:: PLACES TO SEE AND THINGS TO DO IN VALPARAISO
One of Valparaíso’ most exquisite urban historical sites, this was originally the beach where Spanish explorers landed when they discovered Valparaíso in the 1500’s. Later, it became a bustling commercial center, with many century-old family-owned businesses as the Echaurren Emporium, the Sethmacher Sausage factory, and the Knop Pharmacy. Other impressive buildings include the Market Place and the Aztoreca Palace.
The Market Place
This dilapidated historical monument is worth visiting to imagine what it must have been like in its prime. The facade was recently restored, but the interior still requires massive investment.
Architecturally, the central stairway is a wonder. From here we continue down Cochrane Street, flanked by sailor’s bars, to the old Plaza Wheelwright, which features the Custom’s House, the Artillery Elevator, and the institutional headquarters of the Port of Valparaíso.
Calle Errázuriz Echaurren
Named after a former Chilean President who died in Valparaíso, this is one of several trademark streets in this section of Playa Ancha Hill. At the pentagon-shaped intersection you will head down Federico Echaurren Street, starting off with a steep slope that seems to slip straight off into the ocean. At the end you will find a fine restaurant, “El Castillo” with an exceptional terrace and several dining environments. If you don’t want to visit the restaurant, you will access, via the public stairway, the Quince (Membrillo) Wharf, returning to ocean level once again.
The starting point of the bicentennial route, Torpederas Beach is located at the end of Altamirano Avenue. Currently a hotspot for every day folks, this was once Valparaíso’s most fashionable hang-out for the hobnobbing elite in the 1930’s.
Membrillo fisherman’s Wharf
This fisherman’s wharf enables visitors to learn about the lifestyle of the artisan fisherman in Chile. These humble, dignified folks preserve centuries-old traditions of working the sea. The restaurant is not elegant but the fish is fresh. This is also an excellent place to witness the colorful Procesión of Saint Peter, the patron saint of fisherman, celebrated every year at the end of June.