In recent years, Santiago has seen changes in immigration, which can be seen on the street where, for example, certain neighborhoods attract stores catering to specific nationalities, such as a strip of shops along the Plaza de Armas selling Peruvian products and courier services to Peru. We’ve also seen a change in culinary offerings from other countries in Latin America, but since the early 2000s, from considerably farther afield. This is due not only to immigration, but also to increased Chilean interest in trying foods from other cultures. One of those is Indian. We still don’t get restaurants specific to different states of India, but if you’re looking for something a bit more saucy, spicy and international than the usual Chilean offerings, the following Indian restaurants are a good place to start.
Chile’s gastronomic scene is hopping, with new ingredients, and new spins on old ingredients. And now, a new (to Chile) spin on a meal itself, the introduction of brunch to the Saturday and Sunday culinary scene in Santiago. Brunch is a combination of breakfast and lunch, and can include savory and sweet at the same meal, and essentially flies in the face of both the Chilean breakfast (it’s too big), and the Chilean lunch (it’s too varied). And while that might be the case, it’s catching on like crazy, with options at nearly every price point, and much of the length of the red line metro, from Las Condes down to Santiago Centro.
On a tiny, far-flung island—thousands of miles from any other populated land—that 6,000 people call home, hundreds of giant stone statues that used to stand sentry, lay in various states. Half-buried, fallen over, repurposed, and most famously, standing tall and photogenic, the moai of Easter Island are part of the mystery that makes this such an enticing tourist destination.
There’s a long oral history, as well as recent archaeological investigations, to answer questions about why they were erected, why the culture of carving and transporting moai stopped, and later, why the people themselves decided to topple them. There exists a living culture that involves traditional dance, music, food and carving, mostly Polynesian-influenced, but with touches of South America as well.
There’s no denying the island’s appeal, for cultures present and past, as well as its stark natural beauty. It’s an island with volcanic craters, just a handful of paved roads, few vehicles, a postcard-perfect white sand beach, and a calm vibe that means you can be as active or as relaxed as you like.
There are four world-renowned 5-star hotels on Isla de Pascua, each with a different architecture and focus, allowing travelers to choose the luxury experience that best suits them.
Photo: Quark Expeditions
The south of Chile and Argentina are some of the most photogenic places in the world. Stark blue skies, soaring granite peaks, giant rock formations in glacial valleys that show the soft slope where thousands of years ago, giant blocks of ice carved their way down from the mountains to flat land and beyond. And there are glaciers as well, dappled, blue-grey-white jagged surfaces that creak and groan, and sometimes calve into lakes below. Plan a trip to South America to find out for yourself or sign up here for a chance to win a trip to southern Chile and Antarctica with a friend!
Photo: Daniel Diaz Vera
It almost goes without saying that one of the major draws to visiting Chile is the Andes. Soaring peaks, some of the tallest in the world, are part of our daily view on clear days in Santiago. And after a snow, well, half the city has their head turned to the east, because even if you’ve lived here your whole life, whether you’re a hiker or not, you’re still amazed.
And it’s not just the Andes that you can hike. There are several hikes between Santiago and the coast, such as the visit to the National Park of La Campana, which has two different hikes, as well as natural areas near Santiago like the Rio Clarillo natural reserve or the Santuario de la Naturaleza in El Arrayán. And if you want to make the most of these close-by hikes, or make a go of a bigger trip, you’re going to need the right gear. Maybe you brought most things from home, but just remembered something you’re missing. Or maybe you are just getting started. Here are some places to visit to stock up on hiking gear in Santiago.
Traipsing through your local mall does not always yield the best food options, but there’s a mall in Santiago that may turn your thinking around. And even more so with the newly-opened Carlo Cocina, a restaurant showcasing the best Chilean food in small portions, so you can custom build your own meal out of what you like best.
Now that many of us carry smartphones in our pockets, those multi-functional cameras/voice recorders/GPS devices, it’s easy to grow accustomed to the convenience. When you’re on the road, it can be a bit trickier if you don’t have a local SIM card, or if your phone is not compatible with the local system, especially if you want to avoid data charges. The most elegant and inexpensive solution in Santiago, Chile is to disable roaming, and seek out free WiFi in this capital city. WiFi is often available, in some places you’d expect, and some places you probably wouldn’t. You’ll probably find more free WiFi in Santiago than you will in your home city.
Photo: Frank Jakobi
Verdant and desert, cool and warm, glaciers and sand dunes, these are the extremes of Chile. If you think of a map of the world and fold it in half, the south of Chile lines up with the Canadian Rockies, and the north of Chile lines up with the California desert. Except that the Andes are taller than the rockies, and the Atacama drier and larger than the desert in the southwest of the United States. So what’s it like to be in a country that has both extremes, such that you could visit them both on a single trip? In a word: stunning.
Photo: Hector Garcia
Viña del Mar is Santiago’s weekend and summer getaway, a coastal city with a long beach walk, museums, a castle, a large park, interesting architecture, a famous casino and of course, wide expanses of the Pacific Ocean to look at from many points of the city.
Below are some places and activities to interest visitors of all ages to this sunny city that’s just 15 minutes from the UNESCO-listed Valparaíso, and about an hour and a half from Santiago.
At the beginning of every trip, you arrive, and from that moment, you’ve got to figure out where you’re headed next. Santiago’s Comodoro Arturo Merino Benítez International Airport airport is located quite close to the city, especially in comparison to some other major cities of the world, where getting to and from the airport can take an hour or more. During low-traffic times, most of Santiago is within about a half-hour’s drive of the airport. Here are four ways to make the most of your time and money when transferring between the airport and your hotel.