ADD TO LISTSantiago is Chile's capital as well as it's largest city. Located in the Santiago Basin flanked by the Andes on the east and the Chilean Coastal Range on the west, the mountains forming a beautiful backdrop to the city and providing close access to skiing. Santiago is also a good hub city for travelling to other parts of the country to see other Chile attractions. Unfortunately though smog can be a little bit of an issue. There are not many major historical buildings in Santiago due to earthquakes. The main buildings in Santiago are the Cathedral within Plaza de Armas and the Placio de la Moneda.
Questions answered about visiting Santiago
Travel Tips from people who've been to Santiago
In Chile you can eat very, VERY well!! Realy, we are used to high quality, Belgian/French food and we always enjoy eating there!! Sometimes a little too much meat and fat but also lots and lots of vegtables and fruit.
Typical food of Chile:
Completo = Hotdog: Completo Italiona = Hotdog, tomate + mayo + palta (tomatos, mayonaise and advocado). This one is very nice. Best place to eat is is on the Alameda (main street of Santiago) in a place called Domino's (not the pizza restaurant).
Empanadas. 10 x 10 cm triangles in dough filled with:
Pino = meat cubes, onions, 1 olive, slice of egg.
Queso = Gouda Cheese
Camarones = small shrimps
I love them! A very nice to place to eat them is in Cochoa or Concon (near Vina del mar).
Pastel del choclo: a sweet (sugared) corn meal (I don't like it).
Assado = BBQ
Pebre = Salade with Tomato, onion, lemon, chili peppers, and a herb called cilantro.
Cedron = a popular herb with which they make tea (very good!).
Cassuela: meal soup with meat, green vegetables and potatoes. Very good!!
Chile is a great country and Santiago is one big, huge city with lots and lots of things to see en do but you have to know that a lot of people are realy poor. This makes that, if you do not be carefull, you can be robbed. Here are some advices I learned from my best friend Andres, which lives in Santiago.
On the bus:
- When you take a bus try to sit as close as possible to the driver.
- Never let a place next to you where a possible robber can sit down.
When walking on the street:
- If you cross people looking dangerous try not to speak on the moment of crossing. Otherwise they will hear you are tourists and easy victims.
- Don't put stuff (money, creditcards, passports) in your pants. Put it in a safe place.
- Look carefully when crossing a street even if there are lights.
- Do not start talking with beggars.
I kind of like Santiago. Though there seem to exist some serious environmental problems (above all air and river pollution) it appears to be one of the most progressive cities in Latin America (compared to places like Lima or Quito. The relative economic welfare of Chile manifests itself also in the corpulence of Santiago's chicks.)
Worth visiting are the president's residence "La moneda" (there you'll find Chile's motto "por la razón o la fuerza" (by reason or by force), Peruvians experienced what that means ;-)), the historic center around "Plaza de Armas" and the two hills "Cerro Santa Lucía" and "Cerro San Cristóbal". The latter offers an even broader panoramic view on the city (given that it isn't covered by a layer of smog). For literature lovers I recommend the visit of one of Pablo Neruda's houses, "La Chascona" in barrio "Bellavista".
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