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December 17, 2012

Modern Santiago

Santiago is the capital of Chile and the population centre for the whole country. Over 55% of the people in the whole country live in the vicinity of Santiago. It is a big modern city, very reminiscent of a European city.

Santiago Cathedral

However not many overlander’s seem to go to Santiago, I’m not sure why. This meant that we didn’t have a place to stay sorted out. We got some co-ordinates from an overlander we’d met on the internet for a place just outside Santiago so thought we’d give thjs a try. On arriving we discovered it was a used car sales lot and the guy who owned it had clearly never had an overlander park there ! After a bit of chat he agreed that we could park in the back of his secure lot for US$10 per day. We left after giving him strict instructions not to sell our truck !

Used Car Sales Lot Parking

The trip into Santiago was easy and we took a collective taxi to the nearest metro station. The Metro in Santiago is modern, clean and very frequent. There is even WIFI on the platforms and mobiles work in the tunnel. Basically its way better than London… with the exception that is, of pick pockets.  As a Londoner (me) and an honorary Londoner (Sarah) we are pretty savvy when it comes to crowded Tube trains and managed to thwart the attempts of a cheeky Santiago pick pocket but not before he’d succeeded in unzipping one of Sarah’s trouser pockets.  Do use the Metro it’s the best way to get around the City but be aware of these issues.

In the Metro

We loved Santiago as a modern, young, vibrant city but if it’s tourist attractions you are after this probably isn’t the place for you. However just strolling round the city centre is enjoyable in itself and there are plenty of upmarket shops, cafés and restaurants to lure you in and take a break from the heat.

Roses art project in Santiago

The fish market is also pretty cool !

Santiago Fish Market

One interesting phenomena we noticed, definitely one for the boys, is that there are coffee shops where the staff are all young attractive women wearing skin tight lycra mini dresses. Think Starbucks crossed with Hooters.

Sandwichs t Ciudad Vieja

Our hotel (Mito Casa) was just across the river from the Bellavista area which is an arty/student area with a whole bunch of funky restaurants and bars. We highly recommend ‘Ciudad Vieja’ which is actually a sandwich restaurant but the sandwiches are awesome, filling a whole plate and coming with a side of roast potatoes.

Mito Casa Hotel

Hotel accommodation in Santiago is very expensive but we managed to find a more moderately priced Boutique hotel called Mito Casa, which was really nice and also very central. The staff here were very friendly, helpful and had excellent English.

Old Parliament building

We actually stayed in Santiago twice, on either side of our trip to Isla de Pascua, otherwise known as  Rapa Nui or to you and me, Easter Island!

Inside Santiago Cathedral

3 Comments leave one →
  1. December 17, 2012 4:53 pm

    Mark, if you have time try out “Ciudad Abierta” just north of Santiago. with parking at the beach and many cool people.

  2. Ebs permalink
    December 19, 2012 7:42 am

    The coffee shops are called “cafe con piernas” – coffee with legs

  3. December 19, 2012 12:11 pm

    Seriously, hooters and starbucks in one? Good thing we didn’t go to Santiago afterall.

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