Day 1 in Santiago
Welcome to Santiago! Upon arrival at the airport, you will go through customs and immigration. Should you opt to purchase a transfer to your hotel; a representative will be waiting for you as you exit immigration. Arrive at your hotel, check in and do not give in to jet lag! There is so much for you to see and do!
We suggest you get acquainted with the spectacular city of Santiago. In the historic heart of the city, you will find an abundance of attractions encircling the famous Plaza de Armas. See the impressive sights of the 200-year-old Catedral Metropolitana, one of the finest pieces of religious architecture in all of South America. The building features a baroque-fringed neoclassical facade with a richly decorated interior and intricately stained glass windows with a marble altar.
Wander around the historic streets and the palm-shaded plaza where you will find historical buildings, museums, shops, cafes, and restaurants. Dine al fresco at one of the eateries in the plaza, enjoy the live street entertainment and simply take in the welcoming authentic atmosphere. Check out the shops and pedestrian malls found around the main square, where you can shop for that perfect souvenir.
Head to La Moneda, the Presidential Palace set in the heart of the city, a white neoclassical European style building designed in the late 18th century. Take a guided tour and check out several galleries, movie theatres, a bookstore, and restaurants located under the palace.
As evening time approaches stroll through the heart of the city, which offers a great vibe in the evening time. Little cafes and large restaurants are brimming with people, many offering al fresco dining and local bars serving up pisco sours (the locals favorite cocktail). You can dine here and do some people watching after a busy day on your feet.
Alternatively, you can check out the Lastarria barrio (or neighborhood), set in the heart of the city filled with restaurants, bars, theatres, and cinemas. This is a pleasant bohemian neighborhood and a great place for an evening stroll. Relax at one of the wine bars with a glass of the region`s best wine and enjoy your first evening.
Day 2 in Santiago
Begin your day with a walk through the Bohemian Barrio of Bellavista, this artsy hub is vibrantly decorated with colorful buildings and graffiti-lined streets. Stop in at one of the cafes found here and order some breakfast, shop at the chic boutiques and crafts stores along with the Bellavista Market. Head over to the popular La Chascona Museum found in the neighborhood.
La Chascona meaning `Messy Hair` is one of the homes of Nobel Prize-winning poet Pablo Neruda. He shared the home with his 3rd wife Matilde Urrutia (known for her unruly red curls). Today visitors can learn about the life of the artist and the history of the home. See some of the artists personal possessions including artwork, portraits, and furniture, and check out the dining room modeled after a ship`s cabin and living room modeled after a lighthouse.
Make your way to San Cristobal Hill, this landmark in the city stands 2,821 feet tall providing some of the most spectacular views of Santiago. The ornate statue of the Virgin Mary stands 72 feet tall at the summit. There are many attractions found on San Cristobal including
When hunger strikes, check out `Fuente Almana`, the most famous sandwich shop in Chile! Order the `lomito completo con palta`, a roast pork sandwich covered in tomato sauce, sauerkraut, mayonnaise, and avocado!
Spend the afternoon museum hopping. Santiago offers some of the best museums in the country, many of which are found around the Quinta Normal Park, including the National History Museum and the Museum of Memory and Human Rights. The Museo de la Memoria memorializes the 1973 coup in which General Pinochet carried out two decades of misery upon the people of Chile.
Another great museum in the city is The Museo Chileno de Arte Precolombino, located close to the Plaza de Armas. The museum dates back to 1805 and houses over 5,000 items that date back over 10,000 years. The private collection of Sergio Larrain, a Chilean architect, and antique collector, which he accumulated over a 50-year span is also on display. The Mapuche Silver Jewelry display, Masks from the Aconcagua Valley and exquisite pottery can also be seen here.
If time allows visit the Cementario General de Santiago, one of the World`s most scenic cemeteries covering 210 acres of land in the Recoleta neighborhood. This lavish cemetery, the largest in Latin America, is where 172 of the country`s most influential people (including two past presidents) are buried, along with 2 million other burials. The grounds are filled with elegant mausoleums and colorful gardens.
As evening time approaches, the sensational city of Santiago has many opportunities for a great night out. Plaza Nunoa, offers a circuit of buzzing bars and restaurants along with the vibrant and lively Club de la Salsa and El Atico, where you can dance the night away. Vitacura, boasts BordeRio, a popular gastronomic center of the city brimming with excellent restaurants offering different cuisines. Bellavista, is one of the locals favorite places to hang out, a vibrant scene offering street art, restaurants, bars, clubs, and pubs.
Day 3 in Santiago
Begin your day bright and early with a trip to the main central marketplace in the city, Mercado Central. A historical landmark in the city dating back to 1872, this thriving market starts early and has been named amongst the top markets in the world. Here you can purchase the country`s freshest fish, seafood and produce along with hundreds of other stalls selling souvenirs and crafts. There are several restaurants found inside the marketplace, where live music can be heard.
On your way out of the city, be sure to catch a changing of the guard`s ceremony held outside La Moneda Palace, which takes place every day at 10 am.
Make your way out to Chilean Wine Country. Visit the verdant vineyards in the Maipo Valley, located just outside of Santiago. The picturesque town of Pirque is the location of some of the best wineries and vineyards in the country. Tour the splendid vineyards at Concha y Toro Winery, enjoy wine tastings, bike riding and delectable cuisine. Cabernet Sauvignon is a popular wine of the region and stands out as one of the best wines in the world.
Alternatively, you can head out west towards the port city of Valparaiso, nestled on a steep hillside on the Pacific Coast. Nicknamed `The Jewel of the Pacific,` the area is a UNESCO World Heritage site based on its improvised urban design and unique architecture. The funicular lift systems used to take passengers up and down the steep hillsides here, rated amongst the world`s 100 most endangered historic treasures. This scenic town offers hundreds of dining opportunities with breathtaking views over the Ocean.
As you make your way back to the city after a day in the wine regions, visit Gran Torre Santiago Tower, a landmark on the Santiago skyline, and the tallest tower in Latin America. The complex connected to the tower contains shopping, hotels and eateries, and visitors can travel up to the 61st and 62 floors, where the `Sky Costanera` observation decks are located providing spectacular 360-degree views of the city.
On your last evening in the city, enjoy some of the delicious cuisines served at world-class restaurants found all over Santiago. The options for dining and food are endless with local and international cuisine found at some of the best restaurants in the county. Bellavista, Lastarria and the Italia barrios offer an abundance of dining and cuisine options.
Additional Days in Santiago
Should you be able to spend additional days in Santiago, be sure to head out to Chile`s Ski Country. There are many ski resorts and world-class slopes situated in the magnificent Chilean Andes. The famous Valle Nevado, La Parva, and El Colorado ski resorts, can be found not far from the city of Santiago.
Portillo, one of the finest and oldest ski centers in the world (host of the Alpine World Ski Championships in 1966) and one of the country`s most popular ski retreats. Located on the Andean pass that leads to Argentina, offers 1,235 acres of skiable land and 19 runs set in stunning scenery, with terrain that reaches 11,000 feet and a vertical drop of 2,500 feet.
Your Last Day in Santiago
Depart from your hotel to the airport for your return flight home. We recommend that you purchase a private transfer to the airport if so the representative will meet you at your hotel with plenty of time to get you to the airport for your flight out.
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