Palacio Astoreca Hotel: A Palace in Valparaiso, Chile

One small, ornate corner of Valparaiso’s Palacio Astoreca Hotel

The sprawling city of Valparaíso, Chile is undergoing a large-scale renaissance, from its coastal flatlands to its 43 some-odd hilltops. Preservation efforts are peeling back layers of Valpo’s faded vintage glory and giving it a sharper, more artistic focus.

The splendid, 23-room Palacio Astoreca Hotel makes the ideal poster child for these efforts, while also serving as an emblem of Valparaíso’s elegant, cosmopolitan prime. It’s like a big red symbol of local pride overlooking the Pacific Ocean. 

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Valparaiso, Chile: The Technicolor City

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Valparaiso, Chile’s Cerro Allegre as seen from the Palacio Astoreca

Ninety minutes northwest of the Santiago Airport and right on the Pacific Ocean, Valparaíso, Chile sprawls up and over 43 hills in a South American version of San Francisco. The entire city is a UNESCO World Heritage Site, slowly being rescued from a moldering state of elegant decay, its buildings painted like a cross between an outdoor art museum and a basket of Easter eggs.

Requiring sturdy walking shoes and a willingness to keep your eyes open to detail and design, an exploration of the winding streets, funiculars, harbor, seafood and architecture here was one of my all-time favorite urban adventures

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Off to Chile

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I started the year with only one firm travel goal: 

Visiting South America for the first time.

Tomorrow, I’m off to meet that goal in the long, skinny country of Chile!

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