Compañia de Ascensores Valparaiso
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Ascending Valparaiso’s Ascensores
by Steven Bodzin

Valparaiso has the world’s biggest concentration of hillside railways, known locally as ascensores, or elevators. Victorian developers built 30 of them to shuttle residents and their goods up and down the city’s steep coastal bluffs and ravines. Today, the few that remain in operation are a highlight of any trip. The Ascensor Concepción has a glassed-in machine room where visitors can see cast original iron wheels from 1883 hauling the cars by winding inch-thick steel cable.

Board off Almirante Prat, opposite Gómez Carreño. Runs 9 a.m.-7 p.m. daily; occasionally closed for maintenance. 300 pesos per person, about 65 cents.


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