Are you travelling in Southamerica, have a stop in Santiago de Chile and don’t know what to do? Don´t worry here I give you five easy, cheap, subway distance and local tips to make your pass through this city one you’ll never forget:
1. Climb up the hills and see the landscape:
Santiago is not only in the footstep of one mountain range but actually in the middle of two; the Andes Mountain Range and the Costal Mountain Range, this location create a beautiful feeling of being immersed in the raw nature, but you don´t need to hike into the biggest mountain to experience it. A perfect afternoon activity is going to see how the mountain and the city mix from a central point, you can go to the Santa Lucia Hill, is located in the center of Santiago just outside the Santa Lucia Subway (of course) from there you will see the beautiful Santa Lucia castle build in the foot of the hill all the way to the top, from there you can walk up through the many gardens of this urban park, maybe rest a little and enjoy the nature, trees and fountains there. Then you´ll reach the tip top of the hill, from there you can enjoy a view of 629msmn altitude.
But if you prefer a higher view you can go to the San Cristobal hill just walking distance from Santa Lucia. This is a massive Mountain and has a viewpoint of 880msmn altitudes, where is a Virgin statue. You can go to the Virgin at the top by taking the train or “funicular” from the Pio Nono street or use the pathways to walk or bike there if you are in a more active state. There is another entry to this hill in the Pedro de Valdivia street, a few blocks from Pedro de Valdivia Subway, is a much longer walk to the top from there and is used mostly for sports activities like running or biking. From these two points you can see the end of the city and how is surrounded by mountains like giant walls, of course, the climate is important to get a nice view, but generally in the afternoon the sun filtrate through the clouds creating amazing colours, so if you wait for the sunset you´ll have a mental picture you’ll never forget.
2. Try the national Earthquakes:
Chile is pretty well known for their frequent earthquakes, so much that it has become a national drink: the “Terremoto” (earthquake in Spanish), a good and sweet white wine called pipeño with pineapple ice cream and a spice of grenadine or fernet, you can have this drink with your friends and see how your stability tremble, if you are ready for more you can always ask for the second smaller glass called “replica” or aftershock. The best place to try these drink is in La Piojera (the flea) a very popular restaurant with almost one hundred years of existence, full of local culture when you can have the real Chilean experience and make some friend in the way. La Piojera is located in the central area of the city outside the Cal y Canto subway.
3. Feeling cultural, let’s check Barrio Lastarria:
This neighbourhood is known to be one of the most artistic and hipster places in Santigo, and is for a reason, with a European architecture and cobblestones streets it creates a bohemian feeling. Just outside the Universidad Catolica subway Is near important museums and cultural centres. You can go to one of the many cafes and thematical pubs in the area, wander around the various tents of craftsmanship in the streets, check out the Museum of Visual Arts MAVI for a view of the newest in latin American art or go to the Gabriela Mistral Cultural Center GAM, a building with a lot of historical and social history that works now as one of the biggest cultural centers in Santiago, with a wide offer of plays, performances and free cultural activities.
4. For the nightlife, the best is Bellavista:
Bellavista neighbourhood is in the footsteps of the San Cristobal Hill and is one of the most active places in the night. It’s near the Baquedano subway crossing the Mapocho river through the Pio Nono street. You have a wide variety of nightclubs to chose, from salsa and samba clubs, folklore music pubs, life rock band bars, and a lot of dancing places to spend the night. There is also a beautiful extra chick area called Patio Bellavista with a lot of art and art craft stores, bars and non-expensive pubs if you just want to chill for a while.
5. On Sunday have a healthy relaxing day. No cars allowed:
On Sundays, a lot of major streets in Santiago are shut down to allow the space for sports and healthy activities. Is a wonderful view see these streets who are used to be always full of cars, traffic jams and stressed people, changed to host Chilean families and couples riding bikes, skating or even running, there are also a lot of places where people gather to make Yoga, Tai Chi, dance classes or meditation activities. A great street you can check is Pedro de Valdivia intersected with Santa Maria street near the Pedro de Valdivia subway, an area between the San Cristobal Hill and the Mapocho river. Is a very nice and green area with beautiful architecture and a peaceful feeling, only found on Sundays. You can go to the San Cristobal Hill in search for some dance or Tai Chi lessons or walk trough a sculptures park near the Mapocho river if you are too hangover you just can lay in the grass and absorb all that healthy life around you.
These are the five tips if you don’t want to miss out this amazing city if you want to stay longer you can find a lot more hidden treasures and be completely recharged to continue your travel through Southamerica.