World Heritage status tends to mean a place is worth a look – they don’t dish the certificates out like sweets. So it proves with Valparaiso. Brightly coloured buildings spill down the sheer streets towards a bustling Pacific port, with rickety old ascensors on hand to provide an easy way back up. There’s an incredible amount of street art everywhere, too (even for someone that spends their working hours around Shoreditch).
In many spots the colour can’t disguise the grime of faded glory, in keeping with a place whose heyday was back when the Panama Canal remained undug. But many areas seem to be back on the up. Sensitive renovation is happening everywhere and there’s plenty in the way of posh restaurants. One of them – Pasta e Vino – served up the finest meal we’ve had in all of South America, with clams grilled in lime and ginger and scallop ravioli with Roquefort sauce making the splurge more than worthwhile.
Looks like they know what they’re doing with this World Heritage business, then.