Viña del Mar is Santiago’s closeby seaside cousin, just a little bit over an hour away on one of the country’s busiest highways. Viña, as it is commonly called calls itself the garden city, for the profusion of flowers, all over the city, and at Quinta Vergara, the large park there, as well as the iconic flower clock that faces the ocean walk so popular among locals and visitors Learn More
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In the summer, Viña fills up with Chileans as well as Argentines from just across the Andes, and international visitors as well. There are restaurants and nightlife, close proximity to more historical Valparaíso, and of course, the long Pacific coastline. Viña del Mar also has a casino and a couple of other points of interest, including a castle you can visit, and the aforementioned Quinta Vergara park, where the summer song festival is held ever February
La Moneda is easy to spot – its white, neoclassical walls make up the presidential palace that takes up an entire city block in downtown Santiago. Construction began in 1781 and was completed in 1805, when it was used as a mint, which is what the term moneda translates to in English
The gigantic Chilean flag that waves in front of La Moneda, from a grassy traffic circle in the middle of the Alameda (Avenida Libertador Bernardo O’Higgins), can be seen from blocks away. There are two nearby plazas that serve as popular meeting and lunchtime spots, each with lawns, fountains and benches. History buffs will remember that this building was bombed in 1973 as part of the coup d’etat that ended Salvador Allende’s presidency and preceded Augusto Pinochet’s rise to power. There are still, a few areas where the damage has been left for visitors to see
At the heart of Santiago de Chile's historic district is the city's social hub, the palm-shaded Plaza de Armas. Surrounded by the neoclassical facades of Santiago's most important buildings, including the Metropolitan Cathedral; the Municipalidad, or federal building; and perhaps most striking, the magnificent Correo Central, or old post office. Two pedestrian malls, lined with handicrafts vendors, independent musicians, and plenty of cafes and shops, stretch out from the festive city center. Most of Santiago's museums and important sites are within a few blocks
Since 1540, the venerable expanse of stone, cement, and sculpture has been a social hub, and it still serves as a gathering place for folks from across the cultural spectrum. Whether you're here to learn some history, feed a few pigeons, or just enjoy a glass of wine, the Plaza de Armas probably offers the finest people-watching in Chile
Santiago, sometimes called Santiago de Chile, is the capital and economic centre of Chile. With its museums, events, theaters, restaurants, bars and other entertainment and cultural opportunities, it is the political and cultural center of the country. Its central location makes it a convenient base point to further explore the country. Due to its proximity to both mountains and the Pacific Ocean, It is possible to ski in the nearby Andes and later be on the beach, all in the same day. Entertaining activities can also be had in the city in its many malls.
Santiago is a fast growing city located in the central valley of Chile between the Andes mountains range to the east and the Cordillera of the Coast to the west. The metropolitan area has about seven million inhabitants.
The climate is Mediterranean, with mild winters and very warm and dry summers. During winter, it usually only snows up in the Andes, which are an hour and a half from the city. Temperatures at night can fall to around 0ºC/32°F in the coldest days, but the accumulation of snow is very rare. It gets progressively hotter towards the summer. Summers are fairly dry although you may experience some humidity at times. The temperature can reach as high as 35ºC/95° F. Due to the inversion effect in the Santiago basin and other factors, winter air quality in this area can be unhealthy, in large part due to high concentrations of particulate matter.
Travelers from Australia have to pay a reciprocity tax/visa fee upon entry, but only by air. This is in response to those same countries' visa fees for Chilean citizens. The one-time charge is valid for as long as the passport is valid and can be paid in cash (USD) or credit card. The fee for Australians is US $112. There is no fee to enter by land.
Comodoro Arturo Merino Benítez International Airport, or simply Santiago International Airport and Pudahuel Airport ((IATA: SCL) (ICAO: SCEL) is the main Chilean gateway for international flights. The travel time to the city center has been drastically reduced recently, with the construction of a new tollway, the Costanera Norte.
There are airport buses running on two slightly different routes to the center of town operated by CentroPuerto and TurBus. The Centopuerto bus is a single decker bus with limited luggage storage space and a very narrow door to enter through. The TurBus is a double-decker with a lot more room for storage. Both of these buses can be caught between airport exit doors 4 & 5.
If there’s one piece of advice a traveler will hear upon arrival in Santiago, Chile, it’s to head up, up, up. Several of the most popular tourist (and local) attractions involve a climb, or at least a big old elevator ride: there’s the Gran Torre Santiago, Latin America’s tallest building; the charming stops around San Cristóbal Hill; and the cable cars floating above it all
What will you see from these vantage points? The glory of Santiago, a capital city comprised of stunning Spanish colonial architecture buddied up to glass and steel skyscrapers. The metropolis sits in a valley of the Andes, so snow-capped crags hug the city and are visible from any high view. The population of Santiago is 5.6 million, meaning nearly a third of the entire country’s citizens resides in the city, which is situated directly in the middle of the long, skinny nation
Due to its location in the southern hemisphere, Chile has opposite season from the United States. Highs reach the mid 80ºs in summer (November to March) and hover in the 60ºs during the winter (May to August), making shoulder seasons as always a lovely time to visit. For climate perspective, the city sits around 33º S, making its equivalent city in the north Dallas, TX.
While the city boasts several fantastics art or history museums, priority should be given to this special place, which houses a mind-blowing collection of artifacts from the many peoples of Central and South America. The range of objects (including pottery, jewelry, and statues of beloved pets) as well as placards in English make the museum easily accessible to many. The darkened room of precious textiles and the modern, thought-provoking temporary exhibits are particular standouts.
You don’t need a guide book or even a map for this one. Start at Plaza de Armas, the central square, which was laid out in the 16th century. You can’t miss the Metropolitan Cathedral with its two towers mirroring the skinny palm trees; the Municipal Building and Central Post Office are also set on the plaza. Nearby is the austere Plaza de la Constitución, the museum mentioned above, and La Moneda Palace, the imposing home of Chile’s president.
This spot has a little something for everyone in this park. For those who want to get their blood pumping after a long flight, there’s the 45-minute moderate hike to the top of the hill (a funicular ride is also available). For families, there is the Chilean National Zoo. For nature lovers or those seeking calm, there are nearly 1,800 acres of park, including a Japanese garden. And for those who just want a great view of the city, perhaps while sipping a coffee or smoothie, there is the summit itself, which is studded by a white Virgin Mary statue.
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