I’ve always thought a walking tour unnecessary. Why pay for something you can do for free using a map and guidebook? Besides, following a set route takes away from the fun of exploring (and the grafitti-patterned streets and rambling hills of Valparaiso are absolutely perfect for exploring on foot).
But the Tours 4 Tips walking tour in Valparaiso came highly recommended from both our hostel and other travelers we met, so we decided to give it a go. The concept is simple: join the tour but pay at the end, whatever you think it’s worth.
It was, in my opinion, definitely worth the tip. The guide actually spends money taking you around Valparaiso! I don’t want to give too much away, but you get to ride some cool types of public transport and enjoy a couple of tasty treats through the course of the tour.
It gives a nice introduction to Valparaiso, but still leaves you with plenty to experience on your own. Although the tour covered some of the same places we’d already been to on our previous day’s exploring, I learned new facts and saw aspects I’d not only missed (like the cute art collective where we ended the tour) but wouldn’t even have known were there if the tour guide hadn’t shown us (fire stations, for example, are still run by the members of different ethnic communities that founded them years ago).
This may be the perfect tour for someone who doesn’t like tours!
Things to consider:
Most of the tour takes place outside, so bring protection from the elements. There are some stairs and uneven pavements, but overall it’s pretty easy going (certainly easier than most of Valparaiso).