Valparaíso – Historic Centre – a perfect day on Cerro Concepción

Cerro Concepción is the jewel of the historic centre, a must-visit for anyone coming to Valpo. Besides the excellent views the hill has some beautiful architecture from the latter half of the nineteenth century which was built by the British and German communities who once lived there. As it’s the most visited area, it also has the highest concentration of street art, and quite a few decent places to eat and drink. Basically everything I need for a perfect day out…

You’ll find everywhere I mention on my map.

There are a few ways to get up Cerro Concepción, a couple of which it shares with its neighbour Cerro Alegre, so I’ll tell you about them in the next post. I needed a bit of exercise so I walked up Almirante Montt and took the first right up Beethoven.

It’s a nice route as there’s plenty of eye candy along the way.

Beethoven turns into Paseo Atkinson at the top of the hill. From the mirador (viewing point) here you can look out over the town. Even the warehouses and office blocks below have murals on them (click to expand).

At the beginning of Paseo Atkinson is the Hotel Brighton at 151- 153. Perched on edge of the hill, the bar terrace is also a good spot to enjoy a good view.

For lunch I recommend La Concepción at 541 Papudo, which serves the best food I know of in the Gran Valparaiso area (Intermediate A). Not only is the food excellent, it has stunning views over the bay.

It was my first time so I wasn’t to know that the best tables are on the front row of the terrace. For future reference, it there is six of you, you want table 6, and if you are two people, you want either table 7,8 or 9. If like me you’re a single diner, do what I do and pretend there’s two of you and, once seated, say that the other person has cancelled. It stops you being shunted off to some ignoble corner.

After several days of eating badly, and finally finding a good restaurant, I went into full on treat mode. It was a hot day so first I quenched my thirst with a bottle of Mestiza, a local artisanal American pale ale, pictured here with the infused butters and olive oil that came with the bread. My starter was the Duo de Ceviches (pictured above) which were prawns and Reineta (a local fish) marinated in lemon juice, ginger, onion, avocado, fine herbs and virgin olive oil. The Leche de Tigre (marinating juice) was served in a shot glass on the side. A good ceviche like this is for me a litmus test of a restaurant in Chile.

After this, with the waiter’s strong agreement, I had the Ravioli di Centolla; pasta parcels of grated almonds and crab meat in a mushroom and truffle sauce. Sublime (A). As ever, the Sauvignon Blanc was also really good. And to finish, the dessert sampler of three different typical desserts, the names of which I’ve mislaid sorry. It was all top notch (A), slightly more expensive than the average, but worth it, and I left a very happy man.

I wandered the local streets a little longer to walk off the food. Click on the best photos for the best view.

Then I walked up Templeman Street to Cerro Alegre, more of which in the next post…

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