Valparaíso is situated 120 km north-west of Santiago. It is the regional and legislative capital of the country.

When the Spanish arrived, the area was belonging to the south sector of the Inca empire. The population lived in numerous villages in the valleys and on the coast.

Don Diego de Almagro, pioneer of the Aconcagua valley and his captain Don Juan de Saavedra, the first to reach the Quintil valley, gave her her name. Don Pedro de Valdivia founded Santiago in 1541 and made Valparaíso his port the 13 september 1544.

The city

Since the last century Valparaíso stayed at the edge of the progress: installation of the first telephonic line, of one of the firsts railways of the country and foundation of the newspaper "El Mercurio".

The first harbor of the nation provides a great variety of pleasant and picturesque places, squares, quarters, lanes, beaches, avenues...

Valparaíso, which kept its traditions, is an inexhaustible source of inspiration for the artists.

Valparaíso went from the sea... or from a magical wind. One say that nobody can give her founding date.

During the colonization, Valparaíso saw coming adventurer, soldiers, monks and the first liberal books that prepared the independence.

She then became the first harbor of the Pacific ocean. In the middle of the 19 th century sho looked like the California due to the strangers, representatives of the maritime companies, and the gold prospectors. Creoles, english, spanish, german and others made Valparaíso a really cosmopolitan place.



Victory square
Her capricious architecture is visible through the name of her quarters: Barón, Cordillera, Alegre, Playa Ancha, Los Placeres.

In the plain, the Matriz church, the Victory square, the harbor, the customs house and the legendary chinese quarter are the maritime heart of the Pacific capitale; high place of legendary captains, winners of the Cape Horn.

Governor's palace

In her graveyards sleep true seamen and seamen on the paper, dutch captains, architects and singers, heroes and anonymous, poets and girls...

Valparaíso has a dangerous magic... one says that some days, under a special wind, one can fall in love with a lift, a beach, a bar...

The Prat monument, capitain of the Esmeralda (ex Huascar),
killed at the 1870 battle of Iquique against the Peru

One speaks about an engineer who, without any apparent reason, in the middle of a business trip, bought a bar and since then stays here, talking between the tables...

The port

The floatting dry dock
The first quay of the Chile was built in Valparaíso in 1810, during the colonial period, and was called "Muelle Urrutia".

In 1832, the first goods stores were built aswell as other quays between 1831 and 1832.

The revenue quay was built between 1870 and 1876. At the end of the 19th and at the beginning of the 20th century, Valparaíso was the first South Pacific harbor.

After that last building, a passenger wharf was built and called "Muelle Prat", finished in 1884.

The present installations were built between 1910 and 1930. They spread over more than 2,5 kilometers.

This harbor processes one of the country higher volume of goods per year.

Since 1982, the increase of the contener transportation required to modernise the installations. The private sector takes part to the handling.

The administration in charge of the harbors is the Empresa Portuaria de Chile, based in Valparaíso.

Viña del Mar

On the other side of the bay lies Viña del Mar. It is a seaside resort and the smart suburb of Valparaíso.


Pamir leaving San Antonio, near Valparaíso,
for Antofagasta, probably in 1929

The voyages of the Pamir

The harbours of the Pamir

The Pamir