What Makes Valparaiso Chile's Capital of Culture?

Skyline of central Valparaiso from Planeta Lindo Hostel
When you travel around Chile, you will hear one expression in particular over and over again: "Valparaiso is the cultural capital of Chile."  Other than a few poor attempts to describe the meaning of this expression, with the most common being "all the artists go there," you'll be left wondering what it truly means.

We were so intrigued by this expression that we decided to extend our stay in Chile to figure out why everyone has such a high opinion of a city we rarely hear about.  It only took a few moments in Valparaiso to understand, and the city quickly rose to a spot in our Top 10 favorite cities anywhere in the world.

But the question we were so interested in still needed an answer.  Why is Valparaiso considered to be a cultural highlight of Chile?

Dulce de Leche Overload in Argentina and Chile

Dulce de Leche Ice Cream at Mamusia
Dulce de leche is an iconic South American flavor. Milk and sugar cooked until the mixture is intensely creamy, rich, and caramelized- what’s not to love?

Over the past two months that we’ve spent in Chile and Argentina, we’ve considered it our duty to seek out the best dulce de leche flavored things. While we’ve seen a few dulce de leche flavored desserts in Chile, Argentina has definitely felt like the epicenter of all things dulce de leche. It’s in everything: ice cream, cookies, crepes, chocolates, and churros, the list goes on and on.

What’s even more amazing is that you can buy several kilogram tubs of it in grocery stores. Yum. During our travels through Chile and Argentina, our top priority was finding the best dulce de leche ice cream, but along the way we also discovered some other delicious treats like dulce de leche crepes, cakes, and pastries.   This post features only the best of the best that you must try when visiting these destinations.

A Fond Farewell - Our Tsunami Evacuation on Easter Island

The best sunset we had on Easter Island
The sky was on fire with purples and pinks and just the right amount of clouds: it was our last night on Easter Island and we were giddy that we finally had a good sunset. As we busily snapped our photos with silhouettes of moai in the foreground, a woman approached us. She seemed a bit worried and told us in Spanish that there had been a terremoto, an earthquake, near mainland Chile with a magnitude over 8.0 and that a tsunami warning was issued for Easter Island. She said she’d just received the warning on her phone and that we should get to higher ground immediately. We nodded and said ok, but as we looked around at all the other people she had told, no one seemed to be concerned or moving from their spots.

We went about our business for the next half an hour or so until the colors disappeared from the sky. As we were leaving the sunset spot a cop car pulled up to where we were sitting, and several others could be seen in the distance.

Our night was just beginning.

3 Destinations We Need to Visit on a Mediterranean Cruise

Now that we’ve been traveling around the world for over 300 days, every once in a while we get a little run down and need time to rest and reflect. And it seems during these times of reflection, more and more often our conversations turn to one of us asking, “Hey, remember when we did that Caribbean cruise?” which sets off lots of ooh’s and mmm’s from both of us when we think about how relaxed we were and how much fun we had visiting a new island every day. Then we look at each other and agree that we need to do another cruise, and soon.

With all the delicious food, sunshine, and hospitality we experienced in the Mediterranean, we think going for luxury and looking at these cruises in the Mediterranean would be a great opportunity to get back and visit some new destinations that we missed on our land based tour at the beginning of this trip.

Where would we like to go?  The following destinations are quite high on our list.