The city's Natural History Museum, Av. Condell 1546 in the Palacio Lyon (tel. 32/245-9056), has been closed for desperately needed renovations for the last few years, and continues to shut down for construction -- check on the off chance that it is open (usual hours are Tues-Sat 10am-1pm and 4-9pm; Sun and holidays 10am-2pm; admission $1/70p, or free Wed and Sun). The Galería Municipal de Arte, in the basement level of the Palacio Lyon at Av. Condell 1550, features paintings and sculptures by regional artists, usually arranged thematically and related to the Valparaíso area. It's open Tuesday through Sunday, with erratic hours dependent on the current exhibition.

Special Events -- Valparaíso's famed New Year's Pyrotechnic Festival is an event so spectacular even Chileans consider it something they must see at least once in their lives (during the 2007 New Year, the city shot for the Guinness Book of World Records for the largest amount of fireworks exploded in one evening -- 16,000). Thousands of partiers crowd the streets and hilltops to take in the radiant lights that explode over the shimmering bay. You'll want to stake out your "corner" early atop one of the hills. Savvy Chileans arrive in the early afternoon and bring chairs, barbecues, and a day's ration of food and drink to save their viewing platform for the nighttime fireworks display.

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.