I just had real coffee. Real coffee. And good, really good, real coffee at that. Do you understand how groundbreaking this is? I’ve been on instant coffee (Nescafé) for two months. (Also, oh my goodness, I am halfway through my study abroad. Pause for freak out. … Okay. Continue.) So, in honor of this delicious cappucino I had this afternoon, this post is dedicated to Valparaíso, Viña’s beautiful neighboring city.
The first thing you should know about Valparaíso, nicknamed Valpo, is that people go largely for one thing: the graffiti. As far as I am concerned, Valpo is the street art capital of the world – or at least South America, and definitely of Chile. People spend hours walking the hills and taking photos of beautiful, sometimes controversial, murals. I am sure I have only seen a fraction of a fraction of the murals in this city.
The second thing you should know is that, while Valparaíso is very tourist-oriented, it is ripe with thieves. (ie: Be careful with your shit, y’all.) I would recommend two very popular hills – cerros in Spanish – that are littered with street art, as well as food and hostals, should you need them. They are Cerro Alegre and Cerro Concepción, and they actually run into each other. You’ll likely end up on one if you start on the other.
This brings me back to the coffee I mentioned earlier: it’s located on Cerro Concepción. The name of the place is Café de Iris, and it actually won an award for the best coffee in Valparaíso. It’s adorable. If I’m in the city enough, I have no doubt I will be a regular by the end of my semester in Chile.