Valparaíso was founded in the mid-1500s as a port town. Located on the Pacific, its location is vital to both industry and recreation.
|A view of Valparaíso, from a lookout above the port.|
Historically, its port made Valparaíso one of the most important coastal cities in South America. For ships that rounded Cape Horn, Valparaíso was the first port that ships would encounter on their long voyage around the continent. However, with the opening of the Panama Canal in 1914, the importance of Valparaíso as a seaport decreased.
The port of Valparaíso very much reminds me of the port of Seattle. When I first moved to Seattle, I thought the ports were hideous-looking. The ships and containers complicated the shoreline and the cranes obstructed the skyline. With time, though, I've come to appreciate the value and asthetics of ports. They can be quite beautiful, in their own way.
|Colorful containers add to the vibrance of the city.|
As a seaport, fishing is an important industry in Valparaíso.
|Fish handlers discuss the day.|
|One of the many docks lining the city's shore.|
And, of course, the shoreline provides a valuable means of recreation for both humans and wildlife.
|A view from the promenade.|
|People gather at the water's edge...|
|...as do colorful loro birds.|
|This old pier post provides a lounging spot for birds...|
|...and sea lions who lazily bask in the sun.|
|Sea birds perch atop a guano-covered rock.|
|Teenagers converse amongst the graffiti-covered rocks.|
|An abandoned swimming pool, collapsing at the ocean's edge.|
|El Mecánico sits on a sidewalk...|
|...and watches school children hang out at the beach.|