Santiago, Chile

Rio is Rio. Buenos Aires is referred to as the Paris of South America. I’ve seen Santiago, Chile, referred to as the Tokyo of South America. Ok. But, still, that long, skinny country has always seemed a magical place to me, from the Andes to the Atacama down to Patagonia, and the end of the world at Tierra Del Fuego.

With a couple days still open on Katie’s summer break and Chile dropping reciprocity, we booked a 5 day trip to Santiago with the intention of exploring the country’s capital and the nearby coastal cities of Vina del Mar and Valparaiso.

We arrived in Santiago bright and early, after a spectacular view of the Andes around sunrise form our plane. Would pretty much be the last we saw of them.

We stayed in the Providencia neighborhood, a cool part of town right near the big hill, Cerro San Cristobal. Quiet street, but, as with Buenos Aires, our airBNB host was brilliant, and we had easy access to lots of restaurants and the metro for easy getting around.

IMG_20150123_083233021 IMG_20150123_184429161 IMG_20150123_105905490 IMG_20150123_110405992

IMG_20150123_110428459 IMG_20150123_125600756 IMG_20150123_115131478_HDR IMG_20150123_115907500_HDR

Our first day we walked through the city to check out Barrio Bellavista, known for its cool vibe, street art, and (more) restaurants. Had a cool look around, checked out the sites, and enjoyed a swell meal and some local beer, Cerveza Austral. Enjoyed more of the city hiking home before a power nap, then off to the highly recommended restaurant Liguria, where I enjoyed an utterly fantastic Pollo al Pil Pil.

IMG_20150123_124639761 IMG_20150123_112923532 IMG_20150123_184645578 IMG_20150123_205151069

Day Two saw us head over and hike up Cerro San Cristobal. Along with an endless stream of Chilean walkers, joggers, and cyclists we ascended the hill up to the 70’ statue of the Virgin Mary that overlooks the city. Was a couple hour hike and the temps rose to about 90F/34C… Took the funicular down to the Bellavista entrance before a well-earned lunch.

IMG_20150124_100507164_HDR IMG_20150124_102150521_HDR IMG_20150124_110531333 IMG_20150124_110824158

IMG_20150124_111910255_HDR IMG_20150124_125840308 IMG_20150124_190652659_HDR IMG_20150124_190352695

Later in the day we metro’d into the city, hiked up another hill and checked out the fortress on top of the Cerro Santa Lucia, later enjoyed the sites along the main drag, and took in a Charlie Chaplin act at the Plaza de Armas.

IMG_20150124_182450268_HDR IMG_20150124_182314497_HDR IMG_20150124_183129844_HDR IMG_20150124_183620542

IMG_20150124_183643303 IMG_20150124_183343350 IMG_20150124_193804346_HDR IMG_20150124_193223516_HDR IMG_20150124_202601792

On Sunday we took a tour of Concha y Toro vineyards, famous for Casillero Del Diablo. We booked up for a special cheese pairing after the tour. Was a wise choice. We enjoyed a beautiful day checking out the grapes – they had “show plots” set up for all the various types to sample – but the terroir of the region, and everything you see in the background are Cab Sauv.

IMG_20150125_155817528_HDR IMG_20150125_160723739 IMG_20150125_161451451_HDR IMG_20150125_161614745

IMG_20150125_162241036 IMG_20150125_162205464_HDR IMG_20150125_161836132_HDR IMG_20150125_161742889_HDR IMG_20150125_161637613

After touring the grounds we returned and got down to business, touring the facility where the barrels are housed as the wine ages, the cellar, which legend has it is protected by the Devil himself, and finally sampling some great wines.

IMG_20150125_163944586 IMG_20150125_164933914 IMG_20150125_165359219 IMG_20150125_165514832

IMG_20150125_165647613 IMG_20150125_165813683 IMG_20150125_170133050 IMG_20150125_170827418

But our tour was even better, as the private tasting, which was just our host, Katie and I, and a young Brazilian couple got to sample five more glasses, of various wines, including their Marques de Casa line. Camembert with Carmenere was the best all round pairing.

IMG_20150126_122814 IMG_20150126_104128517 IMG_20150126_104023643_HDR IMG_20150126_104939314_HDR

IMG_20150126_111943890_HDR IMG_20150126_111958112_HDR IMG_20150126_115150899 IMG_20150126_120948467 IMG_20150126_121324229 IMG_20150126_130538481

Come Monday we had booked a bus/group tour to nearby Viña del Mar and Valparaiso. VdM is a bit of a resort city/town, whereas Valpo is full of colorful slums built on hillsides and more of an artsy community. VdM is also home to Everto de Viña del Mar, sister club to Everton, my favorite football team.

IMG_20150126_145922225 IMG_20150126_150157038_HDR IMG_20150126_151632722 IMG_20150126_153928733

IMG_20150126_145014914 IMG_20150126_145747876 IMG_20150126_155322861 IMG_20150126_160001541

Saw some land marks – the Flower Clock, casino, ate a swell fish lunch with a brilliant Pisco sour, explored some of Valpo’s streets, took a funicular ride, and finally toured the harbor on a short boat tour, complete with Sea Lions entertaining us. An enjoyable day capped off with some local beers – Tubinger – at a nearby bar.

IMG_20150126_161657858_HDR IMG_20150126_153822864_HDR IMG_20150126_145747876 IMG_20150126_164902499

The Tokyo of South America might be a busy busy finance city, but was also a charming place with lots of good eats, good drinks, and friendly people.

IMG_20150126_172233363 IMG_20150126_172152978

About perducci

i am from arizona,, lived three years in asuncion and now reside in bogota. i am married. have a limited budget, but like to travel. i also like beer. and food.
This entry was posted in Travels and tagged , . Bookmark the permalink.

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out / Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out / Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out / Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out / Change )

Connecting to %s