Wandering through Valpo's streets admiring its murals and architecture is one of the city's best activities. Don't miss a trip or two on one of the six rattling ascensores (funiculars), built between 1883 and 1916, that crank you up into the hills and meandering back alleys (several more are currently being repaired). Beach lovers should head north to Viña and Zapallar.

Practical Tip: Hop on the Bus

Sure, you can take the creaky antique elevators or huff it uphill on foot – but there's another unforgettable way to experience some of Valparaíso's magic. The route of local bus O (labeled micro O or sometimes micro 612) carries a mix of weary locals and camera-toting tourists through the narrow alleyways and across several of the city's steep hillsides; you can board in front of Congreso Nacional, atop Cerro Alegre or at various other points throughout town.