Santiago, Chile: A Perfect Blend of Past and Present
Thinking of a South American travel destination? Why not Santiago, Chile? This bustling capital city offers a perfect medley of historic and modern attractions with outdoor activities and a vibrant arts and culture scene.
Free Walking Tours
If you are visiting Santiago for the first time, you might be interested in taking advantage of a free walking tour. The city offers three multiple tours that will acquaint you with main attractions, landmarks, neighborhoods, restaurants, shops and hotel accommodation.
Cerro San Cristobal and the Parque Metropolitano
A popular spot among locals and tourists alike, the Cerro San Cristobal is a high hilltop overlooking Santiago and containing the city’s largest public park, the Parque Metropolitano. Not only can you marvel over spectacular views of the city and mountains but also colorful buildings, fountains and a beautiful religious sanctuary. Within the park, you can stroll about botanic gardens, visit the zoo and swim in two swimming pools. You can reach Cerro San Cristobal by driving, hiking or cable car ride.
Plaza de Armas
A good place to start sightseeing Santiago is the city’s main plaza, the Plaza de Armas. A walk around this lively center offers colorful colonial architecture, markets, shops and restaurants. Significant buildings and landmarks here include the Metropolitan Cathedral of Santiago, the Royal Court Palace and the Central Post Office.
San Francisco Church
As the city’s oldest cathedral, the San Francisco Church is a must-see for its gorgeous architecture and exquisite ceilings and art works. Located in front of the cathedral is a Maoi monolithic from Easter Island that is certainly worth a look.
Arts and Culture
Santiago offers a wealth of arts and culture opportunities such as the Centro Cultural Palacio de La Moneda, which is an underground cultural center featuring a variety of rotating exhibitions year round. Additionally, this venue is a good place to find a bargain on local handicrafts and souvenirs.
The Chilean Museum of Pre-Columbian Art is well worth a visit to see its impressive collections of artifacts from the ancient civilizations of the Mayas, Incas and Olmecs. For fine works of arts, the Modern Art Museum, Centro Cultural Matucana 100 and the National Museum of Fine Arts all offer fabulous exhibits. The historic Teatro Municipal and the Centro Cultural Gabriela Mistral are excellent venues to enjoy live performances of theater, opera and more.
If you want to enjoy outdoor recreation within the city, the Parque Forestal and the Parque Bicentenario are both picturesque places with ponds and trails where you can enjoy walking and biking while children can enjoy games and a playground.
Outside of the city, you can enjoy mountain climbing and snow skiing in the Andes Mountains. There are various operations in the city that will help you with arrangements and tours.
Santiago’s climate features dry, hot summers and cold, rainy winters while the spring and fall offer more moderate weather.
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