16 photos of Valparaiso that’ll make you wish you were a street artist

Street art. Wherever you look in Valparaiso you see street art. It’s on every single wall, doodled on every single door, even scrawled on every single bus.  Honestly, it’s everywhere, but there’s no denying it, there really is some of the world’s best street art here.

Valparaiso, the creative and colourful city west of Santiago, has become a honeypot for young creatives looking for ways to express themselves. In Valpo (as the locals fondly call it), street art is used as a form of expression, both politically and socially, and it really has come to define the city.

Under the oppressive regime of Augusto Pinochet in the 1970s, street art was a silent form of protest, although not heard but at least seen, and it gave birth to a mantra still strong today; this is our freedom of expression. This is our city.

Valparaiso is an anomaly. Everywhere else in Chile street art is illegal, but not in Valpo. Here, the local government not only supports the local street art culture, but it actively promotes it, to the point where they have even commissioned a number of pieces around the city. It’s hard to say whether the government knew the effect this would have, but these days people travel from all over the world just to see the street art here.

Street art means everything to the people of Valparaiso, hidden messages and meanings scrawled upon the walls, and it’s given the city such vibrancy, such vitality, it’ll make you consider tagging your own bedroom to bring a bit of colour to it.

Here are 16 photos of Valparaiso that’ll make you wish you were a street artist…


Macca Sherifi is a presenter, photographer and videographer who has worked in the travel industry for the past six years. He has travelled to over 75 countries, volunteered in Bangladesh and worked in both China and Australia.

  • This is so awesome! What creative people, and what a forward-thinking local government!
    My friend persuaded me to sign up for the graffiti workshop thing on the sunday of Traverse next week, maybe I will discover I’m a street artist! Hehe. Don’t think I’ll be able to do anything of this quality though.

    • Tell me about it Rachel! Valparaiso really is a creative place, and it’s great to see the support of the local government too. Good luck with the graffiti workshop on Sunday and let me know how it goes. It’s time to unleash that inner street artist!