Valparaíso, (Spanish:), Chile, the nation's legislative capital and the capital of Valparaíso province. Valparaíso is on the Pacific Ocean and is one of South America's leading ports. It is also the western terminus of a trans-Andean railway. Commerce is the economic mainstay of Valparaíso, but manufacturing is also important.
Valparaíso is built on a wide bay, with the main business district on the waterfront. The city spreads in a semicircle up the steep, rocky hills that flank the bay. Cable railways and steep, winding roads lead to the residential sections. Chile's naval academy is in Valparaíso. Also in the city are a university of technology, a Catholic university, a cathedral, and two museums. An oceanographic institute is in nearby Viña del Mar, a fashionable resort city.
Valparaíso was founded in 1536. Most of its present buildings were built after 1906, when an earthquake destroyed most of the city. Valparaíso became Chile's legislative capital in 1990.