Valparaíso by Trolley

What’s summer without a bit of travel, exploration, fun, and tourism? “Valparaíso en un Trolley” dishes out a bit of all that and more. Theater troupe Teatro de la Historia fills the seats of a 1950s-era green and yellow “trolebus” and rolls out on a tour that takes delightful jabs at the city’s characters while simultaneously conveying pride in this one-of-a-kind city.

Trolebuses de Chile in Valparaíso date to 1952Valparaíso, Chile’s response to Lisbon and San Francisco, has a mystique all its own. While the famous century-old ascensores—funicular cars (oddly called elevators) save residents, tourists, and even local dogs the huffing and puffing of getting to the funky residential top of its many hills, those who need to get around old town in the lower part of the city—the business district, the port, the market, the principal plazas, and sailor central, may choose to do so via old-time electric trolley cars.

Valparaíso en un Trolley

Aspiring "tourism scientist" Filomena finishes her internship on the trolley

Valparaíso en un Trolley pays playful homage to the city’s history, culture, and characters— self-absorbed authorities and social dilettantes, sailors who come and go, the women left behind, the shadier side of the old port, team pride (Go Santiago Wanderers!), night life, local music, pituco high-brow and flaite, young and old.

Valparaíso en un Trolley, Iglesia de la Matriz

Bag-snatching "pirate" in front of the Iglesia de la Matriz, Valparaíso's oldest church, founded in 1559

Valparaíso en un Trolley

Members of Manona Orquesta in the Port (yes, that's a donkey in the background!)

Valparaíso en un Trolley

Returning sailor facing the wrath of one of his many "women in every port"

Having a handle on Chilean Spanish would definitely be helpful for getting the full effect of the show (¿cachái?), but even if you don’t speak Chilensis (the Glossary is a good place to test your ability) the action is fast paced and physical-visual enough that all are sure to have a great time. A delightful way to pass a couple hours on a Friday or Saturday evening during January and February.

Valparaíso en un Trolley, Manona Orquesta

Manona Orquesta in Tertulia Bar (Esmeralda 1083, Valpo)

Valparaíso en un Trolley

Passengers on the trolley

Dates: Fridays & Saturdays in January & February, 2010
: 7:00 PM
: $10,000 / person (includes sandwich,  drink & entertainment at Tertulia Bar)
: Colloquial Chilean Spanish (chilensis)
Reservations: 9-8-487-2958
Meeting Point: Trolley Station, Av. Argentina & Chacabuco, Valparaíso

More info:

For more on Chilean trolleys, in continuous operation in Valparaíso since 1952, see: Trolebuses de Chile


5 responses to “Valparaíso by Trolley

  1. Pingback: Valparaíso by Trolley « Cachando Chile: Reflections on Chilean Culture | Chile Today

  2. so thaaats what happened to la Tertulia!

    hm. interesting

  3. It’s open to the public… In fact we went back with friends that night to see Mauricio Redolés… I barely understood a word… But that’s a whole different story!

  4. I showed this post entry to my gf´s dad, he´s from Valpo, and he got really happy to see this. I ´m going to try this show, looks interesting.

  5. Great! We REALLY enjoyed it and hope they continue doing creative plays like this.
    In fact today’s Mercurio de Valpo has a full page on another “street play” about Emille DuBois that we’re going to try and see next week…

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