Culture & Lifestyle – Daytours4u Tours, activities and travel tips in South America Tue, 10 Jul 2018 14:58:12 +0000 en-US hourly 1 96832869 The street art of Valparaíso: A true museum to heaven Tue, 10 Jul 2018 14:34:38 +0000 Valparaíso is a city that is unique in its class. Its labyrinthine framework marked by passages, elevators and stairs, its eclectic architecture and its neighborhoods on multiple hills amaze all those who visit it. It’s the capital of the region that bears the same name and houses the main port of Chile, which is also [...]

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Valparaíso is a city that is unique in its class. Its labyrinthine framework marked by passages, elevators and stairs, its eclectic architecture and its neighborhoods on multiple hills amaze all those who visit it.

Valparaíso is one of the most visited cities in Chile

It’s the capital of the region that bears the same name and houses the main port of Chile, which is also one of the most important in the South Pacific. In 2003, Unesco declared the historic center of the city a World Heritage Site for many reasons. One of them is that the port of Valparaíso is considered a benchmark in the beginnings of globalization from the intercontinental trade that began to intensify at the end of the 19th century. Another reason is the morphology of its landscape, which resembles a huge amphitheater where each point of the old city overlooks the sea.

However, Valparaíso has other heritage treasures that are rarely mentioned officially and yet, it’s created a reputation that has crossed borders and attracts thousands of tourists every year, mainly young photographers or instagrammers in search of the best shots for their social network. We’re talking about the graffiti and murals, many of which have been made by artists of the highest level, both Chilean and foreign. So now you know that one of the best things you can do in Valparaíso is to take your camera and start touring this city-museum, either on your own or by joining a tour that shows you what is now known as La Ruta del Graffiti Porteño.

Where to start

In Valparaíso (as in all big cities) you’ll find neighborhoods that are more and less touristy. For this reason, especially if you’re staying for a short period of time, we recommend that you start by visiting the most emblematic neighborhoods, which is where the best hotel, gastronomic and nightlife offers also lie. To begin you can take a walk around the Puerto neighborhood (preferably by day), located in the flat area and near the sea. Take a tour of the squares Echaurren, Sotomayor and Wheelwright, as well as the Church of the Matrix and the Mercado Puerto. There you’ll see some works of legendary graffiti artists such as Cekis, Hes, Saile and the Ha Crew, who are already part of the history of Chilean muralism.

Then you can start climbing the hills, and in those same streets that ascend you will find more “exposed galleries” so to speak. There’s also the famous Plaza Anibal Pinto, from which the Cumming ascent and the Condell ascent rise. It’s a classic meeting point for all Bohemians and also a place crowded with murals that rotate out regularly, but all can remember some classics like those of Aislap, El Odio and Dana Pink.

Any place is perfect to capture the creativity of Chilean artists like this mural in a parking lot in Valparaíso

Cerro Alegre and Concepción

Continuing with our tour, we recommend that you go directly to Cerro Alegre and from there you pass to Cerro Concepcion; without a doubt one of the most chic, arty and well-kept areas of all Valparaíso.

Now, if you want a 100% porteño and heritage experience, we recommend that you go up in the El Peral elevator that is located in Playa Sotomayor. As soon as you exit this elevator, you’ll stumble across works by some of the best-known Chilean and foreign muralists. In this neighborhood you can locate, for example, the famous INTI Castro, who has literally walked around the world making murals, and who only after gaining international fame was recognized by the cultural authorities in Valparaíso, his native city.

Other notable works that you’ll l find in the charming little streets of Cerro Alegre include La Robot de Madera, Claudio Dre, Un Kolor Distinto, Charquipunk, the Colombian Stink Fish, the Spanish Cuellimangui and the French Ella & Pitr.

Travel tip: When you’re here, be sure to visit the Yugoslavian Promenade and its staircase full of tags, posters and stickers.

The whole city is a real museum, do not forget your camera!

Valparaíso en Colores

Since we’ve mentioned Inti Castro, a famous Chilean artist who has transferred Latin American syncretism (especially that of the Andean culture) to muralism, we’d also like to take this opportunity to note one of the most important projects in which he has participated. We’re referring to Valparaíso en Colores, which is something like a “turn of the screw” of the Porteño Graffiti Route. This project, which has a permanent staff of five people and in which more than forty artists have collaborated with the support of the University of Valparaíso, aims to take mural art beyond the circuits normally frequented by tourists.

The premise behind this initiative is that all people like and are struck by art, as all feel the need to express themselves in an aesthetic key, different from everyday communication. The problem is that art is often circumscribed in exclusive spaces or restricted access. Hence the enormous potential of muralism and graffiti, phenomena that bring art closer to the neighborhoods and indirectly redistribute the income that comes from tourism by opening new circuits on the agenda of cities with heritage value.

Travel tip: If you want to admire some of the works that have emerged from this project that mixes mural art with the preservation of neighborhood identity, we recommend taking a walk around Cerro la Cruz, one of the most colorful parts of the port.

Muralism and graffiti are phenomena that bring art closer to the neighborhoods

Cerro Cárcel

From Cerro Alegre, you’ll continue climbing until you reach San Luis Square, where (surprise!) there’s also graffiti. Once there, turn left on Avenida Alemania and go down to Cerro Cárcel, the adjoining neighborhood, whose name comes from the building of the Ex Prison of Valparaíso, today converted into an important cultural center.

In this sector you’ll find murals by the Chilean Dasic Fernández (who currently lives and paints in Brooklyn), the Belgian artist Roa, famous for his giant animals in black and white. There’s also a piece by the Australian Swaze and finally a mural by the Brazilian duo Pam and Tikka.

Take advantage of your tour of the hills of Valparaíso to enjoy the beautiful view offered by the port of the city

Van Buren

This sector takes the name of an important hospital located there. In the surrounding streets there are murals by renowned artists such as the Danish Soten and TIWS, and the French Kaput, as well as the locals 056 and UKD.

The Van Buren sector has two particularities that are worth mentioning: on the one hand, it’s comprised of a set of walls that combine both urban art and illegal graffiti, so that both the followers of one movement and the other will be appeased with a visit. Another characteristic of the sector is that it has many nooks and crannies that aren’t easy to recognize. For this reason, if you visit Van Buren we recommend that you join an urban art tour. Know that in Valparaíso there are many corridors in disuse, abandoned houses, hidden doors and old stairs. It’s in those places where some of the most valuable gems of muralism and porteño graffiti are hidden.

Murales de Van Buren

In the least expected place of Valparaíso you will see murals that you can not stop photographing

Cerro Polanco

Cerro Polanco is part of what we could call “the deep Valparaíso”. It includes a sector that formerly attracted almost no tourists. This was until 2012 when the girls of Crazys Crew organized an international graffiti meeting (Polanco GraffFestival) that filled the neighborhood with colors, including the blocks of buildings of Lechería, Larraín and Cerro Barón. Taking into account that Valparaíso is a city that depends largely on tourism, this initiative had very positive results, since it integrated a sector of the city that was commonly relegated and even stigmatized because it was considered a low-income neighborhood full of delinquency.

What’s more, once the graffiti tours began to circulate around the Polanco Hill, the building authorities began to prioritize various stagnant works in the public agenda, such as the improvement of lighting, paving of cobblestones, repairing the sidewalks, repairing the roofs of houses, etc. Then urban art in this context became part of a comprehensive project to improve urban equipment and social conditions of life.

Cerro Polanco

Cerro Polanco is part of the “deep Valparaíso” that was integrated into the tourist circuit by an initiative of the Crazys Crew / Source: Polanco GraffFestival

Did you enjoy yourself?

If after going up and down stairs photographing the amazing murals of Valparaíso you haven’t been satisfied, then we recommend that you take a workshop and go from being a just a spectator to an actor in the world of urban art. There are many undertakings that nowadays combine both tours and mural painting classes, and many of these are taught by the artists themselves. These last ones are the ones we recommend the most, because who better than a porteño muralist to enter and get lost in this incredible labyrinth of colors?

Book your excursions in Chile here

By: Brian Gray, Chilean anthropologist and muralist specializing in urban visual culture

The post The street art of Valparaíso: A true museum to heaven appeared first on Daytours4u.

Tips for a safe travel in Chile Tue, 08 May 2018 11:00:11 +0000 In recent years Chile has become one of the main tourist destinations worldwide, to such an extent that the renowned Lonely Planet awarded this country first place in its Best in Travel 2018. However, to live a pleasurable and unforgettable experience, it’s always advisable to travel with some basic precautions, especially in large cities such [...]

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In recent years Chile has become one of the main tourist destinations worldwide, to such an extent that the renowned Lonely Planet awarded this country first place in its Best in Travel 2018. However, to live a pleasurable and unforgettable experience, it’s always advisable to travel with some basic precautions, especially in large cities such as Santiago, Concepción, Valparaíso or Temuco, as well as in the most crowded tourist resorts during the summer season.

This article isn’t intended to discourage anyone, in fact we’d say that Chile is one of the safest countries in Latin America. But that doesn’t mean that there aren’t some potential setbacks that, if we’re smart, can be perfectly avoided. Continuing on, a few tips that every tourist will want to know before visiting this long and narrow strip of land.

Chile is a safe country but it is still important to take some precautions in big cities such as Santiago / Photo: Santiago Avilés

1. Beware of drinking alcohol on the public roads!

In most Latin American countries it’s prohibited to drink alcohol in public spaces, but usually the police turn a blind eye and aren’t very concerned about punishing offenders. This doesn’t apply to Chile, where this prohibition is actually very strict. There aren’t any bars on the beach, such as in Brazil. So if you don’t want to have a negative experience and be fined, we recommend that you limit yourself to drinking in bars, restaurants, nightclubs, in your hostel or hotel or at friend’s houses.

2. Buy and sell your currency only in exchange houses or banks

There are cities in Latin America where it is normal to exchange currency in public streets, such as in Buenos Aires, Argentina. However, in Chile we don’t recommend it. If you want to buy or sell dollars, euros or reals, you can do it in almost any bank or exchange house without any major inconveniences. In fact, you won’t even be asked to fill out a form if the amount is equal to or less than 1000 USD. Now, if you go to an exchange house instead of a bank, for safety purposes we recommend that you check each bill thoroughly that is given to you at the window, particularly to verify that they are not damaged (both your local currency and the Chilean peso).

3. Autostop

Chile is a country known for for the kindness of its people, but also for being a very lengthy country with many differences depending on the region. If you’re one of those adventurous tourists who likes to hitchhike and doesn’t require all the travel amenities and luxuries, we can tell you that won’t be an issue, and that in general Chile is a country where you can travel like this without any major problems. But we don’t recommend that you do it in the far north, especially if you are planning to go to San Pedro de Atacama, since its a desert region, with less state institutions and a lot of border activity, so sometimes there’s more criminal activity that isn’t as common in the center or in the south.

4. Keep your belongings in sight

This applies not only to Santiago or Valparaíso, but to all the major cities in the world: you should always keep your things where you see them. Every time you use public transportation you should be extra careful and in order to avoid losing your cell phone, documents or cash, we recommend that you carry everything in your backpack, particularly in the inside pockets rather than the external and more exposed ones on the outside. It’s also preferable that you carry your backpack on your front and not on your back. Which are the places where you should be the most attentive? The same as in the rest of the world: bus terminals, large boulevards, parks, stadiums or event centers, nightclubs and basically anywhere with a lot of people.

Be sure to always keep your belongings in sight where there is a lot of people / Photo: Darío Espinoza

5. Protect yourself from the sun

In summer the sun is very strong in Chile, both because of the latitude and because of the proximity to the ozone layer. This is something you should especially take into consideration if you go to the south of Chile, where ultraviolet radiation can be very harmful. Get yourself a good sunscreen, some sunglasses and a hat.

6. Dress warmly and don’t catch a cold

The summers in Chile are hot and dry, which many are grateful for, especially those who suffer from respiratory diseases and avoid humid climates. However, the nights are almost always cool, and sometimes it gets very cold, especially on the coast that usually has a different climate. So don’t forget to bring a coat if you go out at night!

7. Be careful when withdrawing money

ATMs are available everywhere and work perfectly. There’s no risk of being assaulted when withdrawing cash or anything like that. However, we recommend that you select those that are along the side or inside the banks, since you can withdraw money more quietly and avoid silly mistakes that are sometimes made in crowded places like supermarkets or subway stations when you’re distracted. With regard to credit or debit card payments, never give your card to a waiter or vendor and let them leave with it to make the transaction. Always accompany them or ask them to bring the machine to your table. The card must be where you can see it.

8. However, choose to pay by card

Nowadays you can pay with a debit or credit card almost anywhere, even in   local neighborhood stores. Because of this, it’s unnecessary to bring large sums of money with you, which is good because it’s also safer.

9. For the photographers

It’s a shame to have to say it, but it seems that some tourists don’t always realize something that  should be obvious: If you’re walking down the street with a camera hanging around your neck in a Latin American country , and that camera is Nikon, Pentax or Canon and it also has a professional lens and lens plus a detachable flash, you’re essentially shouting “Hi, I’m not from here, I’m a tourist and I have money!”, and therefore, you’re making yourself a target. This doesn’t mean that they’re going to steal from you anywhere, in fact quite the opposite. There are many places in Chile where there is absolutely nothing to fear. But as we mentioned above, in any large urban center of the world you’ll find differences and some neighborhoods will be less safe than others.

This advice is especially important if you travel to Valparaíso, one of the most popular destinations in Chile. Why? Because a tourist can’t identify which street is safe and which is not at first glance. That’s why we recommend that you ask for advice in your hostel or hotel from those who live there and are are familiar with the area. They are your best guides. And if you’re in Chile with plans to create a project or to shoot a series of photographs about less well-known places, it may be better if you’re accompanied by one of these people. The important thing is that you don’t venture out alone with your camera hanging around your neck.

Stay alert in cities like Valparaíso, espacially if you are going out with your camera / Photo: Fernanda Roccio

10. If you have any problem, don’t hesitate to ask for help

Chile is a country of friendly and helpful people. If you have any kind of problem, don’t hesitate to ask for help from the local people in the area where you are staying. If you’ve already made friends, call them or write to them through social network. They will most certainly be happy to give you a hand. Now, if you happen to be in the street, go straight to the first policeman you see, because in Chile you can trust the police and they are there to help you. The number you to dial in any emergency is 133 from any cell phone or landline. But surely none of this will be necessary. We’re confident that you’ll have an amazing time.

Enjoy every second of your vacation and always travel safely. Book the best tours and activities in Chile online with Chile4utours and partake in the most authentic travel experiences in South America.

By: Brian Gray, Chilean anthropologist and muralist specializing in urban visual culture

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Shopping in Santiago: the best places to spend your travel budget Wed, 31 May 2017 17:20:37 +0000 Generally, we save some time to go shopping when we travel, even more if the destination can offer attractive prices, even better! Many travellers choose Santiago as a shopping destination. In South America, the city is well-known for its competitive prices; principally for clothes and electrical appliances. As a matter of fact, the Chilean capital is [...]

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Generally, we save some time to go shopping when we travel, even more if the destination can offer attractive prices, even better! Many travellers choose Santiago as a shopping destination. In South America, the city is well-known for its competitive prices; principally for clothes and electrical appliances. As a matter of fact, the Chilean capital is known as the Miami of Latin America.

The commercial activity of this dazzling city can suit every taste since all the big brands are represented in the Chilean capital. Sports lovers can also find everything they need and if you wish to buy new shoes, the centre of the city has a large offer. Whether you are a shopping fanatic or just a casual buyer, in this article, we will present to you the main malls of the capital so that you can spend some of your travel budget.

Shopping in Santiago / Chile4u

The Costanera Centre is one of the most important malls of Chile and Latin America / Source: Denomades

One of the most famous shopping centres is the Costanera Center, in the neighbourhood of Providencia. Every floor of this mall is specialised in a different sector: women, men, children, technology and there is even one floor specialised in gifts and presents. The most famous clothing stores are there too, such as H&M and Forever 21.

During your visit to the Costanera Center, you should not miss a visit to the highest viewpoint of Latin America, the Sky Costanera, located in the same building. You will be able to enjoy a 360° sight of Santiago from 300 meters high.

For those of you who are into designer shops, let us recommend you a great place to go shopping in Santiago: the Parque Arauco, located in the neighbourhood of Las Condes. Shops like Gucci, Ralph Lauren, Carolina Herrera, Tous, Armani and much more are waiting for you in the luxury part of the mall.

In this same neighbourhood, you can also go to the Alto Las Condes Mall, a more quiet shopping centre of three floors. This mall is more exclusive and there you can find the most famous department stores in Chile such as Ripley and Falabella – also available in most malls and in the centre of Santiago.

Shopping in Santiago: Sports

Shopping in Santiago / Chile4u

All sports lovers can find their happiness in the Sports Mall of Santiago de Chile / Source: Wikipedia

If you are a sports fanatic, there is a place for you to go shopping in Santiago as well: the Mall Sport, in the neighbourhood of Las Condes. This shopping centre is specialised in bicycles and sports outlets. For instance, you can find the North Face, Adidas, Nike, Billabong and similar brands there.

Besides, inside the shopping mall, you will find a climbing wall, tracks for racing cars and various activities that will make every child happy.

Shopping in Santiago: Footwear

Shopping in Santiago / Chile4u

Have a walk in the Paseo Ahumada and discover the Plaza de Armas as you buy brand new shoes / Source: Instagram – @alecx5

If you’d rather have a walk as you go shopping in Santiago, you should go to the Paseo Ahumada in the centre of the city. This boulevard is located in the heart of Santiago and goes from Alameda Bernardo O’Higgins to the Plaza de Armas. There, you can find even more shops, pubs, restaurants, and street artists.

If you want to take a break from the shopping malls, you can also discover emblematic sites of the city such as the Palacio de la Moneda or the Plaza de Armas. Those wonderful places are top attractions of the Chilean capital and you should take advantage of your time in this neighbourhood to discover them! Besides, if you need to make some currency exchanges, there are a lot of exchange houses in this area.

Shopping in Santiago: Handicrafts

Shopping in Santiago / Chile4u

If you wish to buy handicrafts, Los Dominicos Village is the perfect place to go shopping in Santiago / Source: Wikimedia

If you wish to buy souvenirs and local handicraft items to take back home or to offer to your family and friends, one of the best places to go shopping in Santiago is Los Dominicos Handicraft Village (Pueblito Los Dominicos). This place looks like a little Chilean village with its mud houses and its roofs made of palm leaves: it will be like entering a whole new world. Besides, tens of artisans are working there and can offer you every you need.

You can buy handmade blankets and ceramics, items made out of copper and Mapuche fabric (an indigenous population of south-central Chile and southwestern Argentina). In their small workshops, many artisans work in front of the visitors. This will give you the opportunity to discover the traditional techniques used by the locals. This is also a great place to taste some of the typical Chilean gastronomy such as the pastel de choclo (cakes whose main ingredient is corn) or the empanada de pino (made with ground beef).

Los Dominicos Village is opened every day from 10:30 am to 7 pm.

Shopping in Santiago: Outlets

If you do not mind going a little further in order to go shopping in Santiago at the best prices, you should go to the outlets of Buenaventura and Easton centre. There, you can find brands such as Lacoste, Ralph Lauren and sports shops like Nike or Adidas. You can enjoy discounts up to 70% there! Those two outlets are in the Quilicura neighbourhood, 15 km away from the centre of Santiago.

Book a Shopping tour in Santiago

Shopping in Santiago: Discounts

Shopping in Santiago / Chile4u

The Alto Las Condes Mall is one of the top shopping centres of Santiago de Chile / Source: Viagem Cult, Lucila Runnacles

Unfortunately for fashionistas, you cannot enjoy the Tax-Free refund in Chile like you can in other countries. However, most of the malls offer special discounts for tourists.

To get access to the discounts in the malls, you just have to find the Information Desk and present an ID proving that you are indeed from another country and that you are visiting Chile as a tourist. You will then receive a card that you can use for one week with a brochure listing the shops in which you can have discounts as you go shopping in Santiago. Those discounts can vary between 5% and 20%.

A trip to Chile is the perfect opportunity to have a shopping afternoon in South America. Take our travelling tips into account and make the most of your visit to Chile as you go shopping in Santiago!

Santiago shopping address list

Parque Arauco – Av. Presidente Kennedy, 5413. Barrio Las Condes.
Sky Costanera – Andrés Bello, 2425. Barrio Providencia.
Alto las Condes – Av. Presidente Kennedy, 9001. Barrio Las Condes.
Mall Sport – Av. Las Condes, 13.451. Barrio Las Condes.
Pueblito Los Dominicos – Avenida Apoquindo, 9085. Barrio Las Condes

Buenaventura Outlet – San Ignacio, 500. Barrio Quilicura.
Easton Center – Avenida Presidente Frei, 9709. Barrio Quilicura.

Find here more activites and things to do in Santiago

By: Lucila Runnacles, journalist and author of Viagem Cult blog / Translated to English by Grégory Noël

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The Top 10 Attractions in Santiago Mon, 06 Feb 2017 09:00:08 +0000 Chile’s charming capital is full of wonderful surprises that will be sure to excite urban explorers. Here are 10 of the best attractions you cannot miss.

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Santiago may not have the same hype as Buenos Aires or Rio de Janeiro, but this charming capital is full of wonderful surprises. Easily one of the most, if not the most, organised cities in South America, Santiago will win you over with its remarkable location tucked against the towering Andes, its rich history, and the blend of colonial, indigenous and modern architecture. Here are 10 amazing attractions in Santiago that you simply cannot miss.

attractions in SantiagoPlaza de Armas is one of the top attractions in Santiago / Photo by Daytours4u


Santiago’s main square is Plaza de Armas, situated right in the heart of the city. The bustling plaza is bordered by the Metropolitan Cathedral, the Central Post Office, City Hall and the National History Museum. The square is always buzzing with activity and it is a stone’s throw away from many museums, restaurants and other interesting tourist hotspots. Explore the area with our half-day City Tour.


The impressive La Moneda Palace, the seat of the President of Chile, is an architectural attraction in and of itself, with its neoclassical design and immaculate grounds. It also holds an important part of Chile’s history, being a key battleground during the 1973 military coup. You can take a free tour of the palace, or visit the Cultural Centre located underneath where there are a number of exhibition spaces.

attractions in SantiagoLearn about Chile’s political history at La Moneda Palace / Photo by Daytours4u


Santa Lucia Hill is a peaceful refuge in the city. Stroll up the hill through the beautifully kept park, popular for a romantic picnic, and climb up to the Torre Mirador (Tower Lookout) for incredible 360 degree views of Santiago. You can also uncover the old fort on the way up; once a key defensive location for the city. The canons today are fired to keep time, at noon every day – don’t get a fright when you hear it go off!


Situated next to the scenic Parque Forestal is the stunning National Fine Arts Museum (or Museo Nacional de Bellas Artes). The museum holds a great permanent collection of Chilean artists from colonial times up to the present, as well as interesting temporary exhibits showcasing local and international artists. The building is an attraction in its own right, with a glass ceiling filtering sunlight into the museum’s main hall.


One of the top culinary attractions in the city is the bustling Mercado Central, a large fish market. You can get all manner of fresh fish and seafood here, caught off Chile’s long coastline, or choose to eat in one of the many great seafood restaurants in and around the market. Just across the way you’ll find La Vega Central, a fresh fruit and vegetable market, if you’re looking for something to go with your fish.

attractions in SantiagoTo really get a sense of Santiago’s dramatic location, head up into the hills / Photo by Daytours4u


The best view in the city is from San Cristobal Hill. This hill in the north of Santiago is covered by the sprawling Parque Metropolitano (Metropolitan Park). The main attraction, however, is the view. If you’re feeling active, walk up to the top (300m in vertical height), otherwise take the funicular for a scenic ride up. You’ll also find plenty of attractions on the hill, including a zoo, public pools, a Japanese-style garden, a chapel, and an amphitheatre.


Santiago has many interesting museums including the National History Museum and the Museum of Memory and Human Rights. One of the top museums to visit is the Chilean Museum of Pre-Columbian Art (Museo Chileno de Arte Precolombino). Just around the corner from Plaza de Armas, this museum houses ten-thousand years of history from across Latin America, tracing the Pre-Columbian era with its impressive collection of artefacts and art.


This bohemian neighbourhood is one of the most popular in the city as it’s in the heart of all the action and is close to many tourist attractions, including the entry point to San Cristobal Hill. Wander down the colourful streets decorated by street art, and browse the shops and artisan stalls. Bellavista is also a foodie heaven with endless restaurants to choose from. Of course what really makes it famous is the nightlife. You’ll find a party here every night of the week. You can sample the wonders of Bellavista with our Cultural Tour.

attractions in SantiagoThe bohemian neighbourhood of Bellavista is packed with restaurants, cafés and bars / Photo by Daytours4u


One of the most unique attractions in Santiago has to be the Café con Piernas – literally translated as “coffee with legs.” Santiago is famous for this style of coffee shop where the coffee is served by waitresses in short skirts and heels. There are more risque versions where waitresses wear bikinis or lingeries, but the common chains like Cafe Haiti and Cafe Caribe are a bit more conservative. This B-Side Tour of Santiago stops off at one if you want to experience this phenomenon unique to the Chilean capital.


Another top attraction in Santiago is La Chascona, one of Pablo Neruda’s houses. Chile’s most famous poet built this house as a hideaway for his mistress, Matilde Urrutia. He named it after her wild, curly hair. Like his other houses, La Chascona has the distinctly quirky feel of Neruda, as well as his love for the sea. Situated in the Bellavista neighbourhood, you can take a tour of the house any day of the week except Mondays.

By: Nicole Eberhard, travel writer and avid explorer, with a Masters in English Literature.

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