6 Great Things to Do in Santiago, Chile
Posted on 06/23/2017
Once outshone by such South American capital cities as Lima and Buenos Aires, Santiago, Chile, is making a name for itself thanks in part to a burgeoning culinary scene, thriving art colonies and a hip energy—all set against a backdrop of charming Colonial architecture.
Today, the only shadow this city of 7 million residents sits under is that of the Andes Mountains.
For those considering a visit, we suggest you make time for these places:
This funky neighborhood is the ideal place to while away a few hours or even an entire day.
Filled with art galleries, cafes and trendy boutiques, it’s a great place to souvenir shop for friends or a little something for yourself in between rounds of people watching and dining. Stroll the graffiti-lined streets, enjoy a cocktail and revel in all that makes this neighborhood a popular destination for locals and tourists alike.
“Now we will count to twelve, and we will all keep still.”
So began Pablo Neruda’s poem ‘Keeping Quiet’, and fans of the writer will surely want to take a moment of silence to revel in the fact that they are standing in the former home of this Nobel Prize-winning poet. Named “Woman with the Tousled Hair” for Neruda’s third wife, this converted museum in the Bellavista neighborhood has been painstakingly restored to the point that visitors may think Neruda just stepped out for a coffee.
Although one can tour the museum on their own, the audio guided tour provides a richly detailed glimpse into his life and the forces that shaped him.
St. Christopher Hill
Just to the north of Bellavista sits Metropolitan Park, a vast green expanse where St. Christopher Hill rises some 3,000 feet to offer visitors a stunning view of Santiago below and the statue of the Virgin Mary at the summit.
Getting there means hopping a ride up on the funicular located on Pio Nono Street, or making an arduous 45-minute hike. Whichever means you choose the rewards are great.
Regardless of whether you’re a foodie, a seafood lover or none of the above, this market is worthy of a visit if for no other reason than to sample some supremely fresh ceviche. Fishmongers selling everything from giant squid and sea urchins to more traditional fare mix with stalls hawking produce and spices.
Oenophiles rejoice. Chile is known for its wines, and some of the best are produced within an hour’s drive of Santiago.
The vineyards of Concho y Toro, for example, are approximately 15 miles to the southeast and are easily reached by taxi, although those looking to go further afield would be better served by using a reliable tour operator.
Chilean Museum of Pre-Columbian Art
Art and history lovers will easily lose themselves in the museum’s collections of artifacts from across Mesoamerica and the Caribbean. Don’t miss the displays of items from the Inca and Aztec empires, as well as the Chinchorrro mummies. Guided tours are available, as are audio guides in English.
PHOTO: Santiago, Chile, has emerged as one of South America’s great cities and destinations. (photo courtesy of Chile Tourism)