The Graffitied Walls of Valparaiso

Hilly Valparaiso sits on the coast of Chile, 1.5 hours from Santiago. There is no beach to speak of; you wouldn’t want to go in that water anyway.

The best part of this town, for me, is what you see the second you turn your back on the bay and foray into the winding streets that make up the city. From the bottom all the way up to Avenida Alemania that lines the higher edge of the main city, every stairway, every cobbled street, every fence is covered in some sort of colorful graffiti.

Look at this color-chaotic house and fence!:

Ok I exaggerate with “every” but honestly 70% of city surface has some sort of art or color on it. Some are like the above, but many are more thoughtful. I love it – you get the feeling that if you came back in five years, things would look different. Graffiti by design isn’t static. The next time your favorite piece might be gone, replaced with something new, it’s a cool way to keep a city malleable.

Another traveler I met, from Valencia, Spain, said that he loved this city compared to other cities he’s been to because – say – in New York, every photo you take looks like a postcard you already saw. And that in Valparaiso, there is something notable hidden behind so many corners, everything feels different even looking at it a second time. I loved his thought, as I have been to many places that feel like you’re just replicating the postcard. Not that they weren’t impressionable, but this is just more fun 🙂

I loved this section of town at the top of the Reina Victoria ascensor. This first one may be my favorite of them all:




Imagine having this lady on your stairway:


Or this guy and his tiger, meow:


A mouthful of color:


    Some more choice ones…

Strategic weeds at the bottom, eh:


They’ll paint on anything:


Washed away:


Paper planes:


Find some shade on San Enrique:


O Hai:


This last one is amazing – taking up multiple building faces so you can see from up the hillside. It is another of my favorites:


And a closeup:


Some friends shared this video on Facebook yesterday and though it was pretty amazing especially with how I spent my day yesterday:

This is what happens when you give graffiti artists an abandoned warehouse and an unlimited amount of paint [VIDEO].