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At the southwest corner of the Anglican church, walk up Templeman and left on Urriola. Just past the El Desayunador cafe on the left is a barely perceptible promenade, called Dimalow. Halfway down the esplanade, you will encounter one of the best viewpoints in Valparaíso, a truly spectacular vista of the bay, the tall steeple of the Lutheran church, and the colorful, tumbledown homes clinging to the hills. Bring your camera. The Queen Victoria Funicular is here, and you can ride it down to Cumming Street, head left 1 block to the Plaza Aníbal Pinto, then down Esmeralda until reaching the Plaza Sotomayer.

The coastline of Valparaíso, accessible at Muelle Baron (parking 50¢/35p for 30 min.), has an attractive jogging/walking path that hugs the shoreline, offering splendid views for visitors seeking a little exercise. Also at Muelle Baron is Puerto Deportivo (tel. 32/259-2852; www.puertodeportivo.cl), which offers kayak rental for $7 (£4.70) for a half-hour, which includes gear, kayak, and use of their showers.

The Port Neighborhood -- Begin at the Customs House (Aduana), the grand, colonial American-style building built in 1854 and at the north of town at Plaza Wheelwright at the end of Cochrane and Calle Carampangue. To the right, you'll find the Ascensor Artillería, built in 1893; it costs 15¢ (10p). The wobbly contraption takes visitors to the most panoramic pedestrian walkway in Valparaíso, Paseo 21 de Mayo. Don't miss the view of the port from the gazebo. Follow the walkway until reaching the Museo Naval y Marítimo. To return, double back and descend via the ascensor, or head down the walkway that begins at the cafe, and take a left at Calle Carampangue.

Ruta Bellavista: From Plaza Victoria to the Casa de Pablo Neruda (La Sebastiana) -- The recent incarnation of the "Ruta Bellavista -- Culture and Poetry" is the result of businesses, artists, and the Fundación Valparaíso on Cerro Bellavista banding together to offer a mapped walking route that incorporates some of the city's highlights, including La Sebastiana, and Plaza Victoria, where in the late 1880s elegant society met, and whose grand trees, trickling fountain, and sculptures imported from Lima recall that era's heyday. The Ruta also includes the Open Air Museum, a public art display featuring more than 20 murals painted on cement retainer and building walls along winding streets. Pick up a brochure with a map at most restaurants, hotels, or at the visitor kiosk on Plaza Sotomayor or Plaza Aníbal Pinto.

Really, the best way to walk this route is downhill (unless you need the exercise -- Calle Ferrari is Valparaíso's steepest street), beginning high up at La Sebastiana and continuing down along Ferrari, veering left onto Héctor Calvo and taking a quick duck left onto Temuco to see the Villa Hispania castles. Continue down Héctor Calvo until reaching the outstanding Gato Tuerto bookstore and arts-and-crafts shop at the Fundación Valparaíso (Héctor Calvo 205); there is also Internet service here and a cafe. Turn right on Pasteur and make an immediate right onto Guimera for the Open Air Museum, which continues down along Rudolph, looping back onto Ferrari, where, if you head left, will take you down to the Plaza Victoria at Edwards and Independencia. The Ascensor Espíritu Santo allows you to ride up to simply catch a glimpse of the Open Air Museum, and can be found on Aldunate Street; take a left after getting off and continue the walk at Rudolph Street (as earlier).

Note: This information was accurate when it was published, but can change without notice. Please be sure to confirm all rates and details directly with the companies in question before planning your trip.