Prat Pier is the only place with public access where it is possible to see the activity of big ships and loading cranes night and day. To get there, we went through the little square located in front of Sotomayor Square, which is surrounded by the Customs building and the Park Administration building.
Opposite, there is an anchorage for small crafts. Hundreds of multicolored motorboats wait for tourists to go on the traditional tour off the city shores. The best thing to do is wait until the afternoon so that the sun lets tourists have a better appreciation of the huge natural amphitheater where the city is built. On one side of the port, there are the docks for the oceanic ships.
A noisy environment runs through the whole esplanade. At noon, the smell of seafood begins to escape from the stalls and restaurants nearby. There is also a handicraft market. From a dry dock, it is possible to admire a replica of the Santiaguillo caravel in which navigator Juan de Saavedra traveled from El Callao to bring provisions to conqueror Diego de Almagro.
The breakwater that protects boats from heavy storms can be seen above the sea. Its construction was a port engineering feat, since it is more than 100 meters deep.
Rude sailors are in charge of picking up the nets, dropping anchors and moving heavy panels so as to reach the solid ground they yearn. On the other side, hundreds of piled up containers offer a colorful show in the duty-free zone.
Life seems to spread in slow motion in the historic Valparaíso port. In this area, the sea is endlessly blue and the sun shines bright.
ExtrasPrint this outing
Useful DataOpening hours
All dayBear in mind
It is advisable to begin the tour in the port, off the city shores. Motorboats usually depart after midday. We recommend that the tour begins at 5 p.m. or 6 p.m. to take better pictures of Valparaíso.