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What should I do if I arrive early to Santiago?

If you’ve pulled the trigger on joining us for one of our Chilean expeditions, the good news is that you’ve already got a lot to look forward too. The better news is that you’ll be flying into Santiago, Chile’s inspiring capital city.

While you’re sure to have an unforgettable journey with OneSeed, Chile and Santiago have a lot more to offer then we’ll have the chance to show you. Just in case you choose to visit the Santiaguinos a few days early, we’ve put together a brief list of sights and experiences to help you get into that travelling spirit!

Hot Tips, Cool City

Although Chile is famous for the diversity of its landscapes and climates, the capital city of Santiago has plenty of variety of its own.

  • The Plaza de Armas is a great first stop. The bustling city square is home to the Governor’s Palace, the Former National Congress Building, the National Library, the Municipal Theatre, and a laundry list of other cultural attractions. For more info click here!
  • For a better look at the modern side of Santiago, spend some time in the Barrio Bellavista neighborhood. Full of innovative art galleries, trendy boutiques and fresh eats, this is a great place to get to know a side of Chile you’re unlikely to see from the trail. The Lovin’ Life blog has a nice piece on Barrio Bellavista (don’t worry, there are pictures).
  • For a less traditional tourist stop there’s the Chilean National Zoo. Located near the heart of the city and within the Santiago Metropolitan Park, the Zoo and has dozens of rare and endangered species native to Chile. With great views of mountains and city skyline combined with easy access via public transit the zoo is an unexpected travelers treat. You can learn more at Santiago Tourist.

Sunshine, Sea Breezes, and Vino

If you’re lucky enough to show up more than just a day or two ahead of time, you might want to roam past the reach of Santiago’s public transit (excellent as it is!).

  • Within a day’s journey of Santiago, spread across the Maipo region, lie dozens of the countries oldest and most famous wineries. Perfect for single or multi-day trips, Wine-Searcher has information on some of the more famous wines, and has a list of small venues across the large region.
  • At 125 kilometers from Santiago lies the world heritage city of Valparaiso, nicknamed “The Jewel of the Pacific”. With incredible vistas, colorful architecture, and even the world’s most endangered elevators Valparaiso is well worth your time.  For a first hand account take a look at this entry by a Lonely Planet blogger.
  •  If world class wines are on your mind and a 550 Kilometer trek to the north can fit into your schedule, consider the Elqui Valley. With numerous vineyards and more than 300 days of sunshine per year (which makes it Chile’s Colorado  in my eyes)  it’s little wonder the locals at Pisco Elqui warn that visitors often forget to return home.

While there are plenty of options for lodging in and around Santiago, here are a few options that have always worked well for us:

To make sure that everything runs smoothly with your OneSeed adventure, please let us know ahead of time where to pick you up. Until then, enjoy as much of Chile as possible, especially the wine. I did remember to mention the wine, right?