Santiago Travel Guide

by our Chile expert Honor Dargan
Honor DarganSurrounded by the towering snow-capped peaks of the Andes, Chile’s capital Santiago presents remarkable vistas in all directions. A relatively ‘modern’ city, it was laid out by the Spanish conquistadores in the mid-16th C. on an Inca-style grid pattern; however regular earthquakes, the most recent in 2010, mean there are few ancient buildings. A fairly level centre (permitting a full-scale Metro system) the few hills create points of interest and desirable residential areas. The small Cerro (hill) Santa Lucia has fountains, little stairways and alleys, and baroque décor reminiscent of old Spain, while the Cerro San Cristobal offers a panorama of the city and the majestic volcanic mountains. Take the cable car for an easy and constantly interesting ascent - the starting point Bellavista district is the city’s artistic centre, with studios, galleries, theatres, restaurants and a vibrant jazz element. Santiago’s altitude is some 1,700ft - still well below Andean heights - but if you want to go higher, try the shimmering 52 storey Titanium Tower. Outside the city, just an hour to the south is the increasingly renowned Maipo wine region, rapidly becoming a connoisseur’s favourite, while the mountains to the east offer a number of ski resorts with excellent facilities.

Chile Facts

National Flag: Chilean Flag
Language(s): Spanish
Currency: Chilean peso
Dialling Code: +56
Time Zone: GMT - 4
Tourism Website:

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