Santiago de Chile (Chile)

Santiago de Chile (Chile)

From Mendoza we took a bus which crossed ‘the route of the Andes’ to get to Santiago, an amazing way to cross the border and see the Andes! The route is closed in the winter and sometimes even in spring or summer because of the snow so you need to check in advance before travelling. The whole trip takes about 8 hours, taking into account a 1.5 hour stop at the border in the middle of the Andes at an altitude of more than 4000 meters. Amazing views along the way!

We arrived in Santiago in the beginning of the afternoon and decided to stay in Bellavista, a bohemian area baptised as ‘the Latino quarter of Santiago’ by the locals. The colourful streets are full of restaurants and bars, and attract a lot of young people at night. We visited ‘La Chascona’ in the afternoon, Pablo Neruda’s former residency in Santiago, an oasis of art, literature and vegetation in the middle of the city.

The next day we visited the Cerro San Cristobal, a hill/mountain which dominates the city at 880 m altitude and offers amazing views on the city from the top. Its peak served as reference point for travellers on their way to Santiago during the colonial period. Today a massive statue of the Virgin dominates the top.

In the evening, we caught up with friends living in Santiago. It’s always great to hear what your friends have been up to since you last saw them, especially when they are living so far from home.

Overall, we really enjoyed Santiago even if we only stayed a couple of days. It has a definite South American vibe and is very lively! The Chilean accent is not easy to understand though but we will get used to it!

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Leaving Mendoza on the bus with a view on the Andes that we will have to cross to get to Santiago

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La ruta de los Andes

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Coloured houses in the Bellavista area in Santiago

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Funicular to get to the top of the Cerro San Cristobal

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Smoggy view on Santiago de Chile

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The top of Cerro San Cristobal (many people reach it by bike instead of the funicular)

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A shrine at the top of Cerro San Cristobal

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On our way back down

Our favourite picks/tips:

  • Bellavista is a very cool area to stay in Santiago. Very lively with many restaurants and bars to choose from.
  • Stayed in hostel la Chimba, recommend it!

Next stop: Valparaiso (Chile)

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3 Comments

  1. Thomas V
    November 10, 2015 / 4:10 pm

    Hi Jean & Camille,
    Like your posts!

    Just saw that you’ll be in Cusco on Nov 24th! A Belgian friend of mine is doing an educational project there with children. http://cuscovolunteerwork.com/who-we-are/our-team/

    Not sure whether he will be there, but in case you want to say hi, let me know!

  2. November 12, 2015 / 1:55 pm

    bien chers 2 quel beau voyage la traversee des andes quelles merveilles n avez vous pas vues ences qqs heures en prenant le bus en de bonnes conditions atmospheriques certainement plus que lors de vos hikes …qui evidement ont d autres charmes mais le monde est si vaste et si instructif et interressant nous avons ete a santiago juste apres la mort d aliende et il y regnnait une grande misere nous sommes descendus a valparaiso pour prentre bateau en route pour buenosaires en passat par le detroit de magelan nous y sommes retournes en route pour l antarctique et les progres ecnomiques realises par les chicagoboys m a t on dit etaient enormes mais sont helas contredits en europe par ceux qui n y sont jamais alles ici tout va bien mich est est a moscou ann a agadir boen a san francisco et nous a paris demain matin gros bisous bonpapa bonnemaman

  3. Liliane Govaerts
    December 25, 2015 / 11:23 am

    Loved the contemporary architecture in the business district. Vibrant city … Great food … Good memories.

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