Chile
Barón

Here you’ll find travel reports about Barón. Discover travel destinations in Chile of travelers writing a travel blog on FindPenguins.

49 travelers at this place:

  • Day278

    Valparaiso

    February 8 in Chile

    A short (1 ½ hour) bus trip took us to this important port city that’s also a world heritage site. Before the Panama Canal was completed, this was a major stopping point for ships bringing products to the Americas from all over the world. While it’s still quite an active port, it’s lost much of its’ former wealth which is captured in the city’s many beautiful, crumbling, old buildings and villas built into the hillsides.
    Famous today for murals and graffiti art, it was an interesting place to walk around up many steep and windy steps, streets and with occasional rides on funiculars. We’re so glad we didn’t try to drive here, it would have been challenging as all of our rental cars have been manuals and the streets are super narrow, steep and windy.
    Our hotel was in a restored villa and we loved our room with its’ wide-planked wood floors, 15+ foot high ceilings and a view out over the bay. We also enjoyed some very fresh fish and delicious salads at cafes and overall preferred the city to Santiago. The only downside was all the free-range dogs meant having to be very careful about where you walked as there was dog doo everywhere (this let your dogs roam free thing is the only real unpleasant part of Argentina/Chile so far).
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  • Day100

    Valparaíso

    January 30 in Chile

    Nicht weit entfernt von Santiago liegt Valparaíso - die kulturelle Hauptstadt Chiles. Geprägt von den vielen bunten Häusern und der Street-Art, hat die Stadt ein ganz eigenes Flair. Bei strahlendem Sonnenschein haben wir eine kleine Hafenrundfahrt gemacht und sind auf verschiedene Hügel mit der Standseilbahn hoch gefahren.

  • Day40

    Letzter Tag in Valpo

    November 13, 2016 in Chile

    Die Zeit vergeht so schnell, heute Nacht muss ich schon wieder nach Concepción fahren.
    Wir haben heute das gute Wetter in der Laguna Verde genossen und haben am Nachmittag eine Hafenrundfahrt gemacht, um Valpo mal aus einer anderen Perspektive zu sehen.

    Die Stadt ist der absolute Hammer, sie ist eine Reise wert!

    Das letzte Foto zeigt meinen Sitzplatz im Bus. Habe ich zu viel versprochen? 😋

  • Day306

    Valparaiso, Chile

    March 15 in Chile

    After a stunning bus ride through the Andes, Whit and I made it to Chile and back to the Pacific Ocean! Our first stop was the artsy coastal city of Valparaiso, think Wellington or San Francisco. The 'cerros' (hills) of the city, where most of the population live, rise up out of the ocean and are remarkably easy to get lost in - both literally and metaphorically. The narrow cobbled streets wind their way upwards while hundreds of twisting and turning walkways and staircases give you picturesque views of the coast. There are colourful graffiti murals around every corner and buskers fill the streets with their Spanish music. Valparaiso is a wonderful place.

    We did a walking tour of Valparaiso, learning about its history as a key port town during the California goldrush. We also spent a day on the beach relaxing, watching a sea lion colony fight amongst themselves, and an evening out singing karaoke. We now head to Chile's capital city, Santiago.
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  • Day747

    Dozy In Mendoza

    June 2 in Chile

    We are struggling a bit with the Argentinan lifestyle and how it ties into Overlanding - over the past 2 years we've generally been getting up with the sun and going to bed at 10ish. However here the time zone is skewed towards Buenos Aires so it still pitch black at 8am and really doesn't warm up until 10ish, then by the time we've eaten breakfast and got ourselves going all the shops and businesses are shutting for their 4 hour lunch break... and then the restaurants don't open until 9ish! Anyway the above means we didn't get to San Juan until the extended lunch break so there was nothing for it but to eat a big steak with roquefort sauce and huge tasty caprese milanesa!

    After an uninspiring night in a petrol station (not as bad as it sounds as they are set up for truckers with wifi, toilets, etc and it was reasonably quiet) we finally arrived in Mendoza. Here our luxurious accommodation was a 24-hour car park but it was smack in the centre so it meant we could go out out! Queue a few more parillas and steaks :) We also had boring admin stuff to do - laundry and dog papers to prepare for Chile.

    We decided we'd had enough of carparks and petrol stations so drove just south of the city into the vineyard area and found a lovely hospiaje run by a former overlander who let us park next to the vines but sit inside by the log burner - bliss! We met a fellow traveling Brit, Tony, and spent the next day touring vineyards and breweries on our bikes. Maya was very happy to get a chance to properly stretch her legs and we've been doing a lot of cities, eating and driving - not her favourite activities. Of course staying out much too late so we ended up tipsily riding home in the dark with no lights....

    Unsurprisingly the next day was a bit of a write off and we spent another night around Mendoza, but this time in a nice little campsite with WiFi, electricity and hot showers (what more could you ask for!) before heading back into town the following morning to pick up the stamped dog papers.
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  • Day220

    Valparaiso, Chile

    May 25, 2017 in Chile

    Art and Armada.

    We're back in Chile! But it wasn't easy. The most direct route to Chile from Mendoza is to head west over the Andes towards Santiago. That in fact, is the only land route to Chile for a long way north or south. Of course, routes through the Andes are limited and - as we found out - very susceptible to snow induced closures. Los Libertadores pass is situated on the Chilean-Argentine border at around 3400m - literally on top of the Andes. Looking DOWN from the customs building, you can see the tips of a ski lift which belongs to a skifield. That's right, the border crossing is at a higher altitude than the skifield!

    When we got there it was no surprise to us that it was snowing. It had been an incredibly scenic drive up the valley through the foothills of the Andes; crossing braided rivers, weaving over and under an abandoned train line and past abandoned buildings standing roofless in isolation. The foothills grew to mountains as we climbed into the cloud under the shadow of the roof of the Americas - Mt Aconcagua at 6900m. We were on edge as we climbed. Not just from the topography of the road, but because the pass is reknowned for it's quick changing weather and resulting abrupt closures (which we had discovered from nightmare stories from other travellers). Luckily it remained open and after a very long wait in the snow we passed through as one of the last buses. The pass closed that night as two days of snow came in and it's anybody's guess as to when it will re-open - lucky us! The 10 hour journey had us safely in Valparaiso just in time for dinner. We celebrated our luck (and hard days travel) at the home of the Chorrillana with Chorrillana - a giant plate of fries loaded with meat, cheese and onion. Ooomph.

    Valparaiso is visually overwhelming, as we discovered the very next day. The port city lies on the Pacific coast of Chile sprawling outward and upward along numerous ridges and valleys. The absence of any town planning has resulted in a maze-like arrangement of streets and alleys which twist and weave up, down and around the mountainous terrain. (It's blazé urban planning can have disastrous results; many houses don't have street access which means no firetruck access and the reason for the numerous burnt out buildings). The only hint of order is found right at the coast, where the ever-growing zone of reclaimed land has provided a flat surface for an orthogonally gridded street network. But the real gem of the city is the architectural diversity and an abundance of street art which can be absorbed from innumerable viewpoints around the city. The geography and urban maze makes it the perfect spot for the Red Bull Urban Downhill (MTB) which is a great watch if you haven't already been 'wowed' by my description.

    It's easy to lose yourself in this place. Not just geographically, but metaphorically too - to lose yourself in your thoughts. And that is pretty much how we spent two days here. We had a fantastic host at our hostel who gave us one of those introductory briefings I have previously raved about. He steered us towards another free walking tour which exceeded expectations and exposed us to the culture and history of this urban jungle.

    Valpo must host the most street art per square metre of external wall of any city in the world. It is absolutely lathered in paint. Whether it's triple storey murals, tasteful graffiti, or unashamedly bold purple or pink walls, the animation in this city is a sight to behold. We lost hours and hours just wandering the streets admiring the art and also the architecture which is an eclectic mix of Spanish, German, French, English, and Croatian between basic, rough and ready dwellings and remains of burnt out collapsed structures. Every house is different yet thoughtfully constructed; usually pokey, colourful and dangling precariously on the edge of a slope.

    From the miradors or elevated viewpoints there is a lot to take in, and the longer you look the more you find. The port is a hive of activity; a mixture of Navy and cargo ships competing for space both on land and at sea, whilst trucks come and go and all the marvellous cranes go about their lifting. Meanwhile on the streets, cars skid up and down hills and anyone on two wheels frantically fends off hoards of stray dogs who - as friendly as they are - have taken a particular disliking to anybody on such transport. Valparaiso may not have a lot to do, but trust me when I say there is plenty to see. And plenty to eat.

    We didn't need to but we ate like Labradors and drank like fish in Valpo. Chilean food inevitably comprises meat, pastry, cheese and not much else and I'm sure you needn't be reminded that empanadas are the popular king of this diet. A few steps behind in popularity (but in no way unpopular) are completos which are giant hot dogs filled with just about anything including avo, tomato, cheese and mayo. Fries are served by the bucket more often than not especially if you have them in a Chorrillana and it shouldn't surprise you that these are accompanied by all the sauces - occasionally by the cup-full. My fading reputation as king of the deep-fry returned in strength during the few days we were here and one meal - the completos - almost digestively crippled the both of us.

    However, when you're able to listen to your head and not your stomach there are some great food options. Menu del dia (or just menu) is a great and cheap way to get a three course lunch. It's often a soup, followed by a meat and rice dish and a sweet treat for dessert and usually set us back around $7-9 each. There's also great beer, wine and coffee if you choose correctly and of course the infamous pisco sour which is literally unavoidable.

    Whilst resting our weary legs in an out-of-the-way (and very good) coffee shop we got chatting with two blokes from Canada. With the help of the shop owner, we got stuck into a game of dice which continued into the evening. The coffee turned to wine (no - not a religious miracle this time) and before we knew it we had picked up their third colleague and headed out for some delicious Peruvian food and much more wine. It's not all that often we share the company with first languange english speakers these days so it was such a nice change to speak normally and enjoy a fluent conversation!

    Valpo is also home of the Chilean Armada (Navy) and it's impossible to miss. If you somehow fail to observe the enormous Navy frigates lining the docks there's plenty more; the main square hosts a statue and monument to those who fought in the Navy in the War of the Pacific, the Navy and Maritime musuem overlooks downtown from a headland, Artillery hill shares a similar presence and the Navy headquarters are centrally located in the most impressive and unmissable French-inspired building I have ever seen. On top of all that, there are an expectedly high number of men and women in uniform, standing guard or otherwise. That musuem by the way, offered some interesting insight into the Navy's history which played a great part in Chile's independence and that they are outwardly very proud of.

    On our final evening, we took a boat ride out through the port to get up close to the ships and to get the highly regarded ocean view of Valpo. It was stunning! We even got up close and personal with a couple of very lazy sea lions and passed under the stern of a container ship - cheeky skipper!

    We're also finally begin to appreciate just having time. Much too often we're hustling for the next bus, the next hostal and the next activity. Life on the road can easily become just that. Valpo was a lesson otherwise and we thoroughly enjoyed it, even if we have to spend the next month working off the effects of our diet.

    From here we'll ride a few buses to get to a teeny village called Las Peñas - two or three hours south of Santiago. We're trying our luck on another Workaway, this time as help at a reasonably high end lodge. The internet isn't meant to be too flash so you might not hear from me much for the next two weeks. I am absolutely spewing that I can't watch the America's Cup and desperately hope we'll be back to civilisation before it ends. In the meantime, the rest of you best be getting behind our boys and appreciating the public rise of the hydrofoil - pun intended. Go ETNZ!
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  • Day56

    Valparaiso

    October 5, 2017 in Chile

    We stayed at the Hotel Brighton, a yellow, clapperboard house, perched on the edge of one of the many hills upon which Valparaiso is built. Opinion varies - the poet Pablo Neruda said that there were no hills in Valparaiso, using the geographical definition of a hill as a separate entity. However, the general consensus is that there are at least 42. From our black and white tiled hotel terrace, there were views to the city, the sea, and to a small square, directly down from our bedroom window. When we stood in the square, at the beginning of our free walking tour, the hotel loomed garishly over the group, and we were simply able to point skyward when asked where we were staying. In fact, our walking route eventually took us past our accommodation, to take in the brilliant views from the promenade just beyond it.

    Valparaiso was once very grand, an important naval town because of its location, and has a number of fine buildings and monuments that indicate its former glory. However, the building of the Panama Canal put paid to all that - Valparaiso is no longer a stopping point for shipping, travelling between the Pacific and Atlantic oceans, and has gone into a steady decline ever since. For example, in its heyday, there were thirty one lifts dotted around Valparaiso, to assist with pedestrian transport up its many hills, but now only fourteen remain, most of which are out of service. When we were there, only two were in use. Another, the one nearest to our hotel, was under renovation.

    The walking tour we joined was led by Dani, a very knowledgable local who has lived in Valparaiso all his life, even attending one of the many universities in the city. I don't think there is anything he doesn't know about his place of birth - politics, street art, culture, history, and more politics, and he didn't leave anything out. We started about 10.15, and he said to expect his tour to last about 5 hours! Luckily there was a stop for lunch, at a cafe that sold great empanadas (South American pasties).

    Valparaiso is particularly known for its colourful houses, street art and graffiti and it did seem that every available space was decorated. Dani said that there is a section of Valparaiso society who feel that this is a bad thing, and that some of the culture of the town is being lost as a result. He took us to a gated alleyway that had once been his favourite tour stop because of the variety and ever-changing nature of its artwork. It was now painted in magnolia - the owner had decided that, although he appreciated the street art, he wanted things doing "the right way" and was only going to allow specially invited artists to decorate his walls. It is true that even the most traditional of buildings has not been spared the vivid decorative treatment. There is graffiti on walls, floors, doors, steps - one staircase was painted as a piano keyboard, and another with a message, "We are not hippies, we are happies". Not quite as profound as the 'poesia' that I saw written on Cusco's walls three years earlier, but very flowery and cheerful, nonetheless. A rare place without graffiti, a telegraph pole, was yarn bombed in protest, and bunting was strung in the gaps between houses. I personally think the wiring in the town is more of an eyesore than some of the less accomplished graffiti and tags (all of it visible, twisted like some Gordian knot, and often hanging within touching distance), and also a serious fire hazard - there was in fact a massive fire in Valparaiso in 2014 that killed 15 people and destroyed more than 2000 homes.

    Transport was interesting in Valparaiso too. We saw a VW Beatle, still in working order being driven round the cobbled streets near our hotel, and obviously there was the remains of the lift system for higher ground. My personal favourite however, was the slide that connected one level of ground to another on Concepcion HilI. I may even have used it if it hadn't been for my dodgy back. Chris didn't hold back though, despite the queue of school children waiting for a turn. Most interesting though were the trolley buses, many of which were relics from the 1950s. As we left the town, we deliberately travelled on one of the oldest of these vehicles, and were rewarded with a tune from a busker on a mandolin who serenaded us from the back of the bus.

    Would I recommend staying at Hotel Brighton? Probably not. Our room was quite dark and dingy, down some stairs in the middle of the terrrace. The bathroom was fairly grotty, with a Bleasby style 'killer shower' (personal family joke), and the bed was very uncomfortable, with shot springs - extremely painful on a bad back. However, the restaurant was excellent - the food was delicious, and the views from the terrace (where we could have taken the very good breakfast, if we were hard enough) were exceptional.
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  • Day5

    Chaos!

    April 10 in Chile

    Unlike Santiago which I found very clean and orderly in most parts of it, my first impression of Valparaíso was: what a mess!

    Unpleasant smell around the bus station, chaotic traffic, people and stray dogs everywhere... and the bus stop! It didn’t even have any signs or directions on it!

    Fortunately I did manage to catch the bus to my Airbnb. All I did was 👋 the bus, hop on, pay 💰 and say the name of the stop I’d like to get off. The bus driver was very kind and reminded me to get off :)Read more

  • Day7

    Last minute walk

    April 12 in Chile

    Walking down the steep hill below la sabastiana to the city centre and finally back to the bus terminal.
    Tried hard to see hear and feel it all that I could along the way.
    Felt sad to leave.
    What a special place.
    Gracias Valparaiso.

  • Day152

    Die schönen Seiten vom Paradies

    June 28, 2017 in Chile

    "Valparaiso wird dir gefallen!", haben sie gesagt... und sie sollten Recht behalten! ☺

    Die Erkundungen in meiner freien Zeit - überwiegend mit einem Zucker-süßen mexikanischen Mitstreiter-Pärchen - führten mich immer wieder in die gleichen bunten Ecken. Das lässt sich alles gar nicht alles auf 6 Bildern abbilden! Deshalb gibt's diesmal ein bisschen mehr von mir zu sehen. 😉
    Dank Andrea & Hector gibt es nämlich wieder mal ein paar Bilder von mir.

    Mein absolutes Highlight war als wir an ei em Samstag-Nacht meiner chilenischen Freundin auf dem Weg zum Club hinterhergelaufen sind und sie plötzlich sagte "...und jetzt rutschen wir hier runter!" - und da war sie, die Rutsche mitten in der Stadt!

    Und sie hat mich wieder gesehen: am nächsten Tag trotz Regen mit den gleichen Leuten, ein paar Tage später beim Wiedertreffen mit meinen zwei Hobbyfarm-Damen und einen Tag drauf nochmal mit dem Mexikanischen Pärchen. 😊 Rutschen macht glücklich! 😍
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You might also know this place by the following names:

Barón, Baron

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