Valparaiso is one of the oldest cities in Chile. Its origins date back to 1536 and, because it was a main port, it played a decisive role in the national liberation process.
Located 120 kilometers from Santiago, and surrounded by Viña del Mar, Concon, Quilpue and Villa Alemana, the group of cities forms the Greater Valparaiso Area.
The National Congress is an important landmark of the city of Valparaiso – home of the legislature, where the laws that govern Chile are discussed and approved. The city also houses: the regional government, almost all of the regional secretariats of the central government (SEREMIS), and the Chilean Navy, making Valparaiso the main supplier of management processes and leadership in the public sector.
Valparaiso is famous for its diverse topography, dominated by 44 hills that create a natural amphitheater, where the ocean merges with the sky. There are streets up and down the foothills, narrow passages, never-ending stairs, look-outs, houses hanging over cliffs, and antique elevators with glimpses of the sea.
Valparaiso has almost 300.000 inhabitants, with around 94% living perched in the hills.
The port city thrives because of a wide range of port services. Major financial institutions, such as banks and investment firms, are concentrated in the narrow plan of the city, near government services that regulates commercial transactions.
The city is heir to a historical past that gives it a unique identity. In the 19th century, Valparaiso welcomed successive groups of immigrants, mainly European, giving the city its cosmopolitan and pluralistic character. Valparaiso’s distinct aspect in a country that, due to its formidable natural obstacles, had an insular and monolithic culture for centuries. A testimony of its richness is the heterogeneous architecture that can be seen as you explore the city.
Source: Municipality of Valparaíso