a week in Santiago, Chile

Discussion in 'Central/South America' started by k_malm, Oct 12, 2011.  |  Print Topic

  1. k_malm
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    k_malm Silver Member

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    I will be spending about a week in Satiago, Chile. Any recommendations on what I should do/see/stay/stay away from?
     
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  2. iolaire
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    iolaire Gold Member

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    Can you report on this trip please? We will spend a full week in Santiago in January and would like to hear from someone that spent that much time in the city. We are not planning on leaving the city beyond day trips.
     
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  3. newbluesea
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    newbluesea Gold Member

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    The attractions in Santiago are not as numerous as you will find in other cities and it all depends on your interests, hence I will stick to a few personal highlights of my visits:

    1) Visit San Cristobal and take the wooden funicular from Bellavista to the huge statue of La Vigen the overlooking the city. There used to be a great aerial gondola which gave a fantasticview of the city but that was closed a few years ago an i am not sure if and when its planned to be reopened. Note San Cristobal can be crowded on weekends.
    As far as the Barrio Bellavista district there are lots happening here, colorful, old, interesting houses, lots of artists galleries and plenty restaurants, bars and shops.

    2) Plaza de Armas, Palacio de Moneda and Cerro Bell Vista.... all tourists will end up here eventually, so I wont dwell on those.

    3) Do a tour of La Chascona the home of Chile's most famous poet Pablo Neruda.

    4) Visit the village of Los Domincos, this is a huge arts and crafts village where you can actually see and meet the artists doing all their work and purchase items directly from them.
    Look out especially for the guy doing carvings on the head of a match-stick.. yes... a regular size matchstick... where you can see a painted carving of a golfer in mid-swing or a tennis player hitting a ball with his racquet ... he will even do carvings on request.

    5) Have dinner at Astrid y Gaston this is a branch of the world-famous Chilean chefs but my favorite in Santiago. Their restaurant is on a quiet street near Suecia an area with lots of action packed restaurants and bars sort of Santiago's version of Bourbon Street.

    6) Visit the Casa Colorado museum if open (I hear it was closed for renovations in 2013)

    7) There is a newish Museum of Human Rights (which deals with some of the Pinochet regimes' atrocities in part but not completely so ) which understand is immensely absorbing but I have been there yet.

    8) Visit wineries ....personally I found the wineries in the Colchagua Valley about an hour and half south of Santiago more interesting but I would suggest you spend at least a night is say, the very nice wine town of Santa Cruz to do justice to in visiting any of the dozens of wineries in the valley.
    Note I have not heard anything good about wine train.
    However one can book a day trip (it will take most of the day) for a tour of the Concha y Toro winery to the north.
     
    Last edited: Dec 8, 2014
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  4. Wandering Aramean
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    Wandering Aramean Gold Member

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    A week seems like an awful long time to stay in Santiago. I'm on day 2 right now and I'm still exploring but I imagine by day 4 I'd be done. Day trips will help but I'd probably do overnights instead.
     
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  5. iolaire
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    iolaire Gold Member

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    As a point of reference we happily spent a week in Budapest and six days in Cape Town. These days we enjoy going to a city and staying rather than bouncing to other towns, somehow we find enough to do, and usually are busy enough that we don't hit up the pay museums (since we come from DC and museums are free).

    I'm on Dialysis now so I need to be in a Dialysis center every two days so its much easier to plan those visits with a fixed home base.


    I've read that some of the wineries, including Concha y Toro have wineries or outlets off the metro, are you familiar with those? I've also read about some bike tours to the wineries, from what I can tell those are close to Santiago, so we might do a bike route on our own.
     
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  6. newbluesea
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    newbluesea Gold Member

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    I personally cannot think of any major city in the world especially one you have never visited before, that I could not find something to hold my interest for a week, though I have been known to jump around a lot (much to my wife's chagrin :))

    Interesting day trips are easily done from Santiago are Vina del Mar, a nice coastal town with a decent old casino and Valparaiso the ( funky but quite interesting) port city with those brightly colored old Victorian houses and about a ten little ascensors (finiculars) providing access to hillside areas of the city. The city has some good seafood restaurants and we had an great meal on the patio overlooking the city and the bay at Casa Mirador?? at the top of Ascensor Concepcion.
    If you do visit Valparaiso I would recommended you visit on a Sunday since the ascensors basically provide the public transport for the residents, are not very large and can become quite crowded.

    There are wine tasting rooms in the city but longer visits where one can see the vineyards and making of the wine are that much more interesting. I will go out on limb here and say that the most informative winery tour I have ever done anywhere ( including Napa Valley, South Africa, Alsace, Tuscany etc etc) was at San Pedro (between Curico and Molina about a two hours plus drive south of Santiago)

    If you do the San Pedro winery tour ( the only daily English one I believe was at 1000 am) I would highly recommend you pay a visit to the wonderful Siete Tazas Park.
    Among the features being two separate high waterfalls ( about 75 and 125 feet respectively and the Siete Tazas (Seven cups) the river cascading down into a set of seven consecutive pools.
    Note however that a large section of the road to the park is unpaved and make sure to take your passport since its quite close to the Argentine border and the Chilean police will not lift the barrier for you to continue on without seeing your documents.
     
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