New Year’s Eve is a massive event celebrated in all corners of the word, and the colorful city of Valparaíso, just under two hours away from the capital city of Santiago, Chile, is no exception.
New Year’s Eve in Valparaíso is mostly known for its spectacular firework display, which is one of the most famous New Year’s Fireworks display in the world, but also for its party atmosphere. The ‘party city’ does not disappoint at this time of the year with its bustling bars, restaurants, clubs and street parties as well as the pyrotechnical show which lights up the sky over the bay, reflecting in the waters of the Pacific Ocean.
In fact, Valparaíso was rated as the 3rd most amazing place to spend New Year’s Eve in the world by Huffington Post, they wrote:
“New Year’s Eve in Valparaíso, Chile, is one of the biggest parties in Latin America. Considered to be the sister of Rio in terms of sheer celebration size, Chile’s cultural capital and colorful port town is an electric place to welcome in the New Year. Lights are switched off across the city and fireworks are set off from about 15 different points along the coast when the clock strikes midnight: a truly magical scene. But the party doesn’t stop here. Musical performances take place at Plaza Sotomayor where locals and tourists alike, decked in New Year regalia, are known to celebrate into the early hours of the morning.”
New Year’s Eve in Valparaíso is extremely popular, over 1 million people head to this historic port city each year to celebrate the arrival of the New Year, that’s 5 times more people than the actual population size of Valparaíso. This means that the city becomes extremely crowded.
Due to this large number of visitors, most of the streets of Valparaíso are closed off to traffic around 5pm. Before then, an eternal line of cars jam the roads; what should be a 1 hour 45 minutes drive, will likely become a 4 to 5-hour drive. It is certainly recommended to leave early on the 31st of December, or even the day before!
Furthermore, all buses to and from Santiago, as well as hotels and hostels, restaurant tables and bars in Valparaíso and around, tend to be fully booked weeks before December 31st, so it is good to plan your trip well in advance.
If you manage to avoid the chaos and traffic, traveling to Valparaíso for New Year’s Eve this year is definitely worth it. First and foremost, for the previously mentioned fireworks.
If you’re a big fireworks lover, then you definitely don’t want to miss the New Year celebration in Valparaíso. The spectacular fireworks display explodes over the harbor of Valparaíso every New Year’s Eve, as soon as the clock strikes midnight, and lasts roughly 20 minutes. It draws in immense crowds every year, with people arriving and saving their place from early in the morning in order to keep their prime viewing spots ready for the evening.
A few minutes before midnight, just before the fireworks display begins, the first few blocks from the waterfront into the city get their power cut so that those on the hills can better appreciate the show.
As soon as the clocks strike midnight, the streets will be drowned in confetti, bottles of champagne will spray over everyone and people hug each their family, friends, and whoever else happens to be next to them, and the fireworks display will begin.
The fireworks are synchronized all along the harbor, usually with 17 different launching points located from Valparaíso, past Viña del Mar, all the way to Concón, and even further up to the beach village of Zapallar. One of the most famous and classic parts of the display is the famous ‘cascade of Valparaíso’ which is a ‘waterfall’ of sparks showering down onto the water of the bay.
It truly is an amazing fireworks spectacle, worth going to see during your stay in Chile. They are what makes New Year’s Eve in Valparaíso so exciting!
However, the fireworks display is not all people come to Valparaíso for. It’s the partying in the street which takes place after the fireworks, that makes Valparaíso so much fun at New Year.
A stage is set up in the Plaza Sotomayor, the main square near the wharf, with live bands that will play until the sun comes up. This is the most popular and busy part of the city after the fireworks.
If you want to truly experience the party on the streets, the Paseos Yugoslavo, Gervasoni, Atkinson, 21 de Mayo, or any place along the Avenida Alemania around Neruda’s house, which lies in the center of the bay, are recommended for this.
If you want to have a dinner and party, a good place with music and dance is the Bote Salvavidas restaurant, right by the sea. Other options with direct views over the bay are La Concepción, Montealegre and Oda Pacífico.
Here are just some of the events in Valparaíso this New Years:
• New Year’s Eve at La Joya Sánguches
• New Year’s Eve Party on the Rooftop of Alto Club
• New Year’s Celebration on the Bellavista Terrace
• New Year’s Eve Dinner with a View on Cerro Domingo
• New Year’s Eve in the Sea
If you would like to know more about these events as well as the best places to have a dinner or a drink, download the TheBesty app in the App Store or a Google Play, where you will be able to find out about all these events happening near you and discover fun things to do all in one place.