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This Chilean Port City Stole My Heart

08/16/2015 09:51 EDT | Updated 08/16/2016 05:59 EDT
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Valparaiso, Chile has lots of really good street art! September-2013

The Chilean port city (and UNESCO World Heritage site) of Valparaíso has stolen our hearts. Wander around its bustling plazas, get lost in its hilltop neighbourhoods and gaze at a myriad of intriguing street art.

Stay: Rest your head at the Palacio Astoreca Hotel in the trendy Cerro Alegre district. A converted Victorian mansion, this inn is the epitome of elegant luxury, complete with a vintage velvet armchair-furnished piano lounge and impeccably curated library. Indulge your vino fancies in the hotel's exclusive wine cellar, stocked with South America's finest. Sip your selection on the terrace facing unbeatable vistas of Valparaiso. Palacio Astoreca Hotel, Calle Montealegre 149, Cerro Alegre, Valparaíso, www.hotelpalacioastoreca.com

Savour: The Palacio Astoreca's Restaurant Alegre just so happens to be one of the city's most talked about eateries. Offering delicious and imaginative cuisine, this resto relies solely on local produce (try the violet ice cream!). Beyond the hotel, Café Turri boasts one of the best views in town and specializes in both Chilean and international dishes. Café Turri, Templeman #147 Cerro Concepción, Valparaíso, www.turri.cl

Sip: You can't visit Chile without trying a pisco sour (or three), and Bar Cinzano is the place to do it. Live music every night makes for a tip-top atmosphere while you sip tangy citrus libations. As Valparaíso's oldest bar, Cinzano is a must-see while in town. Cinzano, Plaza Anibel Pinto 1182, Valparaíso, www.barcinzano.cl

See: Jump on one of the many old funiculars (cable-car elevators) and make your way into the hills to discover vibrant local street art. Another of Valparaíso's best sights is La Sebastiana, home of Nobel Prize-winning poet Pablo Naruda. This eclectic and indulgent building is now a museum -- wander up through several stories of rooms, each with their own theme. La Sebastiana, Calle Ricardo de Ferrari 692, Valparaíso, www.fundacionneruda.org

Colour and culture at every turn. Immerse yourself. --Amy Dillon

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