that lifts you up to one of the city’s nearby peaks. From the top, you can take in views of the ocean as well as of the bustling downtown area. Be sure to bring your camera along as there are many great photo opportunities.

Puerta de Valparaiso

One thing’s for sure: Valparaiso is a very welcoming place. As a reflection of that, the city has a monument that is known as the Puerta de Valparaiso, which was built to welcome visitors with open arms. This monument is also one of the best-known landmarks in the city, so check it out.

The Fine Arts Museum

The Palacco Baburizza serves as Valparaiso’s very own fine arts museum. Its collection focuses mainly on Valparaiso’s initial colonial period, so most of the art is from the 16th century. The building and its exhibits are well worth a look.


One of the most charming things about Valparaiso is that, despite being a world class port of call, it has not become overrun with major commercial shopping centers. The most centralized place to go shopping in Valparaiso is its thoroughly modern cruise ship terminal. Otherwise, roaming the picturesque streets in search of something special and cheap is a huge part of the fun of visiting this fascinating Chilean city.

Best Souvenir To Bring Back To the Cruise Ship

Chile is a country that is well known for its fine lamb’s wool. Valparaiso presents plenty of opportunities for visitors to purchase finely made lamb’s wool sweaters for a very affordable price. Snap one up and remember Chile every time you wear it.

Eating – Sample the Local Cuisine

Valparaiso, like so many parts of Chile, is bursting at its seams with delightful places to grab a bite to eat. If you only sample one dish while in Valparaiso, though, make it chorrillana. This local delicacy consists of a large mound of salty french fries piled high with eggs, steak and onions. It may sound a bit off-putting, but it will probably be one of the most delicious things that you’ll eat during your travels.

When, Where, and How

When To Go

Since winters can be wet and cold in Valparaiso, summertime is the best time to stop by. Summer in Chile runs from approximately December to March, and it is highlighted by warm temperatures and pleasant breezes.

Where You’re Docked

Valparaiso is home to one of the most modern cruise ship terminals in South America. It is located in the Baron’s Wharf section of the Port of Valparaiso and is quite centrally located. Those who have but a brief amount of time to spare will be glad to know that several shops, restaurants and other amenities are located directly at the terminal.

Which Cruise Ships Go Here?

A large number of the major cruise lines have itineraries that include stops at Valparaiso. A few of the most popular cruise lines that stop in Valparaiso are Celebrity Cruises, Crystal Cruises, Silversea Cruises Oceania Cruises. However, there are many other options available in terms of ships, dates, days in port and at sea when it comes to Valparaiso.