Nestled away from the smog of the bustling metropolitan and behind the curtain of the western coastal mountains is a city that needs no introduction. Resting above sprawling hillsides and overlooking the ocean, Valparaiso can remind one of a San Francisco. The city is speckled in brightly-colored houses and some of the most renowned street art in the world. It’s home to Pablo Neruda’s San Sebastián home, a four story home that overlooks the entire bay.
To the city’s immediate north is its partner community of Viña Del Mar, which sits along the beach – truly making it the western end of the continent of South America. For me, I won’t soon forget the smell of the ocean, the sounds of the waves breathing new life into the tierras, and the view of the entire region from the beach.
But for others, it’s a coastal refuge. A place far from the grit and smog of Santiago. A place where one can think. A place where one can dream. A place one can just truly be.
That’s what the coastal region has been for me, at least. I’ve already been twice and am already planning the next trip. I’ve loved exploring the countless alleyways and hideaways found in Valparaiso and taking a long walk along the beach. The escape allows me to live within my own thoughts for a small time, and recharge my creative energy for the week ahead.
Perhaps we all need that escape – a coastal refuge all their own. Somewhere we can claim a semblance of ownership of and somewhere we can just hide once in a while. I’m damn glad I found mine while here in Chile.
Here’s to the next adventure.