Santiago & winelands
Santiago is an elegant capital, cultured and cosmopolitan, with museums, parks, markets and plazas and within easy reach of Chile’s verdant winelands.
We had a fabulous evening at Bocanariz in the Lastarria district tasting lots of wonderful Chilean wines alongside some great food. Memorable.
The capital of Chile, Santiago, is almost in the centre of this long country and has all the attributes of a vibrant modern city plus a rich history. Palaces, mansions and churches convey the grandeur of its past, parks and plazas provide ample space for recreation in the mild climate and there’s a wide choice of restaurants. The winelands are near at hand where you can tour an estate, find out about viticulture and sample some of the renowned vintages.
- Capital culture: Soak up some of Chile’s history in the city’s museums and take a guided tour of the grand Municipal Theatre which hosts illustrious opera and ballet performances and festivals. There are also many art galleries, boutiques and artisan shops, as well as markets where you may bag a bargain. In Plaza de Armas at the heart of the city you can admire the fine architecture of the cathedral, royal palace and central post office.
- Popular barrios: Away from the centre, Santiago’s barrios (districts) offer a variety of characters and here are some of our favourites. Lastarria is an historical and fashionable district with boutique hotels, book and antique shops, cafes and wine bars. It borders Santa Lucia hill and park for city views. Another of the older neighbourhoods, Barrio Italia has a distinctly Italian feel with its cosy coffee shops and restaurants, away from the crowds. Lively Bellavista is the main artistic neighbourhood with a popular weekend market and lively nightlife.
- Chilean winelands: Take a break from the city with a day tour to the winelands. These fertile valleys are ideally suited to grape growing and wine has produced here since the mid-1500s and now Chile is known as an international producer of fine wines. A winery tour shows you how techniques have evolved over the years and includes tastings so you can appreciate the finished product for yourself.
- Panoramic Santiago: A 15-minute ride on the funicular railway takes you to the top of San Cristobal hill and the metropolitan park which includes a botanical garden and picnic areas. The summit is marked by the statue of the Virgin Mary, an important symbol of the city. The view over the city is magnificent.