We got into Valparaiso yesterday afternoon. It´s a much smaller city than Santiago but still pretty big. It is a port town for huge cargo ships and has a couple small beaches but the better beaches are in the next town Viña Del Mar which is right down the road. We can take a short ride on a train.
We didn´t end up doing a whole lot in Santiago other than walk around and chill out in some parks. We saw separate movies and the prices and theater were up to American standards. We also rode the subway which was clean and efficient. Didn´t really take many pictures. The Hostal we stayed at after the first 2 nights was party central and the earplugs were a necessity at night. People came and went constantly. I would have preferred the hotel but it was $20 more a night. We were able to save some money by cooking in the communal kitchen. We were there for some elections which unfortunately shut down the whole town. The weather was very hot and the sun was blistering. Luckily it is much more comfortable here in Val. but not the best beach weather I guess.
The Hostal we are at now is much more subdued. It´s an old building with lots of character and 12 foot ceilings. Hope to have some pics tonight.