Santiago Travel Guide

Chile’s capital city is a sophisticated metropolis with towering architecture, world-class infrastructure and a wealth of culture. The magical mountain backdrop of the Andes and close proximity to both ski resorts and beaches affords tourists the option to escape Santiago for a relaxing outdoor getaway.

A leisurely stroll to the historical Santa Lucia Hill, where the city was founded by Pedro de Valdivia in 1540, offers sweeping views of Santiago. The Plaza Mulato Gil de Castro is a hip neighborhood of antique and book shops, stylish caf├ęs and reasonably new museums - the perfect place for a quiet wander. There is no end of dining options allowing visitors to explore Chile’s wealth of gastronomic treats, from ocean fresh delicacies to hearty country cooking.

Home to a host of cultural and artistic activities, Santiago offers the Fine Arts Museum and the Museum of Contemporary Art, while the Museum of Natural History is an interesting insight into the natural formation of the earth. Santiago has much to offer avid shoppers with a range of shopping neighborhoods including Vitacura with its upscale selection of boutiques and Bohemian Bellavista for the more radical rambler.

Highlights

Santiago Cathedral: a national monument with spectacular examples of baroque and classical architecture. The cathedral is also home to the tomb of Jose Maria Caro, the first cardinal of Chile.

Club Hipico de Santiago: this racecourse, built on 78 hectares of French baroque style parks and gardens, offers visitors an exciting day out in a splendid setting.

Edificio del Correo Central: home to the president of Chile and a spectacle of beautiful 18th century architecture.

Mercado Central: this central market offers local fruits, vegetables, handicrafts and a selection of specialty fish and shellfish.

Museum of Colonial Art San Francisco: located in the grounds of a San Francisco convent, the museum is home to a large collection of colonial and religious art.

Sanctuary of the Nature Yerba Loca: only 16 miles to the east of Santiago, the sanctuary offers 39,000 hectares of parkland and includes camping grounds, spectacular landscapes and a range of ecosystems.