Chile Valparaiso Buildings At Sunset 387651445 Hreo

Built upon dozens of steep hillsides overlooking the Pacific Ocean, Valparaíso boasts a labyrinth of streets and cobblestone alleyways, embodying a rich architectural and cultural legacy. Nicknamed “The Jewel of the Pacific”, Valparaíso was declared a UNESCO world heritage site based upon its improvised urban design and unique architecture. Founded in 1536, Valparaíso is not only one of Chile’s most important port cities, it is also its third largest city. Valparaíso remains a source of inspiration for artists of all types, including the well-known Chilean poet, Pablo Neruda. Students can visit Neruda’s seaside home in Valparaíso, as well as the Chilean Congress. Offering strikingly beautiful views from the top of its numerous hills, it is reminiscent of San Francisco. Valparaíso, or Valpo for short, is a city where students can amble away an afternoon exploring its steep and winding streets, peppered with colorful houses, and admire the sparkling Pacific Ocean below. It is also only a two-hour bus ride away from Chile’s capital city, Santiago.

API gap year participants in Valparaíso have the opportunity to participate in local community service projects promoting green initiatives and environmental awareness in the city, working with local non-profits, and teaching English through local community groups. Participants can also improve their Spanish language skills through the completion of a Spanish language and conversation course at a local language institute. One-month, two-month, and three-month placements are available.

“It was perfect in every way! I came to Chile with some personal goals, and I am happy I met them."

Lourdes P. Bryant University
  • Discover More Small Chile Valparaiso Extra

    Cultural Activities

    • Empanada cooking class
    • Salsa classes
    • Bike tours
    • Surfing instruction
    • Street art tours
    • Kayaking session
  • Discover More Small Chile Valparaiso Testimonials

    Things to Do

    Street art tours

    Charming Paseos and walks

    Visit Pablo Neruda's "La Sebastiana'

  • Discover More Small Chile Valparaiso Food


    Pisco Sour (cocktail)

    Pebre (Chilean salsa)

    Chorillana (extreme French fries!)

  • Discover More Small Chile Valparaiso Festival

    Festivals & Holidays

    Valparaíso Popcorn Festival (September 8)

    Fiestas Patrias (Chilean Independece Day - September 18)

    Mil Tambores Festival (100 Drums Festival - Early October)

    Dia de las Glorias Navales (May 21)

U.S. Staff

On-Site Staff


Alejandra Rojas

Alejandra Rojas will be your Resident Director and a resource for you on-site.