A long long time ago, precisely the second of June, 2011, Corinne Smith arrived at my doorstep in Santiago, Chile. Before she got here, I of course was busy thinking about where to go and what cool things I could show her in Santiago. With this being a travel/adventure blog, I began to create a list of things to do and see in Santiago. OF COURSE the list was never quite completed as I had planned out due to lack of time, and sat all this time, accumulating virtual dust in the ‘drafts’ folder tumblr kindly provides. I present you the list, still a work in progress… I mean, how do you create a list of the best places to see in one short little jaunt? These places, although very telling, only give a visitor a small lens with which they are able to observe and for fleeting moments perhaps experience and be apart of the culture that is Santiago de Chile. I present you, dear reader, with small pieces of my crazy life.
Introduction to original entry…
So one of my best best best friends in the world, Corinne Smith, is coming to Santiago, Chile! I’m so excited! She arrives here Friday morning!! Her upcoming trip got me thinking about the best places to see in Santiago. My recommendations:
1. Cerro San Cristóbal: Parque Metropolitano, aka Cerro San Cristóbal is a beautiful park and hill located in the center of Santiago. Spending an afternoon exploring the winding senderos of the cerro is something that you must do if you ever find yourself in Santiago. You can take a funicular up to the top of the Cerro from the Pio Nono entrance (400 pesos) and on a clear day, see stunning views of the city below.
Views as I walked up the winding streets of the Cerro:
The Cerro has two pools, restaurants and is a great place to picnic and watch the sunset. It is also a great place to work out- ride your bike or run or walk to the top. The cerro provides a natural refuge from the concrete metropolis. On Sunday, there is only one lane open to cars. The other lane is for bikers, runners and walkers. There are free fitness classes in different parts of the cerro at around 10am.
Smog :( The best views are after a rain.
Corinne y yo at the timbre, or summit of the cerro with the Virgen de la Immaculada
Freedom and Happiness. I love this photo. In September one of my best friends, Lindsey came to visit me! It was AWESOME! :)
This of course was after my digital camera was stolen in Argentina while sleeping on a night bus. Photo cred: Lindsey
fotos de Lins
Lindsey y yo!
The next two photos were taken with my cheap, fun, plastic red camera and scanned…
Sunday morning bike ride up the cerro con la Tarah
The camera takes wonderful photos.
Arriba: foto de Tarah
abajo; fotos de Tarah
and a dorky one to finish…
2. Cerro Santa Lucía
Cerro Santa Lucía is one of my favorite places in Santiago. Its crooked paths meander and weave around and up the cerro. It is a beautiful layer cake of arquitecture and imaginative outdoor landscaping. It’s also a very romantic spot and couples and PDA abound. At the foot of Santa Lucía, Santiago was officially founded on February 12, 1541 by Valdivia. The cerro boasts a fort, Fort Hidalgo (built in 1820 for defensive purposes), which of course inclues a castle. I really want to live there… One can dream. Events such as weddings and parties are held in the castle now. In 1872 the city decided to do something with Santa Lucía and the mayor enlisted 150 prisoners to transform the barren, rocky outcrop into a fantastic public park. (Information from Tarah’s Rough Guide: Chile) Apparently, it has ‘baroque terraces and turrets.’ There are many ways to reach the top, all involving climbing up rocky steps. But the 360 views when you get to the top are fantastic. Definitely worth the climb every time! Ha!
Arriba, foto de Lindsey
Free tours at 10am on Saturdays, beginning at the Alameda entrance.
Below: Photos taken by Lindsey
abajo: fotos de Corinne
The yellow fountain is part of the Plaza de Neptune and one of my favorite parts of the cerro.
3. Plaza de Armas
The heart of Santiago, the center! No Latin American city is complete without their own plaza de armas. Of course, Santiago is no exception.
The Plaza at night
abajo, foto de corinne
abajo: fotos de Francie Panchie
me with the Mapuche statue
4. La Moneda
La Moneda is the Chilean version of the White House. According to a tour I went on through the EAP program eons ago, the current President does not reside in La Moneda but does conduct business there. You can schedule tours ahead of time in both Spanish and English. Be sure to take photos with the guards! ;)
5. Barrio Bellavista
Definitely a happening young people’s night scene. Drink a cheap cold beer on a summer’s night on the sidewalk or enjoy a great empanada! Barrio Bellavista sits at the foot of Cerro San Cristóbal and is walking distance from Metro Baquedano.
6. Villa Grimaldi
A former torture site used by the dictatorship on the outskirts of Santiago. Now Villa Grimaldi serves to educate the public and remember those who were tortured and/or murdered. Our EAP tour group heard about the torture first hand through a man who was tortured himself. It was very moving.
7. La Chascona
I actually never went inside but tours are available. This is the only one of Pablo Neruda’s three houses that is located in Santiago in Barrio Bellavista.
8. Barrio Bellas Artes/Lastarria
My old barrio—very bohemian and artsy. Walk down Calle Lastarria. It is a beautiful street.
9. Parque Forestral
I used to ride my bike through here as well as walk Laiza (dog) when I lived in Bellas Artes.
10. Museo de Bellas Artes
11. Drink a terremoto at La Piojera
One of Chile’s famous drinks, the terremoto definitely lives up to its name. Cuidado— it is quite strong.
12. Lunch at Mercado Central
13. La Vega (Santiago’s best and cheapest market!)
14. Cementerio General
Santiago’s cemetery mirrors the extreme socio-economic stratification within Chilean society. Definitely worth the visit.
Above: Stratification even in death.
15. El Perseguidor Jazz Club! (see previous posts… great spot!)
16. See los Chinchorros at Museo Arte Precolombino
This was always on my Santiago bucket list and I never got to do it! A reason to return…
17. Eat the best hamburger EVER at Guidos! (Merced con Mosqueto)
18. Calle Bandera
Cheap used clothing!
19. Barrio Patronato
Also a big shopping area. Close to La Vega. Cheap clothing but you have to search for the really cute stuff!
20. Parque Esculturas
A sculpture park in Providencia!
21. Emporio La Rosa (ice cream)
22. Concha y Toro wine tour
Great wine. Fun tour. Do it!
23. Patio Bellavista
A cute outside area filled with overpriced shops and restaurants as well as a few nightclubs in Barrio Bellavista. Very touristy but fun to quickly walk through.
24. Bar Constitución
A very trendy bar in Bellavista. Almost always a line outside. There is a cover. The night’s musical offerings are written outside on a chalk board. A heavy metal door slides open to let people in a out. There are two main dance floors as well as some outdoor seating. Great for dancing.
25. La Casa del Aire
La Casa del Aire is a beautiful bar/restaurant famous for its communist roots and traditional folk musicians whose songs often mix love, emotions, politics and history. Located in Barrio Bellavista, open late. The food is Colombian/Chilean fusion and the small plates are quite good. They have a nice selection of beers, but I recommend trying their homemade sangria. The music can be quite loud so sitting farther away from the stage and/or on the second level is a good idea.
fotos de Francie
26. Plaza Nuñoa
A beautiful plaza and park.
27. Chorillana Jota Cruz
The best chorillana ever.
28. Parque Quinta Normal
29. Gigi Bonta (gelato!!)
30. Go to a Tamascal!
32. Hula-hoop in parks and streets!
33. Ride public transit! (micro y metro!)
That was a piece of advice given to me before I came to Chile. Riding public transit allows you to get a feel, a ‘day in the life’ of a santiaguino. Santiago has a highly developed public transit system which consists of the metro and the micro (buses). I highly recommend riding micros instead of the metro. Many people use micros as an area to perform, preach, sell various items, sing, etc. Ride one long enough and you may be in for a treat. Performers ask permission from the drivers to get on the bus, and of course they don’t have to pay. After the performance, they will ask for a small contribution, a chauchita, for their endeavors.
36. Go to an asado
37. Duri Sushi en el Centro. Reasonably priced, good sushi!
38. Cafe Plaza Victoria (Close to my old house right next to the Santa Isabel metro station. Nice food and good ice cream on a hot day)
39. Teatro! I saw theater pieces at Teatro Universidad Católica and Teatro El Puente. My good friend Joaquin perfromed! :) Below: Teatro El Puente
40. Use work out equipment in parks!
41. Parque Bustamante (one of my favorite parks in Santiago, great play structures)
42. Plaza Brasil/Barrio Brasil
Plaza Brasil has some fun play structures and swings. Barrio Brasil has a nice nightlife scene. The crowd is a little more laid back than Barrio Bellavista.
43. Barrio Londres/Paris
This is really two streets but they are beautiful!
44. Drink a mojito at Moloko. Yum.
The vibe at Moloko (fotos de Francie)
One of the best mojitos in Santiago.
45. Eat homemade empanadas and celebrate Chilean independence on 18 de septiembre!
Tarah and I met this couple at La Piojera and they invited us to spend 18 with them! Oh yeah- I had dyed my hair dark black after two incidents (one in which I was attacked and another close call).
fotos de Tarah
46. Play soccer! (fútbol)