One of the largest cities in Chile, Valparaiso boasts impressive, well preserved industrial features, such as the numerous elevators on its slopes, as well as impressive colonial architecture. The oldest elevator, on Concepcion Hill, was inaugurated in 1883 and is still in use.
After Chile’s declaration of independence in 1810 ended its colonial links with Spain, a new era of open commercial transactions with Europe and North America began. Valparaiso rapidly became the most important harbor town on Chile’s Pacific coast.
Today, however, Lonely Planet describes vibrant Valparaiso’s feeling of “anything goes” as a legacy of its artistic heritage. Pablo Neruda’s house on a hill, La Sebastiana, is open to the public and boasts a 360-degree view of the city and its port.