Graffiti in Valparaíso

When my friend Laura spontaneously decided to visit Chile, I went into full planning mode. While I’ve never really loved Valparaíso, the coastal city that gets so many comparisons to San Francisco and yet does not grab my heart in remotely the same way, its location makes it great for a quick trip from Santiago. And knowing Laura’s love of slightly gritty urban environments, it was a perfect destination.

Both of us became mildly obsessed with the graffiti that covers much of Valpo. We stuck to the touristy hills of Cerro Alegre and Cerro Concepción, and the graffiti here is art rather than scribbles. Plus we got lucky with gorgeous sunshine, which really made the colors pop.

My commentary would add nothing to these amazing images, so I’ll shut up and leave you with a little photo essay of Valparaíso’s graffiti.

Paseo Atkinson graffiti

Scuba graffiti

Valparaíso graffiti

Cerro Alegre graffiti

Ok, I can’t totally shut up. I’m sure you expected nothing less. Look at this one! It’s chess-themed! And the detailing is incredible! I realize that it probably only increases my (already sufficient) nerd status to say that a chess graffiti is my favorite, but the intelligence and artistry behind this work of art really do make me love it.

Chess graffiti

Underwater graffiti

But here’s my true favorite. Yes, it even beats out my chess friend up there. Because there are puppies. And puppies always win.

Beagle graffiti

More in this series:
Walking the hills of Valparaíso
Colorful eats in a colorful city
Review: Casa Valparaíso Hostel
7 reasons to take a boat tour in Valparaíso

Thanks to Laura for all the wonderful photos.

12 Responses to “Graffiti in Valparaíso”

  1. lydia says:

    hm… not liking valpo!?! jaja. i guess we’ve all got different tastes. im not sure if you were implying so or not, but i think (and love) that most of the graffiti all over valparaiso, not just cerro alegre and concepcion, is artistically appealing rather than just scribbles and tags. even in the most unlikely of places you’ll find gorgeous murals and designs.

    they just finished that large orangish one this summer. its wonderful, isn’t it!

    • Emily says:

      I know I’m a weirdo because everyone loves it, but Valpo in general just isn’t really my style.

      I don’t know what graffiti is like in the rest of the city, so rather than meaning that it’s only nice on those two hills I was trying to make it clear that I’m aware that two hills don’t make up the whole city, so I can’t speak for other neighborhoods. Thanks for giving your insider insight though!

  2. Kyle says:

    I am taking a friend to Valpo this weekend. Anything else you recommend we do aside from nerdily view chess themed graffiti?

    No, I’m not making fun of you, that’s a legit question and I really do want to go see the nerdy chess-themed graffiti.

    • Emily says:

      We spent a lot of time just walking around, really. We also took the bus…I think the 612? Or 216? Some combination of those numbers. Anyway, took it from near the Aduana building up to Pablo Neruda’s house, which made for a cost-effective way to get there and also gave us a little tour of a less touristy route. It made me feel carsick, honestly, since we were going around corners so fast, but Laura enjoyed seeing a different side of the city.

  3. Andrea says:

    The chess piece is amazing! And I love the pooches too. Sad we missed ValP

    • Emily says:

      The intricate detail on the horse seriously blew me away. You guys will just have to come back to drink more Chilean wine and check out the graffiti for yourselves!

  4. Ayngelina says:

    Very cool, the style reminds me a lot of what I saw in Buenos Aires.

    • Emily says:

      I feel like in general, between the graffiti, the dirty streets and the coastal setting, there are quite a few similarities between the two cities, even though at first you might not think of it that way.

  5. Fidel says:

    Like yourself, Emily, I am mildly obsessed with graf too. This is some amazing artwork that you highlight here. I also love the chess piece graf!

    • Emily says:

      Honestly I feel like I tend to just walk past it without noticing. Laura was the one who really made me stop and take a look, and I’m glad she did!

  6. Gerhard Pees says:

    We were this year in April in Valpo, and I took some Fotos of the Graffitis. Back at home, I decided to come back to Valpo to fotograf mostly of them and to make a book of them – with arguments of the artists. So on 5th November we start for our trip to Valpo.

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