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  • The French Café Boom in Santiago

    Got an early morning in Santiago and want to start it off with flaky pastry, or some crusty bread? Or you’ve already had a hotel breakfast but walking around downtown Santiago and beyond has got you hankering for a mid-morning snack? The French are masters of pastry, and whether it’s a second breakfast or an afternoon pick-me-up, Santiago’s many French bakery/cafés have got you covered, from downtown, up through Bellas Artes, Providencia, in Las Condes and Vitacura. A croissant and a café au lait, or your drink of choice is never too far away at one of these French or French-inspired cafés.

  • LAN Airlines and Easter Island: Our Unique Relationship with A Special Place

    Geography is destiny. For proof, look no further than Easter Island. It sits in blessed isolation, in the middle of the South Pacific Ocean, with nothing around it for over 1,000 miles. The closest continental point is in Chile, over 2,000 miles away.

    As one of the world’s most remote inhabited islands, it has managed to preserve much of its aboriginal Rapa Nui culture. Its isolation, however, has also created some unique challenges, many of which LAN Airlines is helping to solve.

  • Vendimia: The Wine Harvest Festival

    Vendimia is the wine harvest festival and associated activities in Chile (and Argentina) related to the harvest of the wine grapes, and is generally celebrated in Chile in March and April, though dates vary from year to year, and valley to valley. Celebrations include tastings, music, food, dance, contests, and much merriment. They’re a great way to spend a day, afternoon, evening, weekend or more, getting to try many wines for a reasonable price, and all in one place. Here are some spots you may want to check out for Vendimia events in 2015. 

  • Rafting in Chile

    Starting in about October and November, the Andean snowpack in Chile starts to melt, increasing water flow to the country’s many rivers. By December, they are in full force, and, not coincidentally, that is when some of Chile’s best river rafting starts. There are four main places where river rafting takes place in this long, skinny country, and below are details of each, what to expect, and how long to plan for. 

  • 3 Neighborhoods for Shopping in Santiago

    One of the fun things about visiting a new city is finding something perfect to bring back with you that reminds you of where you’ve been. Maybe it’s something small, like jewelry, something you forgot to pack, like a sun hat or an exquisitely woven or knitted sweater, or something you thought you’d never buy, like an antique milk bottle, scale or even a chandelier.

    Santiago has a neighborhood for everything, and in fact, souvenirs aside, much of the commerce in the city is arranged in zones, where certain streets have certain items, such as Bandera for used clothes, 10 de julio for car parts, and San Diego for bicycles. And while you might not need any of the above items as souvenirs from your trip to Santiago, the following three neighborhoods might yield something more memorable or useful. And if not, or you’re just not a souvenir person, all three are also pleasant places to stroll.

  • Photo: LWYang

    3 Ways to Cool Off in a Santiago Summer

    Visiting the southern hemisphere in December, January and February is a great way to get away from the colder temperatures (and snow) back home up in the United States. And while Patagonia generally has cool temperatures, and the coast is breezy and cool much of the year, it can get pretty warm in Santiago. Here are a few ways to cool off if the change proves to be a bit more than you expected.

  • Photo: BruceW.

    4 Ways to Enjoy the Trip up Cerro San Cristobal in Santiago

    Cerro San Cristobal, the large hill that overlooks much of Santiago, Chile, is many things to many people. It’s a spot for religious pilgrimage, visiting the 22-meter marble statue of Mary atop the hill, or the small chapel nearby. It’s a proving ground for cyclists and runners, who use the hill’s smooth asphalt to train. And it’s a spot for family outings and photo-ops, atop the hill at Plaza Tupahue, where several vendors sell mote con huesillo, a local (nonalcoholic) drink made of reconstituted peaches and wheat kernels.

    How you get up the 300-meter hill is up to you. If you’ve got a bit of time and energy, maybe you’d like to walk. A little less time but more energy, maybe a bike rental is for you. Or if not, there are a couple of motorized options listed below.

  • Photo: Avodrocc

    Activities for Families With Kids in Santiago

    Bringing your kids traveling is a great opportunity to spend some family time together. With schedules changed, the family in (usually) closer proximity, and favorite pastimes left at home, it’s the perfect time to explore the food and culture of a whole new place. And when that place is Santiago, Chile, there are many choices that are great for families. If you want to be nearly assured of a good day, make sure to pack in some kid-specific activities like those listed below.

  • The Fruits of Chilean Summer

    One of the joys of traveling is trying out local tastes and traditions. Chile has many main dishes and drinks both alcoholic and non-alcoholic that are part and parcel of summer. For example, the stewy potage of porotos granados, with corn, squash and beans is typical of summer, as those ingredients come in to season. Mote con huesillo, the sweet peach punch with wheat kernels and reconstituted, dried peaches, and cola de mono, a sweet café-con-leche concoction made with pisco are also popular at this time of year. But if you want to get a little more basic, head to the markets (or supermarket) and check out some of the fruit that comes into season as if to remind us that the long days of summer are just ahead. 

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