Now that jacarandas are in bloom …

Santiago Travel Blog

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Metropolitan Cathedral with Jacaranda

Santiago is perhaps the most modern and therefore least historically interesting of South America’s capital cities, and many visitors to Chile linger no longer than they have to before heading to the country’s more celebrated areas. But 40% of Chileans live here, and the city they call home has a lot to offer – an appealing mix of older and more modern buildings, a wonderful setting between the mountains of the Andes and the Cordillera de la Costa, some excellent restaurants and varied and lively neighbourhoods known as Barrios. Plus – a bonus – we came when my favourite jacaranda trees, found all over the city, were in bloom.

From my research I knew that the city would hold enough to interest us for a short visit as well as giving us a chance to settle into Chile a bit before starting to explore further afield, so we planned on a few nights here at the start of our trip.

On a street in Providencia
We also found ourselves overnighting here either side of our journey to Rapa Nui, always in the same (excellent) boutique hotel in the attractive Barrio Providencia.

As it turned out we still didn’t have time for everything on my sightseeing list (as is usually the case!) and poor timing meant that we missed out on the acclaimed Museo Chileno de Arte Precolombino (we had left it till our final morning and realised too late that this was a Monday when all Santiago museums are closed). But we had fun exploring the Plaza de Armas and surrounding streets and nearby Mercado Central. We climbed the small hill of Cerro Santa Lucia, a city-centre park, photographed the street art of the appealing Barrio Lastarria, checked out the views from South America’s tallest building and enjoyed some very good dinners in the restaurants near our hotel.

jacobi says:
What a great looking country. I can't wait to visit there one day. Nice write up.
Posted on: Mar 31, 2017
davejo says:
My favorite capitals in SA were La Paz, Quito, Asuncion but of course they were a lot smaller in '82
Posted on: Jan 26, 2017
Toonsarah says:
Thank you all :-) Irene, there's plenty here to keep you interested for several days at least, although it's not as picturesque as some other South American cities like Quito or Cusco
Posted on: Jan 26, 2017
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Metropolitan Cathedral with Jacara…
Metropolitan Cathedral with Jacar…
On a street in Providencia
On a street in Providencia
In the Plaza de Armas - Metropolit…
In the Plaza de Armas - Metropoli…
In the Plaza de Armas
In the Plaza de Armas
Metropolitan Cathedral
Metropolitan Cathedral
In the Plaza de Armas
In the Plaza de Armas
In the Plaza de Armas
In the Plaza de Armas
Metropolitan Cathedral
Metropolitan Cathedral
Metropolitan Cathedral
Metropolitan Cathedral
Mercado Central
Mercado Central
Cerro Santa Lucia
Cerro Santa Lucia
Cerro Santa Lucia
Cerro Santa Lucia
Cerro Santa Lucia
Cerro Santa Lucia
In the Barrio Lastarria
In the Barrio Lastarria
In the Barrio Lastarria
In the Barrio Lastarria
In the Barrio Lastarria
In the Barrio Lastarria
Street art in the Barrio Lastarria
Street art in the Barrio Lastarria
Street art in the Barrio Lastarria
Street art in the Barrio Lastarria
In the Barrio Lastarria
In the Barrio Lastarria
In the Barrio Lastarria
In the Barrio Lastarria
In the Barrio Lastarria
In the Barrio Lastarria
In the Barrio Lastarria
In the Barrio Lastarria
In the Barrio Lastarria
In the Barrio Lastarria
Universidad Catolica
Universidad Catolica
In the Parque Forestal
In the Parque Forestal
In the Barrio Lastarria
In the Barrio Lastarria
Near the National Theatre
Near the National Theatre
Santiago Restaurants, Cafes & Food review
Good Chilean food, great pisco sours in Providencia
We liked this restaurant just down the road from our hotel so much that we ate here twice! On both occasions we sat on the terrace at the front, as di… read entire review
Santiago Restaurants, Cafes & Food review
Friendly, if slightly chaotic
This restaurant is in a lovely old house just a short distance from our hotel, so we naturally decided to try it one evening. There are a few tables s… read entire review
Santiago General Tips & Advice review
Where to change money
It’s quite hard to get Chilean pesos ahead of your trip and also not advised, as exchange rates outside the country are very poor. But when we first… read entire review
Santiago Sights & Attractions review
Jacaranda trees
I love jacaranda trees and Santiago is a great place to see them as they are planted all over the city, in its parks and squares and lining some of th… read entire review
Santiago Sights & Attractions review
Catedral Metropolitana
Santiago’s imposing cathedral sits on the west side of the Plaza de Armas. I choose the word “imposing” deliberately, as I found it somewhat sol… read entire review
Santiago Sights & Attractions review
On Cerro Santa Lucia
Every city needs parks and Santiago has several, both small and large. This is one of the smallest but it is also arguably the most central and possib… read entire review
Santiago Sights & Attractions review
Sky Costanera
This is the tallest building in South America (as of 2016) and the second tallest in the Southern Hemisphere, standing 300 metres / 64 stories high. I… read entire review
Santiago Sights & Attractions review
The Mercado Central
Wherever we travel we enjoy visiting local markets – and by “local” I mean a proper produce market where local people shop rather than a tourist… read entire review
Santiago Restaurants, Cafes & Food review
Maybe we were just a bit tired …
… after a 24 hour door to door journey from London to Santiago, but we found this generally well-reviewed spot in Providencia a bit disappointing. W… read entire review
Santiago General Tips & Advice review
Travelling by Metro
Being used to the complexities of London's Underground network we found the five line Santiago subway pretty simple to navigate. Stations are marked w… read entire review
Santiago Sights & Attractions review
In the Plaza de Armas
Every Spanish colonial city has its Plaza de Armas, where once the occupying army soldiers paraded, and Santiago is no exception. As elsewhere, it occ… read entire review
Santiago Hotels & Accommodations review
I had read good things about this boutique hotel in Santiago's pleasant residential district of Providencia, and it didn't disappoint. The friendly we… read entire review
Santiago
photo by: Bluetraveler