Welcome to Santiago, the vibrant capital city of Chile, where a world of adventure awaits. With its rich cultural heritage, stunning architecture, and diverse culinary scene, Santiago is a destination that captivates travelers from around the globe. Explore the city’s architectural marvels, indulge in mouthwatering local delicacies, and sip on signature drinks that reflect Chile’s vibrant drinking culture. Whether you’re a history enthusiast, a food lover, or a curious wanderer, Santiago offers a multitude of experiences that will leave you enchanted. Get ready to embark on a journey through the heart and soul of this fascinating city.
Top 5 Things To See in Santiago:
1. Ascend San Cristobal Hill on a Cable Car:
San Cristobal Hill, located within Parque Metropolitano in Santiago, Chile, offers a breathtaking experience that can be reached by taking a cable car ride. This iconic attraction provides an unforgettable journey to the hill’s summit, where stunning panoramic views of the city and the surrounding landscape await. As you step into the cable car, you’ll feel a sense of excitement building as you ascend higher and higher, surrounded by lush greenery and a sense of tranquility.
2. Discover the Historic Heart of Santiago in Plaza de Armas:
Plaza de Armas, the historic heart of Santiago, is a bustling square surrounded by significant landmarks, such as the Metropolitan Cathedral, the Central Post Office Building, and the Royal Court Palace. Take a leisurely stroll, admire the beautiful architecture, and soak up the vibrant atmosphere. Plaza de Armas is not only a central meeting point but also a window into Santiago’s past and present.
💡 Insider Tip: Take a guided walk through the historic center where grand Spanish Colonial
architecture is the rule on our Chile Cultural Walking Adventure.
3. Marvel at the Architecture of the Metropolitan Cathedral:
Deepen your Santiago adventure by visiting the awe-inspiring Metropolitan Cathedral. This neoclassical masterpiece, dating back to the 18th century, boasts stunning architecture and intricate detailing. Step inside to witness the grandeur of its interior, adorned with beautiful religious art and ornate altars. As you wander through its hallowed halls, you’ll feel a deep sense of tranquility and reverence, making it a must-see for architecture enthusiasts and those seeking spiritual solace alike.
4. Explore Barrio Lastarria:
Wander through the vibrant neighborhood of Barrio Lastarria, a bohemian enclave renowned for its charming streets and cultural ambiance. Admire the beautifully restored 19th-century mansions, which now house art galleries, boutique shops, and trendy cafes. Take a leisurely stroll in the Lastarria Park, a picturesque oasis with leafy trees and inviting benches, perfect for a relaxing break. This lively neighborhood exudes a unique blend of history, art, and a vibrant social scene.
5. Scale the Gran Torre Santiago:
For breathtaking panoramic views of the cityscape, head to Gran Torre Santiago, the tallest skyscraper in South America. Take a high-speed elevator to the observation deck, located on the 61st floor, and marvel at the sprawling urban landscape below. As you soak in the mesmerizing vistas of Santiago, you’ll gain a newfound appreciation for the city’s dynamic growth and architectural achievements. Don’t forget your camera to capture this unforgettable experience.
Top 5 Things To Eat In Santiago:
Start your culinary adventure with Chile’s beloved empanadas. These delicious turnovers are typically filled with a variety of ingredients such as seasoned meat, cheese, or seafood. Whether you enjoy them baked or fried, empanadas are a perfect snack or a satisfying meal on the go. Be sure to try the traditional “empanada de pino,” filled with seasoned ground beef, onions, and olives, for an authentic Chilean culinary experience.
A visit to Santiago would be incomplete without trying the completo, a Chilean-style hot dog that is loaded with toppings. The completo comes with a grilled sausage nestled in a soft bun, and it is generously adorned with mayonnaise, sauerkraut, diced tomatoes, and a sprinkle of pebre, a spicy Chilean salsa. This flavorful and satisfying street food delight is a favorite among locals and a true taste of Chilean fast food.
As a coastal city, Santiago offers excellent seafood options, and one dish you shouldn’t miss is ceviche. This refreshing dish features marinated raw fish or seafood, typically mixed with lime juice, onions, cilantro, and a hint of chili. The acidic marinade “cooks” the seafood, resulting in a burst of fresh flavors. Enjoy it as an appetizer or a light meal and experience the vibrant taste of the ocean.
4. Pastel de Choclo:
Pastel de Choclo is a traditional Chilean dish that will warm your heart and satisfy your appetite. This hearty casserole is made with ground corn, seasoned meat, onions, olives, and often topped with a golden crust made from cornmeal. The combination of flavors and textures creates a delightful blend of savory goodness. Pair it with a glass of Chilean red wine for a truly comforting and authentic culinary experience.
To satisfy your sweet tooth, treat yourself to alfajores, soft and delicate cookies filled with dulce de leche. These delicious treats are perfect for an afternoon snack or as a dessert after a satisfying meal. The combination of buttery cookies and creamy caramel creates a heavenly flavor that will leave you craving for more.
💡 Insider tip: Gauchos will demonstrate their sheep shearing skills before an amazing traditional lamb barbecue in the shadow of the Andes on our Chile Cultural Walking Adventure.
Top 5 Things To Drink In Santiago:
To truly immerse yourself in Chilean culture, don’t miss the opportunity to try mate. Mate is a traditional South American herbal drink made by steeping dried leaves of the yerba mate plant in hot water. It is usually served in a hollowed-out gourd and sipped through a metal straw called a bombilla. Mate is a social beverage, often shared among friends or family. Join in the tradition and embrace the unique flavors and communal spirit of mate during your visit to Santiago.
2. Pisco Sour:
Raise your glass and start your Santiago drinking experience with Pisco Sour, the national cocktail of Chile. Made with Pisco, a grape brandy, lime juice, sugar, and frothy egg whites, this zesty and refreshing drink is a true delight. Sip on a Pisco Sour while enjoying the lively atmosphere of Santiago’s bars and restaurants, and toast to the flavors of Chile.
3. Explore Chilean Wine Culture:
Santiago is the gateway to Chile’s renowned wine regions, so it’s only fitting to sample some of the country’s exceptional wines. Whether you prefer a full-bodied Carménère, a fruity Cabernet Sauvignon, or a crisp Sauvignon Blanc, you’ll find an extensive selection of Chilean wines to please your palate.
💡 Insider tip: Visit the Maipo Valley, one of the richest growing areas in Chile’s expansive wine
region, for a fine lunch and private tour where our hosts will show off their whole operation from the vines to bottling on our Chile Cultural Walking Adventure.
4. Mote con Huesillo:
When you’re in need of a non-alcoholic refreshment, look no further than Mote con Huesillo. This traditional Chilean drink features husked wheat (mote) and dried peaches (huesillo) simmered together in sweetened water. It’s then served over ice, creating a cool and thirst-quenching beverage perfect for hot Santiago days. The combination of the slightly chewy mote and the sweet flavors of the peaches make for a unique and enjoyable drink.
5. Craft Beer:
If you’re a craft beer enthusiast, Santiago’s burgeoning beer scene won’t disappoint. The city is home to a growing number of local breweries that offer a wide range of innovative and flavorful brews. From hoppy IPAs to rich stouts and refreshing wheat beers, you’ll find a variety of options to satisfy your beer cravings. Salud!