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Out and about around Santiago de Chile

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Santiago, Chile

Discovering Chile’s capital: Santiago

Santiago, Chile’s capital, is in a privileged location; a mere stone’s throw from the highest peaks of the Andes; a short drive from the Pacific and in the heart of Chile’s wine country.

If you are passing through Santiago, take a few days to explore some of the delights the area has to offer. Here are some of our picks.

 

Mountains

There are some trekking opportunities that you can do right from the city.

Parque Mahuida – This park is located in the hills of La Reina sector of Santiago and offers 9 trails of varying difficulty.

How  to get there: Take the Metro , Line 4 to Plaza Egaña Station. From there take bus 403 along Larrain Avenue to the end of the route which is 3 blocks from the entrance to the park. The park is open daily except Monday from 0900 to 1930 and the entrance fee is under USD 1.

Parque Natural Aguas de Ramón – Different trails of varying difficulty in the La Reina sector of the city. One of the best is a 9 hour round trip trek to the Apoquindo waterfall – Salto de Apoquindo.

How to get there: Take the Metro, Line 4, to the Principe de Gales Station. From there take bus 212 in the direction of La Reina. Get off at the corner of Principe de Gales and Valenzuela Lllanos  and walk about a mile to Alvaro Casanova street where you will find the entrance to the park. Daily from 0800 to 1900. Entrance around USD 3.00.

Cajon del Maipo – The Maipo Canyon is located just south east of the city. A great place for a day out. Many rural restaurants with pools, opportunities for horse riding, hot springs and treks. There are Metrobus services from Bellavista Metro Station.

 

Panoramic view Santiago, Chile

Panoramic view Santiago, Chile

Coast

Although not great for swimming due to the cold Humboldt current, Chile’s central coast is has much to offer and a must for sea food lovers.

Valparaiso and Viña del Mar – Valparaiso, a UNESCO world heritage site, is a great place to explore with its colourful houses and rich history dating back to when it was known as the “Pearl of the Pacific” prior to the building of the Panama Canal. Its brash neighbour, Viña del Mar, is modern and vibrant and a favourite holiday destination for the Chileans. Valparaiso and Viña del Mar are a 90 minute bus ride from Santiago with very frequent bus services from the Santiago bus terminal – Metro Universidad de Santiago.

Horcon, Maitencillo and Zapallar – North of Valparaiso, these coastal towns are popular with the locals. As well as the beach there are coastal walks, woods to explore and many quaint sea food restaurants. Regular bus services from the Santiago bus terminal – Metro Universidad de Santiago.

Isla Negra – South of Valpariaso. This coastal hamlet is where you will find the coastal museum home and final resting place of Nobel prize winning poet Pablo Neruda. Well worth a visit. Tours can be booked combining this with a visit to
the town of Pomaire, famous for its black and brown earthen ware pottery.

 

Wine

For those who like a glass of wine or two, a visit to Santiago should include at least one winery visit.

Casablanca Valley – Half way between Santiago and Valparaiso, some of Chile’s finest white wines hail from the Casablanca Valley. Tours can be arranged or if you are driving to the coast, stop en route for a visit.

Colchagua Valley – The town of Santa Cruz, 3 hours south of Santiago, lies in the heart of the Colchagua Valley. A wonderful base from which to visit many wineries, taking a tour. Horse back and bicycle tours also available.  Regular bus services to Santa Cruz from the Santiago bus terminal – Metro Universidad de Santiago.

Concha y Toro – Probably Chile’s best known winery and producer of the “Casillero del Diablo”. Half day tours widely
available to the winery located on the south eastern outskirts of the city.

So, when planning your Chile trip, do consider spending some time in Santiago – one of South America’s best kept secrets.

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