Santiago Chile: tips and info.

Santiago is located 543 meters above sea level and you can see all the mountains surrounding the city at the first moment you enter town. Although it does not look like an average South America capital, it has its own charm within the sky scrappers and the huge shopping malls.

The location was chosen by Pedro de Valdivia, its first governor, in 1541, back then was a green valley crossed by two rivers, perfect to be protected and to establish a city. From that time many things have change, Santiago has suffered earthquakes, floods and military strikes, now it is the capital for a country with one of the most stable economies in South America. Which is the main reason why attracts immigrants from Peru, Bolivia, Argentina and other cities from Chile. Today its population is over than 6 millions inhabitants.

Weather: Mediterranean

Winter Temperatures: 0º to 13º Celsius

Summer Temperatures: 10º to 30º

Rains: April to September (autumn and winter), and very scarcely in summer.

Average temperature: 14º Celsius.

Sightings.

Mapocho station is located in the Puente Cal y Canto Subway station.

Mapocho station is located in the Puente Cal y Canto Subway station.

Mercado Central:
A real market with the local ingredients used to cook Chilean food, you can also taste some of the local flavors in the restaurants placed inside. The market was recently restored.

Mapocho Station:
A former train station now it is the place where arts, massive events, theater meet, the structure is French influenced and has a beautiful steel and glass features.

Pre-colombian Historic Museum:

The Pre-colombian historic museum exhibit contains several collections of pottery, knitting and other hand made craft made by the native of the different parts of Chile. Through the exhibit you can better understand the diverse cultures that blend in the actual Chilean culture such as Diaguitas, Atacameños, Mapuche, Huilliches, Kawaeskar.
Bandera 361, near Plaza de Armas Subway Station.
Open tuesdays to sundays, from 10 am to 18 pm.
Closed in Mondays.

Cerro Santa Lucía is located downtown Santiago.

Cerro Santa Lucía is located downtown Santiago.

Cerro Santa Lucía:

Placed in the middle of downtown Santiago, the Cerro Santa Lucía has an stairway that goes right to the top, the hill was chosen by the Spanish conquerors to watch for enemies coming, today has several status, gardens and a lovely mosaic picturing Nobel Prize poetry winner Gabriela Mistral.
Note: Identification is require to enter the premises.

Cerro San Cristobal:

It is the home of the Virgin: a white statue lit op by night with colors, to get to the top you have several access point, by foot, by elevator or our favorite: the funicular, at the end you can shop at the souvenir shop or taste Mote com huesillos (Chilean dessert made with peach juice and a kind of boiled corn)

Shopping for traditional Chilean souvenirs

Lapizlazuli it can only be found in Chile and Afganistan, its a semi precious gemstone, blue with white stripes. Artisans make beautiful jewelry with silver, gold and copper, the best place to purchase Chilean Lapizlazuli jewels it is in the street of Bellavista in the Providencia commune.

For other products such as leather, wooden artifacts or original Mapuche crafts look in the “Feria de Santa Lucia” downtown right in front of the Cerro Santa Lucía.

Nightlife

Don’t leave town before having “carrete” experience, nightlife in Santiago Chile, starts rather late at 12’o clock or even later. There are several places you can hang out for happy hours, that in Chile means 50% discount or 2×1, we recommend you Barrio Brasil, Plaza Ñuñoa, Manuel Montt and Bellavista for a more chilean experience in bars and pubs, if you are looking for discotheques you may find several in Plaza San Enrique in the uptown part of the city. If you must choose one drink we fully recommend you Pisco Sour (coctail made with local Pisco, lemon juice, sugar all shaken not stirred) or Piscola (mix made with pisco and a cola coke), prices can go from US$2 to US$7 dollars depending on the place.

Airport:

The international airport is Arturo Merino Benitez (SCL), you may get closer to the city by the airport bus that drop you downtown, taxis or rental car. The trip in a taxi shouldn’t go over the $15.000 CLP.

 

Night view from the "Sanhattan" area in Santiago, Chile.

Santiago Hotels:

Santiago Chile hotels
offer goes from small hotels to 5 stars hotel such as the Ritz Carlton. Several international chains are located in town such as the Sheraton, Marriott, Hyatt, Intercontinental Hotel and the Crown Plaza. There are medium size hotels such as the NH, the Neruda Hotel and the Holiday Inn. Most of Santiago Hotels has Wi-Fi service, event room and business centers. Regarding locations, the best locations due to their high connectivity and safety are the hotels in Las Condes, Providencia and El Golf area.

Transport within the city:

Public transport is rather complicated but if you want the adventure you can access the routes through www.transantiagoinforma.cl, www.metrosantiago.cl, the metro is quite efficient but it doesn’t reach all the city so you can always get a cab, the rates of the cabs start $250 CLP and then is from $80 to $90. For buses you require to purchase a BIP card which cost an average of $2000 CLP, that can also be use for Metro travel, but in metro you have the option to purchase a single ticket (average cost $380-$430 CLP).

Car Rental in Santiago:

Your current driver’s or car license permits you to drive through the Chilean roads with no further documentation.The only requirements to rent a car in Chile are to be older than 23 years old and have a valid credit card. Most of car rental in Santiago allows you to drop off the vehicle in another town or airport.

Holidays in Santiago Chile:

Chile has plenty of holidays when the stores closed and most of the people goes out of the city

September 17th to 19th: National holidays, you can enjoy empanadas, anticuchos in the O’Higgins park.

Christmas eve: all stores close early at six in the 24th.

New year: All stores close early at 6 in the afternoon.

Easter: “Semana Santa” starts in the first weekend of April and people enjoys leaving the city.

Labor’s day: First of may, everything closed.

Personal Security:

Santiago is the less dangerous cities in Latin America, but as any other capital in the world, you can encounter with thieves, we strongly recommend you not carry all your money at once, always place your purse, wallet in front and  keep your belongings near even if you are in a restaurant or pub. Several thefts to tourist have been spotted in Bellavista, specially those carrying a camera.

Universities in Santiago Chile:

There are more than 40 universities in Chile and most of them are placed in Santiago. In Chile are divided by traditional and private universities being the traditional universities the oldest for example: Universidad de Chile, Pontificia Universidad Católica, Universidad de Santiago.

The semester starts in February-March and have their winter break in the second week of July, second semester starts in August, ending at the second week of December.