Upon arriving to our hotel in Santiago, and stepping outside onto the balcony, we thought to ourselves “Santiago, where have you been our whole life?” The city’s snow-capped Andes Mountains are a welcoming party like none other. Santiago is like a date that unexpectedly surprises you with its beauty and charm. And unlike some of its South American counterparts, it’s incredibly safe and easy to explore. Our things to know this week spotlights a city we hope you’ll consider for your next ‘Wing it’ adventure.
Road trips are delightful as Santiago boasts some of the best highways in South America. Driving is also easy as Chileans tend to obey speeding laws
Santiago is expansive so to see the city in its entirety, use the metro which is efficient and stays open until 11pm during the week.
The city is tamer than some of its neighboring party animals. Most bars and night clubs close around midnight during the week
The Aubrey was formally the mansion of a prominent Chilean businessman and restored in 2010 to a four star boutique hotel. The building has tremendous character, each room is uniquely decorated, and the service is truly excellent. On top of all that goodness, the hotel is situated in an ideal location, close to the city’s best bars, museums, and parks in Bellavista.
Boca Nariz offers over 300 Chilean wines as part of their tasting menu. Couple that with delicious food and you may find yourself here more than once during your visit to Santiago.
Jose Ramon is for beer drinkers and ones that want to taste the artisanal scene in Santiago. Casual and on the cheap side, the pub food is good as well.
Mestizo offers a more luxurious seafood dining experience. Located in the Bicentenario Park, the best view for dinning is at lunchtime.
La Piojera is for those who dare to be bold and eat like a real local. Nestled between some strip bars, the place is famous for having the strongest ‘Terrimotos,’ best described as a hodgepodge of alcohol.
Uncle Fletch happens to all of us. Sometimes, we crave hamburgers abroad and when that time comes, you must go here. The ‘Bacon Old Cheese’ is a memorable choice.
Mercado Central is fishy. Regardless if you eat here, the market is worth the visit. If you fancy lunch, head to the more low key stalls which are affordable and yummy.
You’re in luck whether you head East or West of Santiago. Chile is truly a beautiful country and if you’re planning an extended trip, we recommend dedicating four days to cover Santiago and its neighboring gems
If the sea is calling your name then Valparaiso is where you should head. Imagine a marriage between San Francisco and Berlin, colorful homes align steep streets and vibrant street art will glue you to your camera. The likes of Che Guevara and Pablo Neruda have walked this city so there is plenty to stumble upon and admire.
Valle Nevado is absolutely stunning. The journey getting up there is its own adventure. We hopped on a local bus that slowly crept its way up a very narrow road. The ski resort has a mixture of beginner and advanced slopes and for those who want to hang back, ride the cable car to get a view of the Cordilleras which, compare to the likes of the Swiss Alps or Aspen.