Chile is an amazing holiday destination in South America. It’s also a great stopover. As I’m living in Australia since 2015 and every year visiting family in Brazil, it’s a great break of my long flights journey to my home country. I’ve been in Santiago twice and it’s a very charmin and modern city.
From the flight, you can see the massive and stunning beauty of Andes Mountains, it’s breathtaking. Don’t forget to book the window seat!
Santiago, the chilean capital is one of the most developed destinations in South America. The city is clean, has an efficient subway system and several tourist spots with options for all ages.
Planning a trip to Santiago is great to see historic buildings, parks, museums, wineries, enjoy fine dining and also amazing skiing during winter season.
Here I’ve listed some sights that I loved in Santiago. Be sure to check it out!
Plaza de Armas and Catedral Metropolitana (church) – To start the trip with a historical itinerary through the Chilean capital, go to Plaza de Armas, the heart of the city. Around the square are some of the city’s main historic buildings, such as the beautiful Metropolitan Cathedral.
Palacio de La Moneda – The palace of the Chilean presidential seat is one of the most famous tourist spots in the country. Include in the tour a stop in the building, to take a photo in front of the Palace – tourist life!.
Cerro San Cristóbal and Parque Metropolitano– To enjoy Santiago from the top, with a fantastic view, Cerro San Cristobal is an unforgettable tour as it is one of the highest points in the city. From the top, if the visibility is good, you can admire the buildings, the geography of Santiago and the immense Andes Mountain range.
In the park where the San Cristóbal hill runs a zoo and the climb to the top can be made in the Funicular, leaving the tour even more cool. Up there you can also see the image of the Immaculate Conception, patroness of the city.
La Chascona – Pablo Neruda’s house is located in the Bellavista neighborhood, near Cerro San Cristóbal and goes unnoticed in the eyes of many tourists, but if you are interested in poetry, art, or even architecture, the visit is advised. The house has many of the artist’s objects and has a unique architecture. Make a reservation!
Cerro Santa Lucía – is a true green refuge of peace and calm in the heart of Santiago, surrounded by cars and people but with a panoramic view of the city. The park has monuments and gardens, ideal to climb to the top and enjoy the fantastic view of the Andes on clean days.
National Museum of Fine Arts – for lovers of arts is an excellent option. The museum has more than 5,000 pieces that represent the history of Chilean and foreign art in different periods. It is in the center of Parque Florestal, great for hiking.
Providencia, Lastarria and Bellavista Neighbourhoods – these are awesome places in Santiago. There are a lof of stores, restaurants and pubs, in Providencia, while Lastarria is more refined atmosphere with fine restaurants. Bellavista, a bohemian area, great for enjoying a bar, dining in a charming atmosphere and a cheerful place. Don’t miss the Patio Bellavista.
At a height of 300 meters, the building of the Sky Costanera has the most impressive 360° view of Santiago. You can go by subway to see the highest view of Latin America and enjoy the Andes view really close to your eyes.
Chile is one of the largest wine producers, so visiting wineries is a must-see during your trip. The Concha y Toro is the most famous among tourists and offers a guided tour that shows the wine production steps, and of course, as well as wine tasting at the end of the tour. As it was my first visit and I had few days in the city, I opted for the most famous. But I also know that the Undurraga winery offers the same type of tour, is less known than Concha y Toro and it might be an option for those who prefer a smaller winery.
Valparaiso & Viña del Mar
The port city of Valparaiso is one of the largest cities in Chile and has a very sharp relief with many hills, so many colorful houses stand on sloping areas offering a beautiful view of the sea. Valparaiso stands out for its history and its port, and the nearby Viña del Mar draws attention to modernity.
Viña del Mar is bathed by the Pacific Ocean, with very cold waters, good restaurants, bars and casinos. For those who stay several days in Santiago, it may be worth spending a night in the city and enjoy the lively weather of the waterfront.
The Andes Mountain Range is one of the most beautiful geographic formations in South America and a visit to Chile is perfect to explore this region. Always in the days following the rains, the sky stays clean and it is possible to see the mountain range of several points of the city, like a surprising and beautiful frame.
Those who want to see the Andes from close quarters can make a trip out of Santiago to places like the Cajon del Maipo (it’s a bit far and an adventure tour). It is good to know that during the winter the Andes are snowy and, consequently, attract more tourists in this time.
There are many tours to the ski resorts more focused on this type of sport. In the summer, however, you will end up finding basically hills with land and vegetation, but there are activities and beauties for all times of the year.
I particularly loved the few days that I spent in Santiago and I wish to come back soon with more days to explore the region of the Andes and the Atacama Desert.
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