Use caution and common sense when riding up the ascensors (funiculars). Many go up to dangerous neighbourhoods. My husband and I were robbed on Cerro Cordilliera by young thugs. Lost passports, ID, camera, etc. While some of the hillside areas are safe, many are not! Enjoy but be cautious.
There is a public area in the port where everybody can get a closer look of the giant cruiseships in port, BUT that does NOT mean that you are able to simply walk the last 100 meters to the ship from Plaza Sotomayor.
There was NO way to enter the area around the ship, although I had a valid passenger-card. I had to go back 3 km to the other end of the pier, where the only machine was to be found that was able to x-ray all the belongings of the passengers before they were allowed to enter one of the many free buses to get to the ships !
So calculate your time, when you go ashore on a cruise !
As we prepared to disembark our cruise ship, the cruise staff warned us to ensure that we weren't carrying any sweets or chocolates. It seems that Chile is very strict in its laws relating to bringing these items into the country.
We were warned that there would be sniffer dogs as we disembarked and that they were trained to look for confectionery. Most people didn't believe this, but as the warning was repeated packages of sweets materialised on all the tables in the lounge where we waited to disembark as passengers emptied their bags.
We disembarked and boarded waiting coaches which took us to the formal port area and there we were obliged to form two lines, one at either side of the room. We were instructed to leave our hand baggage on the floor to the side and then the sniffer dogs appeared. Mild looiking beautiful golden animals, they walked up and down the rows of people. One of the dogs stopped briefly at a bag two people in front of me and raised his head, then kept walking. The bag was whisked away together with its owner.
The dog waltzed past me and I breathed a sigh of relief, but again I felt that relief way too soon. For some reason that I don't know the customs officials whisked off my LV travel bag and me, searching the bag thoroughly. I was travelling with my elderly Mum. She attempted to follow me but they wouldn't let her. I was more worried for her than for myself, as I knew there was nothing in my luggage.
They let me go after a good old root, but at this stage my Mum was lost. I searched the huge terminal and couldn't find her. After about 20 mins of frantic searching I discovered her with a helpful couple who assisted her in finding me.
A wholly harrowing experience.
As we drove away in our luxury coach I looked out the window and watched two of our fellow cruise travellers departing in a taxi. Suddenly the taxi was overtaken and stopped by the police, the boot of the taxi opened, and the police seized one suitcase and drove off.
Scary stuff - be warned and be very afraid!!!!!!!!
Warning ! In Valparaiso, it's totally forbidden to take pictures of the military boats floating next to the city... You could be directly sent to the jailhouse ! Well, if you might find someone to underarrest you, as police have much more interesting matters to deal with...
Attention, a Valparaiso, il est interdit formellement de prendre en photos les navires militaires mouillant dans le port... Sous peine d'etre envoye directement en prison, sans toucher 20.000 ! Enfin, si la police fait son boulot, bien que je pense qu'elle ait d'autres chats a fouetter !
Try to be always careful while you're in Valparaiso, during the day and night, no matter what time. So keep all your values at the Hotel or wherever you're staying and try to not wear flashy stuff or your expensive jewelries, watch etc. And be careful with your camera too.
For men: NEVER carry your wallet in your trouser's back pockets, better if you keep your money and credit cards in a hidden pocket ;o)
Not that is TOO dangerous, but better to prevent.