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Ascensors, in Valparaíso, Chile – Most Interesting Form of Public Transport

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Ascensors in Valparaiso – Cool Iron Boxes!

The Chilean town of Valparaíso is located on the Pacific, west of the capital of Santiago.

The most notable thing about Valparaíso is its barrios (or suburbs) that are engrained into the hilly surrounds, and the method of transport required to access them from the flat city centre are called Ascensors.

What are Ascensors? And Why in Valparaiso?

Ascensors are bizarre ‘elevators’ that are over 100 years old and are used by locals (and unfit travellers like myself) who could not be stuffed walking up Valparaíso’s large hills – as shown below:

Ascensors In Valparaíso, Near Santiago, Chile

Each Ascensor has its own operator, but what is remarkable about these metal coffins is that they are operated purely by mechanics and gravity, with no trace of any electrical system.

Judging by their rustic character, I think the only maintenance performed on these Ascensors may have been the yearly tin of grease and a paint job that probably occurred when lead paint still graced corner hardware stores.

But I loved riding in the Ascensors.  Even though it felt I was trapped inside a metal coffin!

More Ascensor and Valparaiso Stuff

You can check out more in this print: Ascensor Artilleria with City Buildings Beyond, Valparaiso, Chile.

Other things to do in Chile after riding in an Ascensor – have a ‘Coffee With Legs’ .


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4 thoughts on “Ascensors, in Valparaíso, Chile – Most Interesting Form of Public Transport”

  1. Avatar Of Gary@Hostel Booking

    In Los Angeles they have a similar system downtown, though as it exists today, it is only a historical recreation of the original Angel’s Flight funicular railway. Amazing they use a similar system in everyday life in Chile!
    .-= Gary@Hostel Booking´s last blog ..Voodoo Experience =-.

  2. Avatar Of Electrician Sydney
    electrician sydney

    These Ascensors are incredible! I’ve never seen anything like this in my life! I’m an electrician and I can’t believe that they can work on such a steep hill without any electricity. You’ve sparked my interest to go to Chile to look at them and maybe even pluck up enough courage to go on one.

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