Before traveling to Chile, the only image that used to pop up in my head were chili peppers.Even after getting a “Chilean lesson” from my Panamanian and Peruvian friends, I couldn’t help but think of a country filled with red hot chili peppers…am I the only one?
Take a glimpse at my experience in Chile.
We touched down in Santiago the Saturday after Good Friday and couldn’t wait to dive into the culture.
It took about a 20mins drive from the airport to our stay- NH Collections. We chose this boutique hotel because it is centrally located. Unlike the JW Marriot staff who treated us like royalty, there was no one available to wheel in our suitcases.
While waiting to be checked in, I admired the modern lobby that was decorated with white velvet sofas, fresh red roses and crowned with delicate chandeliers. The quaint room was spick and span as expected and it showed off a spectacular view of The Andes mountain.
After a good night’s rest, we wanted to see what Santiago had to offer… Will it be chili peppers? Lol. I couldn’t wait! We hopped on a metro tour bus that took us around the entire city. The bus stopped at 12 locations and you could choose your point of interest which was really cool. I was amazed to see a huge developed city which boasts one of South America’s largest structure.
The town was bustling with life and activities. The people in the town were friendlier than the ones we came across up town. There were street performers adding their personalities to the city. One of the performers included me in his act but I was clueless as to what he was saying. The people were clapping and cheering , “CHICA BONITA, CHICA BONITA!”, at least I knew what that meant.
The star of Chilean cuisine is definitely BEEF. The best beef sandwich I have ever had in my entire life was in Chile…it was far from spicy but flavourful. However, most of the food we enjoyed were Peruvian. We even had more Pisco Sour and Ceviche in Chile than in Peru.
SANTA RITA WINERY
About 30 mins drive outside the city of Santiago is the Santa Rita Winery. The bucolic surroundings of the property and the scent of fermentation teased us and opened our appetite for a fine experience. We were engaged in a tour that lasted about half day. The tour guide was exceptional at explaining the history of the vineyard. We also learned proper wine tasting tips. This was definitely the highlight of my trip.
CERRO SAN CRISTOBAL
This is the second highest point in Santiago and it provides a panoramic view of the city. We had two options to reach San Cristobal, either we walk for about 45 mins or take a ride on the Teleferico, we went with the latter and enjoyed every bit of that ride.
Cristobal gave off a peaceful energy making it a haven for meditation and reflection. There were also elements of the environment that I found quite notable such as a statue of Virgin Mary which is situated onto a chapel. To go down San Cristobal, we hopped on a Funicular and the ride was just as interesting as going up.
Here I am in the the tallest building in Latin America – Costanera Center. I thought this view of the Andes at Sunset is a perfect way to close our chapter in South America. Thanks so much for sharing my experience.
Just in case you have not visited or plan to visit any of these countries in South America, I hope my posts shed some light on what to expect at these remarkable destinations.
Until next time,