Valparaíso is Chile's most important seaport and an increasingly vital cultural center. The city is located in central Chile, where it is capital of the Region of Valparaíso. Valparaiso is also home of the National Congress. Built upon dozens of steep hillsides overlooking the Pacific Ocean, Valparaíso boasts a labyrinth of streets and cobblestone alleyways, embodyng a rich architectural and cultural legacy. Valparaíso is protected as a UNESCO World Heritage Site and is often considered to be one of Latin America's most intriguing urban areas.
Valparaíso is located in central Chile, 120 km (74 miles) to the northwest of the capital Santiago. The city is an important educational center with nine universities. Major industries include tourism, culture, and transport. Valparaíso stages a major festival attended by hundreds of thousands of participants on the last three days of every year. The festival culminates with a "New Year's by the Sea" fireworks show, the biggest in all of Latin America, attended by a million tourists who fill the coastline and hillsides with a view of the bay.