A Travellerspoint blog

Santiago (16-20/11/2018)

Sunrise 0629 Sunset 2028 Temps Min 14 °C Max 32 °C sunny

The journey from Valparaiso to Santiago was the shortest of the whole trip and quite relaxed (all the way without taking a taxi) - taking the usual ascensor (funicular) down from near the Yellow House, trolley bus to the bus terminal, coach for the 1.5 hours trip to the Parajitas terminal in Santiago from where we took the metro to Cummings station, just a block away from our hotel. 

Mery Hotel

The Mery Hotel turned out to be a lovely old hotel -  very attractively decorated and furnished - and a really pleasant place to spend our 4 nights in Santiago.  (However, only one room of eight has an external window - room 2 - which we had requested in advance).   The hotel is family-owned, and run by two very friendly and helpful sisters.  Breakfast was not included, but there was a kitchen with fridge etc to make your own.  Good to have a change and have some fresh fruit and greek yoghourt (the regular yoghurt was far too sweet!) and we even made ourselves scrambled eggs on a couple of mornings.

Hotel Mery

Hotel Mery

Hotel Mery

Hotel Mery

Hotel Mery

Hotel Mery

Hotel Mery

Hotel Mery

The hotel is located in the lively Brasil barrio which has lots of bars and restaurants and is about 10 blocks west of the town centre (20 minutes walk). We had a bit of added interest each time we walked to and from town - in the adjacent street to our hotel a couple of artists were advancing with a large mural and we followed their progress with interest!

Mural in adjacent street to hotel when we arrived

Mural in adjacent street to hotel when we arrived

Mural in adjacent street to hotel when we left

Mural in adjacent street to hotel when we left

Santiago is the 6th largest city in South America and the centre for the most part is quite modern with a lot of high-rise sdevelopment, interspersed with some attractive and imposing colonial buildings. The centre was pleasant to walk round although it was rather hot (30 °C+) for much of our time there.  

The main hub is the Plaza de Armas - a typical Chilean/Argentinian large square with plenty of trees for shade, surrounded by attractive buildings.  Heading south from there is the main shopping area and financial centre with pedestrianised areas.

Plaza de Armas

Plaza de Armas

Plaza de Armas

Plaza de Armas

Plaza de Armas

Plaza de Armas

Plaza de Armas

Plaza de Armas

Plaza de Armas

Plaza de Armas

Plaza de Armas

Plaza de Armas

Plaza de Armas

Around the city centre

Around Santiago city centre

Around Santiago city centre

Around Santiago city centre

Around Santiago city centre

Around Santiago city centre

Around Santiago city centre

Around Santiago city centre

Around Santiago city centre

Around Santiago city centre

Around Santiago city centre

Around Santiago city centre

Around Santiago city centre

Around Santiago city centre

Around Santiago city centre

Around Santiago city centre

Around Santiago city centre

Around Santiago city centre

Around Santiago city centre

In the pedestrian areas we found several establishments, much used by the business community, which were worthy of a pitstop!  Haiti and Caribe coffee houses had at least two outlets each serving very good coffee - possibly their popularity was partly due to the figure-hugging, very short dresses worn by the waitresses!

The Bar Nacional No 1 was another 'institution'.  (There is also a No 2 but its not nearly as interesting).  On the ground floor people sit up at the counter with friendly servers behind.  We discovered the place 10 years ago on our previous visit to Santiago and revisited it a couple of times to enjoy their chicken and crushed avocado sandwiches - yummm!  A lawyer/accountant (as he described himself) we were talking to whilst he had his lunch told us that, between 1940 and 1960, Presidents of Chile would regularly come and have their lunches at the same counter with two armed bodyguards standing behind them (sitting where we were!).

Bar Nacional 1 - Chicken and avocado sandwich - delicious

Bar Nacional 1 - Chicken and avocado sandwich - delicious


Bar Nacional No 1 - Making a Pisco Sour

Bar Nacional No 1 - Making a Pisco Sour

Bar Nacional No 1 - Making a Pisco Sour

Bar Nacional No 1 - Making a Pisco Sour

Bar Nacional No 1 - Pisco Sour

Bar Nacional No 1 - Pisco Sour


Ingredients: Pisco, lemon or lime Juice, egg white or syrup. Preparation: Vigorously shake and strain contents in a cocktail shaker with ice cubes, then pour into glass.

Mercado Central

About 4 blocks north of Plaza de Armas is the Mercado Central.  It is mainly fish-orientated with lots of fresh fish stalls, a multitude of fish restaurants and tourist shops. A good spot but need to be aware of pickpockets!

Mercado Central

Mercado Central

Mercado Central - lots of fish!

Mercado Central - lots of fish!

Mercado Central - lots of fish!

Mercado Central - lots of fish!

Mercado Central

Mercado Central

Mercado Central - lunch (  musician!)

Mercado Central - lunch (+ musician!)

Cerro Santa Lucia Park

About 10 minutes east of Plaza de Armas is an interesting and attractive small park which is on a steep mound/rock - Cerro Santa Lucia.  Great views of the surroundings from the top.  

Cerro Santa Lucia Park

Cerro Santa Lucia Park

View from Cerro Santa Lucia Park

View from Cerro Santa Lucia Park

large_DSC05302.JPGCerro Santa Lucia Park

Cerro Santa Lucia Park

View from Cerro Santa Lucia Park

View from Cerro Santa Lucia Park

Cerro Santa Lucia Park

Cerro Santa Lucia Park

Cerro Santa Lucia Park - view of Cerro San Cristobel hill (other park visited later)

Cerro Santa Lucia Park - view of Cerro San Cristobel hill (other park visited later)

Cerro San Cristobel Park

Looking north, there is a large hill - Cerro San Cristobel - which forms the Parque Metropolitano - a large park and top attraction of Santiago.  We decided to go on the Sunday - a beautiful but very hot day - as did large numbers of locals - so there was a long queue for the funicular up to the top!  (We walked the steep track down - not an option to walk up it in the heat that day in our opinion).  On the summit there is a colossal statue of the Virgin Mary and there are magnificent views over the city and of the Andes with some snow on the mountain tops. Its a big park where one could easily spend all day.

Santiago river on the way to Cerro San Cristobel

Santiago river on the way to Cerro San Cristobel


Serro San Cristobel Park - Long queue for funicilar tickets! (Sunday)

Serro San Cristobel Park - Long queue for funicilar tickets! (Sunday)


Serro San Cristobel Park - Funicular

Serro San Cristobel Park - Funicular

Cerro San Cristobel Park - View to Andes

Cerro San Cristobel Park - View to Andes

Cerro San Cristobel Park - View to Andes

Cerro San Cristobel Park - View to Andes

Cerro San Cristobel Park - View to Andes

Cerro San Cristobel Park - View to Andes

Cerro San Cristobel Park

Cerro San Cristobel Park

Cerro San Cristobel Park

Cerro San Cristobel Park

Cerro San Cristobel Park

Cerro San Cristobel Park

Cerro San Cristobel Park

Cerro San Cristobel Park

We tried a Mote before descending from the park (It is a non-alcoholic beverage consisting of a sweet clear nectar like liquid made with dried peaches (huesillo) cooked in sugar, water and cinnamon, and then once cooled mixed with fresh cooked husked wheat (mote) - actually quite sweet but tasty and very refreshing - and forgot to take picture whilst drinking it!!

We tried a Mote before descending from the park (It is a non-alcoholic beverage consisting of a sweet clear nectar like liquid made with dried peaches (huesillo) cooked in sugar, water and cinnamon, and then once cooled mixed with fresh cooked husked wheat (mote) - actually quite sweet but tasty and very refreshing - and forgot to take picture whilst drinking it!!


Serro San Cristobel Park - steep path down!

Serro San Cristobel Park - steep path down!

Santa Carolina winery tour

Having visited the Concha y Toro vineyard on our previous trip, for our last day in Santiago, we decided to try a different one this time, and found that the Santa Carolina wine tour was both highly rated and easy to get to by metro.  The winery was the first to be established in Santiago and the first South American wine to be awarded a gold medal at a wine fare in France!  Most of their wine nowadays is exported.

The winery is now surrounded by an industrial estate (a haven of peace amidst the noise and dust) and was cut in two by a road, with the vines being the other side of the road (and now no longer there).  Their bottling plant is still there (although not part of the tour) but otherwise, the property is used as the head office, for marketing, and the attractive gardens and original buildings are used for tours during the week and for functions (weddongs etc) at the weekends.  The original cellars (modelled on Bordeaux and Burgundy styles) are part of the tour.

A unique (in our experience) feature of this tour is that the three tastings are actually done as part of the tour (rather than at the end).  The tour guide was very good and gave us an interesting lesson in wine-tasting! - and what to look for.  The first tasting was in the gardens as he explained the history of the winery, and the second and third in the two wine cellars - so definitely in the atmosphere of the place!

Santa Carolina Winery tour

Santa Carolina Winery tour


Santa Carolina Winery tour

Santa Carolina Winery tour

Santa Carolina Winery tour

Santa Carolina Winery tour

Santa Carolina Winery tour

Santa Carolina Winery tour

Santa Carolina Winery tour - palm tree planted when the winery was founded (143 years ago!)

Santa Carolina Winery tour - palm tree planted when the winery was founded (143 years ago!)


Santa Carolina Winery tour

Santa Carolina Winery tour

Santa Carolina Winery tour

Santa Carolina Winery tour

Santa Carolina Winery tour

Santa Carolina Winery tour

Santa Carolina Wine tour

Santa Carolina Wine tour


Santa Carolina Winery tour

Santa Carolina Winery tour

Posted by Lindseyalan73 23:37 Archived in Chile

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