The Chilean capital is distinctly cool with its fine dining, sleek architecture, colourful culture and stunning Andean backdrop.
Considered as just a stopover point Santiago, is the capital and largest city in Chile. Located in a country filled to the brim with stunning landscapes, historic beauty, local charm and delectable foods, it is fast-becoming more of a destination than a stopover.
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The best way to discover this constantly changing metropolis is to walk around the various districts and neighbourhoods.
Santiago’s downtown area El Centro, boasts numerous museums and pedestrian malls.
Districts such as Providencia, Las Condes and Vitacura offer a dazzling array of businesses, shops and restaurants as well as a bustling nightlife.
Bellavista offers the perfect combination of fine food, arts and entertainment.
Santiago is home to several imposing green spaces. For example, Parque Metropolitano, also known as Cerro San Cristóbal, is visible from most of the city.
Don’t miss the opportunity to taste some of Chile’s best wines and tour the vineyards that are now enveloped by the city. Visit Maipo Valley, where you can enjoy nature, sample local food, pick up some souvenirs.
Santiago is also located near many attractions such as the beach house of poet Pablo Neruda, Isla Negra, ski resorts located around 60 kilometres from the city, spots in the Andean foothills like Cajón del Maipo, the port of Valparaiso, which is about an hour from Santiago, and Viña del Mar and other summer resorts on the shores of the Pacific Ocean. Options for enjoying the mountains and sea are always right at your fingertips in Santiago.
Leave the city for adventure, mountains, wildlife and remote islands.
Northern Chile is home to the world’s most arid desert and its salt flats, hot springs and geysers as well as large deposits of copper and other minerals and mines. Both Incan and Spanish influences can be seen in its villages and religious festivities, which attract visitors throughout the year.
Your visit to spots like San Pedro de Atacama will allow you to view valuable vestiges of native cultures at archaeological sites and museums.
Near Copiapó, the desert becomes fertile thanks to the camancha, a mist that rises from the sea and allows for life to bloom in impressive natural reserves like the Pan de Azúcar and Fray Jorge National Parks.
While northern Chile is known for its mining, it’s also home to a number of astronomical observatories. The most impressive – Cerro Paranal and the Alma Project –confirm the region’s status as a land of magical discovery.
It is easy to lose yourself in this area, which is roughly the size of the UK, but has a less than one inhabitant per square kilometre. Over 50 percent of Chilean Patagonia is a Protected Wilderness Area. Here, it’s just you and the wild nature that serves as a backdrop to such diverse activities as fly-fishing, trekking, cycling, mountain climbing, rafting, kayaking and horseback riding.
The region’s surprises include the vastness of the Ice Field that gives way to majestic glaciers and the splendour of mountains like Torres del Paine, San Valentín and Cerro Castillo. You also will be dazzled by the colour and scale of General Carrera and O’Higgins Lakes, the vigour of the Baker, Palena and Futaleufú Rivers and the huge maze of fjords and canals that are home to dolphins and whales.
If you’re interested in skiing South America’s best slopes, head to the Andes. Some of the most famous ski resorts quickly come into view as you leave the city and all of them have hotels, restaurants, equipment rental and ski slopes for everyone from beginners to experts who might even prefer off-piste skiing.
Easter Island, or Hanga Roa as it is called in the local indigenous language, is one of the most exotic places in Chile. It sits at the same latitude as Caldera, but is thousands of miles from the coast. Its indigenous culture has been admired for centuries for erecting massive stone monuments called moais over 800 years ago. These stone statues are scattered over a volcanic landscape surrounded by beautiful beaches. Here at the 'navel of the world', indigenous culture informs the décor and offerings of first-rate hotels and fine dining.
Chilean Peso (CLP$)
220V / 50 Hz
Santiago has four very distinctive seasons. Expect temperatures ranging from 0-12°C in winter, often exceeding 30°C during the summer months. Don’t be surprised to experience 15-20°C fluctuations in a single day.
From the airport
If you are staying in Santiago, you’ll need to take an official taxi or an organised private transfer. Buses are not an easy option. Santiago has abundant metered taxis, all black with yellow roofs.
In and around the city
If you want to travel by bus or metro look for Transantiago, a quick, cheap and efficient way to get around central Santiago. You'll need a tarjeta Bip! (a contact-free card you wave over sensors).
Driving in Santiago and beyond is a great way to get around and plan your own itinerary.
Santiago car hire
Book car hire with Avis, Budget, Hertz and Thrifty. Qantas Frequent Flyer members could earn Qantas Points^ with Avis and Budget.
Your flight with Qantas
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