BootsnAll Travel Network

Santiago de Chile

Second day in Santiago, I crisscrossed it a couple times on the metro, walked a lot of km and went to most of the areas frequented by tourists.  My conclusion is that there aren’t many things here in the way of attractions, not surprising from what I’d heard, but sometimes the masses get it wrong.

Central Santiago is a typical centre of a city, there’s a lot of pedestrian walkways lined with your typical banks, cafes, minimarkets and restaurants.  The main square, plaza de armas is nice enough, surrounded by old buildings and with some greenery in it.


plaza de armas

After that, I headed over to what I had been told was a good area full of restaurants and stuff happening in one of the modern districts of the city.  It is full of restaurants, I walked by tgi fridays, starbucks and ruby tuesday in the same block, felt slightly disturbed and headed in a different direction only to stumble into this alarming road.


This may as well be in any North American city, I could hardly notice a difference.  I managed to find a cafe hidden away that wasn’t serving steaks or western fast food,  had some very good empanadas and got on the subway to take me away from that district as fast as possible. It was like walking into the USA. I didn’t travel around the world to see more of the same.

Next stop was the cerro san cristobal, the large hill in the middle of the city with the big, obligatory statue of the virgin mary on top of it.  I went up for the view of the Andes and city.  Santiago is extraordinarily close to the mountains but half of the time when you are walking around the city, you look in what you know is the direction of them and cannot see anything but smog.  On top of the cerro you can see over the smog to the mountain range, which is incidentally the worst I’ve seen anywhere I’ve been.  (this is apparently because the city is in a valley and the pollution is trapped in between the mountains)

view from cerro san cristobal

view from cerro san cristobal


On the way back from the cerro, I walked through the bellavista district, home to the lively bars of the city, the bohemian district.  Since I was there at 4pm it wasn’t exactly heaving, but there were definitely some interesting looking bars and restaurants scattered throughout.


Overall it’s hard to describe this place. There’s districts that have interesting cafes, bars and shops and then there’s districts that are mini Americas. It also has much less of the interesting architecture I saw in Buenos Aires, the only comparable city I’ve seen in South America so far.

It’s really strange, I’ve been in South America for over a month and with a few exceptions it doesn’t feel like I’m traveling in South America. The buses are nicer than any I’ve used before, the roads are better than many countries I’ve been to, I have access to every modern convenience I’m used to etc etc. There are a few things that are noticeable here, the amount of street dogs is one, the poor parts of cities I’ve been through on the buses is another. In general though, highly developed and mostly modern. I have a feeling this might change a bit when I fly to Lima, Peru in 36 hours.

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