RINGED BY THE SNOW-TOPPED ANDES AND THE CHILEAN COASTAL RANGE, SPANISH COLONIAL SANTIAGO IS ONE DRAMATIC CAPITAL CITY.

From a valley surrounded by stunning mountains, a proud capital city emerges, startlingly modern but steadfast in its preservation of a culture created by a vivid past. Nearly twenty years of economic growth have transformed Santiago into one of Latin America’s most vibrant metropolitan destinations. The spirit of a Spanish colonial past—baroque churches and neoclassical palaces— mingle with future-gazing glistening skyscrapers and gracious avenues.

Chilean Peso
Spanish
Comodoro Arturo Merino Benítez International Airport (SCL)

Discoveries

BELLAS ARTES MUSEUM
JOSÉ MIGUEL DE LA BARRA 650, PARQUE FORESTAL
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One of South America’s finest art museums, this impressive neoclassical palace houses a vast collection of over two thousand works. Post-Colonial Chilean art hangs beside Italian Renaissance drawings, and paintings by sixteenth century Dutch masters, in stately galleries. Modeled after the Petit Palais in Paris, the museum features a distinctive group of drawings of Chilean scenery, by the German artist Mauricio Rugendas. The museum shop is worth a stop for unique souvenirs.

CASA DE OFICIOS
JOSE MANUEL INFANTE 305, PROVIDENCIA
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In 2012, Teresa Diaz and Thomas Cortese opened a cultural craft-focused space with the desire to revive forgotten or waning art forms like embroidery, weaving, illustration and baking. A vibrant handmade movement was sparked in this old house in the Barrio Italia. Artists—from emerging to established—gather to create and learn handicrafts in classes taught in the workshop. Shop for tote bags, knitwear, organic bath products and housewares from local and national designers.

CENTRAL MARKET
CALLE 21 DE MAYO AND CALLE SAN PABLO
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Chile’s generous coastline inspires the seafood-leaning cuisine found throughout the country. One of the most notable places to indulge in just-snagged fish, oysters, mussels and clams is at the Central Market. Gather with locals at the smaller, humble stalls serving traditional fish stews like caldillo de congrio. Vendors displaying bright produce, bakeries, butcher and dairy shops are also housed within this neoclassical wrought-iron clad market established in 1872.

CONCHA Y TORO WINERY
MAIPO VALLEY
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Tour a grand 19th-century former summer-residence-turned-winery just beyond Santiago’s city limits. Wander the manicured gardens, walk the rolling vineyards ripe with 26 varieties of wine grapes and tour the wine cave of Chile’s best known winery founded in 1883 by Don Melchor de Concha y Toro. Cap the day with a wine tasting of several wines made right there.

GABRIELA MISTRAL CULTURAL CENTER
AV. LIBERTADOR BERNARDO O'HIGGINS 227
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A structure with a heavy past—built during Salvador Allende’s government and seized during General Pinochet’s regime—has been redeemed with an innovative, soaring design from Cristian Fernandez Arquitectos and Lateral Arquitectura & Diseno. It is now a progressive center for theater, dance, music and large-scale installations and art exhhibits.

LA CHASCONA IN BARRIO BELLAVISTA
FERNANDO MÁRQUEZ DE LA PLATA 0192
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The getaway for the Chilean writer Pablo Neruda and then mistress, Matilde Urrutia, La Chascona—a pet name referring to his lover’s abundant red hair—at the foot of San Cristobal Hill is filled with treasures collected over the twenty years the couple lived there. Audio tours available in several languages guide visitors through Intimate, art-filled spaces offering a glimpse into the beloved writer’s fascinating life.

RIDE THE CABLECAR TO SAN CRISTOBAL HILL
PIO NONO 450
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Zip high above the city to Cerro San Cristóbal in a the bubble-shaped car of the historic funicular train, which opened in 1925. This popular lookout point is set within the sprawling Parque Metropolitano which has a zoo, both a botanic and a Japanese garden and public swimming pools.

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