One Week in Santiago

One Week in Santiago

This morning I arrived here in Santiago, Chile, and even though I haven’t seen most of the city, much of it was closed due to today’s primary presidential elections, I am already falling in love with its charm. The people have been lovely, and the Andes, set as a backdrop to the city, make it one of the most beautiful urban places I have been in a long while.

one week in Santiago

Before arriving, I wasn’t completely sure of my plans for my stay here in Santiago. I usually don’t stay in one place for a long time, so I thought about taking a few days to head to Mendoza, Argentina, which is approximately one hundred twenty miles through the Andes Mountains. The drive there is said to be one of the most beautiful in South America, but it takes about eight hours, and time at the border can take an hour or more. I also thought about flying, and flights are relatively inexpensive, but that doesn’t leave me much time in either place. Plus, the entry fee for Americans is one hundred twenty US dollars, and I just paid one hundred sixty to enter Chile.

one week in Santiago

That being said, as much as I am longing to get to Argentina and spend time in Mendoza, I think my time would best be spent really getting to know Chile and the areas in and around Santiago. My plans aren’t set it stone yet, but here’s a rough idea of how I plan on spending the next few days.

Casablanca Valley, Valparaíso, and Viña del Mar
About a about a ninety minutes bus ride outside of Santiago, lies these three locations that I am hoping to take a day trip to visit. While I love cities, it’s also nice to see outside the city, and I have heard that these three locations are not to be missed, and I plan on heading to them with Santiago Adventures. The Casablanca Valley region produces some of Chile’s best wines, so I must head there for some tastings. Then I’ll head to Valparaíso, a UNESCO World Heritage site, and then off to Viña del Mar for some coastal relaxation.

Hiking in the Andes
Hiking has been a love of mine for the past year, and with the Andes so close to the city, I’d feel silly leaving Santiago without spending some serious time on the mountains. Flying in today, the Andes were snow covered and beautiful with the sun rising over them. If they are that gorgeous from overhead, I can’t wait to see the beauty that lies within them from on foot.

Photography Tour
When I first read about Foto Ruta, I knew I had to take one of their tours. Instead of just exploring a city, Foto Ruta helps you explore with a camera in hand. It seems like such a unique way to see the city that I just had to sign up. I have been meaning to take a photography class, and I am so excited to see what I’ll be able to learn from this experience.

Cerro San Cristóbal
This hill in the city is said to have one of the best views in all of Santiago, and the photos I have looked up definitely prove this. It’s been hard for me to take a photo that captures that beauty of the Andes set behind the city of Santiago, which is why I am thinking a trip to Cerro San Cristóbal is a needed. Plus, a view from above is always the best way to see a city.

Bicycle Tour
Bicycling has become an important part in my life recently, and once I heard of the bike tours in Santiago, I knew it was a way I wanted to explore the city. On Wednesday, I will be taking a market and local life tour with La Bicicleta Verde, and I am really looking forward to seeing the city through their eyes, especially because it focuses on the lives of the locals.

one week in Santiago

This is what I am thinking of for the next week, but I am still looking to see what else there is and letting plans unfold as they may. I am also looking forward to wandering around the city streets and taking in every single detail of this beautiful South American city.

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Comments (21)

  1. Ariel

    Welcome to Santiago! Looks like an exciting week – biking is for sure the way to go! I definitely recommend that trek up Cerro San Cristobol (on a clear day!) – really gives you a sense of they valley Santiago’s in. Also, if you’re looking for a cool place to hang out in the evenings, have a look at La Jardin – really unique place and epic pizza. Enjoy your week! 🙂

    1. The World Wanderer

      Thank you so much! I had a wonderful time and am already planning on heading back. 🙂

  2. Anita Mac

    Sounds like brilliant times! Did you make it to see Neruda’s place? I meant to tell you about that – so worth the effort. Think it is close to Valparaiso. With only one week – so many amazing options! Enjoy the rest of your adventures.

    1. The World Wanderer

      I did see his place – but only the one in Santiago. I saw the Valparaiso one from a distance though. 🙂 What an amazing country though! Let’s go back together!

  3. thelazytravelers

    need any travel companions for your time in casablanca valley? oh ok, cool, we’ll be right there!

    1. The World Wanderer

      You ladies would have loved the wineries…oh well, guess we’ll just have to go back. 😉 xx

  4. Traveling Ted

    Sometimes it is nice to chill in one place and do day trips instead of breaking your neck and bank for adventure elsewhere.

  5. Leah Travels

    What an exciting trip! I really need to see more of South America, and Santiago is one of the first places I should explore. I like your approach. Sometimes less is more.

    1. The World Wanderer

      I need to see more of it too – starting with Rio! 🙂 Yes, less is more, something I really need to get used to. Haha, my best friend told me I sounded less sad when I came home and I said I think it’s because, for the most part, I did everything I wanted to do in Santiago.

  6. D.J. - The World of Deej

    Hope you were able to scratch a bunch of these off the list. The first building in the first pic reminded me of the Burj al Arab in Dubai.

    1. The World Wanderer

      I was! All except for the hiking, which I was really bummed about. But, you can’t control the weather. I did try on my last day to go to a park near the Andes, but got lost. Luckily, I got lost in an adorable town with amazing mansions on the foothills of the Andes…not too bad! 🙂

  7. Lance | Trips By Lance

    I haven’t been to South America so I’m way behind here. But I’m curious what led you to decide to visit Chile. I’ll be honest that it wasn’t on my radar until seeing your posts. But hey, that’s the whole point in reading travel blogs, to be inspired to visit new places, right?

    1. The World Wanderer

      Lance, I have to admit, Chile wasn’t super high on my list of places to see, but I had an opportunity to go that I had to take, and I am so happy that I did. Glad I’ve brought it to your radar. 🙂 Love that about travel blogs!

  8. lola dimarco

    Sounds like a great week! You’ll be busy! I would love to see more of South America and am interested to see how your trip was!

    1. The World Wanderer

      It was so wonderful! Can’t wait to make it back to S. America!

  9. Carol

    Hey Erin,
    My husband Peter and I met you in Newark Airport when you were on your way to Santiago. Did you get to Indomita winery or Jumbo? It sounds like you enjoyed yourself! We had a great time in Denmark and Sweden. If you ever need a place to crash in Delaware you’ve got a place with us.

    1. The World Wanderer

      Hi Carol! So glad to hear that your trip was wonderful! 🙂 I didn’t get to Indomita or Jumbo – so busy with everything else. BUT, it just means there’s a reason for me to go back! I’ll keep Delaware in mind, thanks so much!

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