On a long walk on a cool day in Chile’s capital city of Santiago, or one of the rarer truly cold days, or even rarer still, a day with heavy rains, there’s nothing like a warming cup of coffee to give you a break from the weather. If the cozy café has tasty treats, it’s better still. Here are six places to sip some of Santiago’s best coffee. No Nescafé allowed.
Photo: Jonathan Hood
Of all the landscapes that Chile has to offer, from desert to coast, glaciers and starry nights, perhaps the most striking and most photogenic is Chilean Patagonia’s landscape. There are many routes you can take to experience this stark landscape, water a hundred colors of blue and small stands of arctic beech, open water, icebergs and wild rivers.
Winter is upon us in Chile, and that means cooler temperatures, with more humidity, and the ever-present snow capped Andes on clear, sunshiny days. And with those cool temperatures come all the ways in which humans like to keep warm. We’ve got layers, and scarves, woolen gloves, hats and scarves. But perhaps the most warming thing of all is a nice bowl of hot soup.
Chile has many soups to call its own, and though they are popular year-round, this is a particularly good time of year to order some cazuela, a caldillo, paila marina or mariscal.
Photo: Deidre Woollard
Lapis lazuli, a dark blue semi-precious stone, is a popular souvenir from Chile. Chile is one only a few countries in the world that mine the stone in quantity, with the other major source of lapis lazuli being Afghanistan. Lapis lazuli is naturally-occurring, and is considered more valuable the darker the stone, and the more golden (but fewer white) streaks and flecks it has. The golden flecks are pyrite, also called “fools’ gold,” and the white ones are calcite.
You can count on winter weather in Chile starting in about May. By June, the Andes are covered in a blanket of white, waiting for eager skiers and snowboarders to take to the slopes, and on clear days, after a rain, everyone keeps one eye on the snowy Andes at almost all times. There are lots of places to get a good view of the Andes in Santiago, from a bridge over the Mapocho River, from up on Cerro San Cristobal, or even just peeking between the buildings downtown or on a trip to the mall.
And that winter chill will have you wrapping a cozy scarf around your neck, or planning your run between the occasional raindrops down in the city that mean snow in the mountains. Now you’ve got keeping yourself warm, or warming yourself up from the outside down pat. But what about warming yourself up from the inside? That’s where these two sweet treats come in. They are traditionally consumed in the winter months in Chile. There’s one to drink, and one to eat, never together. That would be too much sweet goodness all at once.
Photo: Sharon Hahn Darlin
It’s easy enough to fill your days in Santiago, with long walks, museums, views from one of two hills over the city, or even a nearby hike or day trip. But what about when night comes, and it’s time to make the most of it? Where should you go out in Santiago? Here’s a guide to four neighborhoods where Chileans and locals alike go to make merry in the evening and into the night. Beer, wine and pisco sours are optional.
Whether your trip to Santiago is bookended with business meetings, or you’ve worked out that you’ve got an afternoon free from all your other plans, here are four different ways to make the most of that time, no matter where your interest may lie.
If you’re visiting Santiago, Chile, and want to hear some local (or international) music, you’re in luck. You can choose from symphonic, jazz, blues, rock, indie, or traditional Chilean, in neighborhoods from Bellavista to Vitacura, and in settings as large as the 15,000-seat Movistar Arena, to standing-room-only for intimate concerts at places like the Centro Alameda’s El Living. And if you’d like to listen to music while you eat, you can do that, too.
Below are a list, of spots to check out for live music in Santiago, as well as tips on how to find your own.
You know that neighborhood with the wide streets, overarching trees and interesting boutiques, antiques, bookshops, clothing shops, yarn stores and furniture and design stores all laid out on a couple of compact blocks perfect for an afternoon stroll? That’s Santiago’s Barrio Italia.
Photo: Alex Grechman
More and more, families are realizing that traveling with small children is easier than they think. Chile is very child-friendly year-round, and for the upcoming southern winter (June through September), skiing with kids is a cinch. And if your kids are too little to ski, or don’t yet know how, here are several resorts that will keep them entertained, regardless.
Near Santiago, there are several ski areas that cater to families traveling with children, including Portillo, Valle Nevado, La Parva and Colorado/Farrellones. In the south, families traveling with slightly older children should try the spa and resort at Chillán for family-friendly skiing and relaxation.
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