Santiago & Surroundings – Daytours4u http://www.daytours4u.com/en Tours, activities and travel tips in South America Wed, 20 Jun 2018 19:59:19 +0000 en-US hourly 1 https://wordpress.org/?v=4.7.8 96832869 Things to do in Santiago: what to see and where to go http://www.daytours4u.com/en/daytours4u/things-to-do-in-santiago/ Mon, 23 Oct 2017 14:23:25 +0000 http://www.daytours4u.com/en/?p=11851 Wine, shopping, and the Andes Mountains are some of the words that come to mind when we think of Santiago, but there are many things to do in Santiago. The Chilean capital has more to offer than that: museums, gastronomy, bike rides and beautiful neighborhoods to take a stroll through. Visit the main attractions of [...]

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Things to do in Santiago. Santiago Cathedral

Photo: Lucila Runnacles/Viagem Cult

Wine, shopping, and the Andes Mountains are some of the words that come to mind when we think of Santiago, but there are many things to do in Santiago. The Chilean capital has more to offer than that: museums, gastronomy, bike rides and beautiful neighborhoods to take a stroll through.

Visit the main attractions of this beautiful city and let yourself get carried away by its cultural side. Learn about the life and the work of Pablo Neruda, the great Chilean poet, through visits to the houses where he lived, now turned into museums. One of them, La Chascona, located in the Bella Vista neighborhood, is an ideal trip to learn about Neruda’s past and his eccentric private life.

In the same neighborhood of Bella Vista, another place to visit is the San Cristóbal Hill, which is also the largest park in the city. The Funicular, the zoo, the cable car and the Virgen del Cerro (Virgin of the hill) are the main attractions of this park; also called the Metropolitan Park. You can go up by cable car or funicular to see the sunset at 860 meters of height and those who are more adventurous and in good physical shape; can even make the journey on foot to the top.

Downtown Santiago

Things to do in Santiago. Casa de la Moneda

Palacio de La Moneda – Photo: Lucila Runnacles / Viagem Cult

Touring the city center of Santiago is an unforgettable outing to learn about the history of this city. The beautiful white building of the Palácio de la Moneda, seat of the Government, is a good starting point. It was built in 1784 to make coins and is where its name comes from.

Those who want to visit the building on the inside must book their visit in advance through the following link: https://visitasguiadas.presidencia.cl. Another must-see is the Cultural Center La Moneda behind the palace which has several exhibition halls and an interesting store with Chilean handicrafts.
The next stop is the Plaza de Armas where the city was born. This popular square is surrounded by the cathedral, the post office, the National Historical Museum and the municipality. In addition to tourists, it is common to see people resting, playing chess or reading a book beneath a tree.

For those who want to enjoy shopping or walk a little more, the Paseo Ahumada is a pedestrian street with several shops and many street vendors with “mote con huesillo”, a typical sweet drink made with juice, pieces of peach and grains of wheat, delicious and recommended for those who have no qualms about experiencing local gastronomy during their travels ..

And speaking of experiencing, a typical place to have a seafood lunch in Santiago is the Mercado Central, located in the downtown of the historic center. All the ingredients that you will see on your plate are fresh since in the same market you buy top quality fish and seafood. One of the typical dishes here are the paila marina, the crab cakes and for those who do not travel with too limited a budget, we recommend trying the famous red crab or Chilean crab.

Museums in Santiago

Things to do in Santiago: Museums

Photo: Lucila Runnacles/Viagem Cult

Lovers of history and culture will find several interesting museums in Santiago. One of the most important is the Museum of Memory and Human Rights which has details of the sad history that took place during the military dictatorship of Augusto Pinochet. Videos, photos, stories and a lot of emotion can be witnessed in the corridors of this beautiful museum that offers free admission. The Plaza de la Memoria is also located there.
A few meters away stands the Quinta Normal. A beautiful park surrounded by a beautiful lake and palm trees, also home to other museums such as the Natural History, the Railway Museum and the Museum of Contemporary Art. Whoever enters this beautiful building of the Natural History Museum will be greeted by a huge and impressive whale skeleton. It’s a nice outing to do with children.

Street Art in Santiago

Things to do in Santiago: street art

Graffiti in the Yungay neighborhood. Photo: Lucila Runnacles/Viagem Cult

One of the neighborhoods with more graffiti and murals of the Chilean capital is Yungay. Its colorful streets give life to this region that for many years was a favorite place for Peruvian and Haitian immigrants.

This is one of the neighborhoods that offers more culture in the city and beautiful buildings bauhaus style and Artdecó. The contiguous neighborhood is called Brazil; and is also known for its great gastronomic and bars.

And for those who like to appreciate the city from above, a good plan is to visit the viewpoint of the Sky Costanera, the tallest building in Latin America. The view from the 62nd floor is incredible, especially at the end of the afternoon. If you visit during the winter, you can see the snow in the Andes Mountains that give rise to an unforgettable landscape.

Things to do in Santiago: Skycostanera viewpoint

Santiago’s view from the Skycostanera – Photo: Lucila Runnacles/Viagem Cult

The lookout is in the same building as the Shopping Costanera Center, a perfect place for those who would like to shop.

Read our guide here our Guide to Shopping in Santiago

Santiago’s Surroundings

If you still have free days, take the opportunity to go on some trips outside of Santiago. A good option is wine tasting with a bicycle tour of the vineyards, all this only a few kilometers away from the center.

Read about the wine and bike experience in Cousiño Macul

Those who prefer a little sea can visit Viña del Mar and Valparaiso in a single day. And for those who are looking to take long walks in the middle of nature, Cajón del Maipo is an incredible place.

Visiting Santiago during Summer or Winter?

Santiago is a destination that can be visited the entire year. During the summer temperatures do not exceed 30 ° C but because the sun heats up strongly in this region because of the hole in the ozone layer, it is very important to use sunscreen. This time of year is perfect to stroll around Santiago and to take advantage to visit a coastal city or the region with volcanoes like Pucón.

For travelers who prefer snow and cold, Santiago is the ideal destination because it has several ski resorts just a few kilometers away. The Colorado, La Parva, Valle Nevado and Portillo are the most famous. The ski season usually runs from June to October.

See here for tours and excursions in Santiago

Author: Lucila Runnacles. Journalist and author of the blog Viagem Cult (in Portuguese)
Translated to English by Anna Englund

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Day trip to Viña del Mar and Valparaíso: Two for One http://www.daytours4u.com/en/daytours4u/day-trip-to-vina-del-mar-and-valparaiso/ Thu, 15 Jun 2017 15:42:32 +0000 http://www.daytours4u.com/en/?p=11602 A few kilometres away from the Chilean capital, visitors from all around the world can discover the cold sea of Viña and the colourful streets of Valparaíso: be amazed by their lovely attractions and stroll through those two peaceful port cities. Follow our recommendations and enjoy a day trip to Viña del Mar and Valparaíso [...]

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A few kilometres away from the Chilean capital, visitors from all around the world can discover the cold sea of Viña and the colourful streets of Valparaíso: be amazed by their lovely attractions and stroll through those two peaceful port cities. Follow our recommendations and enjoy a day trip to Viña del Mar and Valparaíso from Santiago.


Visiting Valparaíso

Day trip to Viña del Mar and Valparaíso / Chile4u

Imagine a city where most of the walls are painted in a colourful manner. Apart from being known for the slopes of its hills and its design, Valparaíso is also called the Chilean capital of graffiti. During your visit to the city, go for a walk in the neighbourhood of Cerro Alegre: this is one of the best ways to discover the murals of the city and to revel in the Chilean street art.

The charm of Valparaíso is recognised worldwide and as you discover its lovely streets you will understand why: as a matter of fact, the city was declared a World Heritage site by the UNESCO in 2003. The city has many viewpoints visitors can enjoy and ancient lifts still in function nowadays can take them there – they were built in the late XIXth century to transport the locals because of the slope of the hills: nobody then imagined that it would one day become a touristic activity. Most of them still work and you cannot go to Valparaíso without trying them at least once!

Day trip to Viña del Mar and Valparaíso / Chile4u

Before the construction of the Panama Canal, the port was one of the most important of the region but afterwards, Valparaíso began to lose its international importance. However, the port is still the most active of the country as tens of cruise ships still dock there every month.

The day trip to Viña del Mar and Valparaíso is the perfect occasion to visit the house of Pablo Neruda: La Sebastiana. The Chilean poet lived in this house high above the ground with sight of the sea for many years: this is where he found the tranquillity to write some of his poems. You can visit the house of Neruda in Valparaíso from Tuesday to Sunday.


Visiting Viña del Mar

Day trip to Viña del Mar and Valparaíso
Since there are only a few kilometres between the two cities, if you choose to discover one of them you generally end up visiting both on the same day. The travel agencies usually offer round-trip travels from Santiago and include both cities in their itinerary.

Book your day trip to Valparaíso and Viña del Mar from Santiago

Viña is smaller and more modern than its neighbouring city. This is one of the favourite places of the Chileans during summer and one of the most famous port cities in the country. Tourists can enjoy 11 beaches in Viña del Mar: the most famous is the Reñaca Beach.

Viña stands up to its nickname: the Garden City. The greenness of the city can be seen from the shore and its colourful vegetation will make you fall in love with its streets. You will be delighted to walk in the city as you discover the glass buildings and ancient castles: a stroll in the avenues of Viña del Mar is a real pleasure.

Wulff Castle is one of the most famous buildings of the city. The castle, considered a historical monument, was built to be the house of a German tradesman, Gustavo Wulff, and now this an artistic site where photo, sculpture and painting expositions are organised.

During your day trip to Viña del Mar and Valparaíso, you should also visit the Casino Municipal de Viña del Mar where you will find the Hotel del Mar, the first 5-star hotel in the city. With its pergolas and great staircases, this is rather hard to miss this huge white building, part of the architectural heritage of the city.

If your day trip to Viña del Mar and Valparaíso is in February, you should make the most of your trip to Chile by going to the International Song Festival of Viña del Mar, one of the most famous festivals of Latin America. The event usually takes place in the amphitheatre Quinta Vergara.

Day trip to Viña del Mar and Valparaíso / Chile4u

Two other attractions are worth a visit: the Flower Clock, a present from Switzerland for the Football World Cup celebrated in Chile in 1962 and a must-see attraction for every visitor. The other one is the stone statue, one of the famous Moai of Easter Island. It travelled more than 3 thousand kilometres to get there. In 1951, the Archeological Museum Fonk managed to bring this original moai that can now be seen in their garden: if you are into the Rapa Nui culture, this is definitely worth a visit!


Distances

Santiago – Valparaíso – 115 km
Santiago – Viña del Mar – 118 km
Viña del Mar – Valparaíso – 8 km

Day trip to Viña del Mar and Valparaíso / Chile4u


Did you know…

The sea that bathes Viña del Mar is the Pacific Ocean, therefore the temperature of the water is always a little cold.

The Chilean Congress is located in Valpo – as the Chileans affectionately call Valparaíso.

You can go to Valparaíso from Viña del Mar using the above-ground tube. The two cities are only 8 km apart.

If you wish to discover all those attractions with an expert guide that will tell you every story and anecdote of the local culture, you can book a guided day trip to Viña del Mar and Valparaíso

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

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Shopping in Santiago: the best places to spend your travel budget http://www.daytours4u.com/en/daytours4u/shopping-in-santiago/ Wed, 31 May 2017 17:20:37 +0000 http://www.daytours4u.com/en/?p=11556 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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Cousiño Macul vineyard bike and wine tour http://www.daytours4u.com/en/daytours4u/cousino-macul-vineyard-bike-wine-tour/ Wed, 17 May 2017 19:09:13 +0000 http://www.daytours4u.com/en/?p=11508 What are the similarities between a bicycle and a bottle of wine? It would seem that there are none. However, if you mix the two together you get a great tour in the Chilean capital. The Cousiño Macul vineyard offers a tour that combines a wine tasting with a bike ride through its vineyards. A [...]

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What are the similarities between a bicycle and a bottle of wine? It would seem that there are none. However, if you mix the two together you get a great tour in the Chilean capital. The Cousiño Macul vineyard offers a tour that combines a wine tasting with a bike ride through its vineyards. A fantastic combination!

The bike and wine tour in the Cousiño Macul vineyard is divided into three parts: a one-hour long bike ride through the vineyards, a visit to their cellar and a wine tasting. The tour lasts about 3 hours. There are two tours a day, at 11 am and at 3 pm. We took the morning tour and we truly enjoyed it.

Photo by Lucila Runnacles, source


BIKE RIDE IN THE VINEYARD

We choose our bicycle and received instructions and then began pedalling through the vineries of the Maipo Valley, near to Santiago. During the visit, the guide shared some of his knowledge with us such as the fact that Chile is amongst the 10 biggest wine producers in the world or that its emblematic grape, the Carmenere, was brought from France and adapted incredibly well to the Chilean soil. Some experts even say that this was a gift from the French region of Bordeaux to Chile.

The bike ride included various stops to take pictures, ask questions and even taste a very cold white wine in the middle of the vineyard. Picture this: surrounded by green plantations and grape vines, the Andes Mountains in the background, and you, grinning as you savour a flavourful, fruity and cool wine. Happiness is sometimes much easier to achieve than people think.

Photo by Lucila Runnacles, source


VISITING ALL OF THE OF THE FACILITIES AT THE VINEYARD

We had peddled for one hour, tried grapes directly cut from their vines, cycled over 4,5 km and listened to lots of information about the vineyard and the Chilean wine production: it was time to discover the facilities at Cousiño Macul.

This company started producing wine during the 19th century and the Lota, partly artisanally produced, is its most famous and award winning wine. Inside, you can see how the women separate the good grapes from the not-so-good with their hands in order to begin making the wine.

The Lota ages in barrels for 18 months. In the vineyard, a bottle of this Merlot and Cabernet Sauvignon blend can cost about USD$110. But you do have to not worry, if your budget does not allow it, you will have the opportunity to taste this wine just by paying for a glass.

During the tour, we also visited the ancient part of the cellar where you can find wines that are more than 100 years old. Down the road, we saw various objects that nowadays are part of the vineyard’s museum and we had the opportunity to hear more funny stories. “Chile is known for its many earthquakes and every time such an event occurs near Santiago, we fear for the Lota bottles being kept there. Once we had a very strong seism and when we got there, we saw a red river running through the cellar and a lot of broken bottles, it was unfortunate”, just an example of some of the stories told by our very funny guide.

Photo by Lucila Runnacles, source


WINE TASTING

After having explored the many different locations in the vineyard, we began the third part of the tour – and maybe the one we had been looking forward to the most – the wine tasting! A white wine and two reds made the whole group very happy. Even the guide participated and told us about some of the specific flavours of each wine.
The only thing that could be improved on better were the appetisers, we only ate a few pieces of bread between each wine which left us quite hungry, especially after such a long bike ride.

Photo by Lucila Runnacles, source


RECOMMENDED FOR

This was a very positive experience, mostly because this was our first bike ride through a beautiful vineyard. It was a different way to learn more about wine and to do some exercise at the same time.

There is no age limitation for the Bike and Wine Tour at Cousiño Macul vineyard, even minors who cannot drink alcohol can still enjoy the bike ride with bicycles made for children or by sitting in the backseat of an adult bike.

This bike ride and wine tasting is the basic tour: there are 4 wines, but you will taste one in the vineyard as well. However, Cousiño Macul offers two other wine tasting tours. The regular lasts 45 minutes and includes the tasting of 3 wines, a varietal wine, a reserve wine and a great reserve wine. The premium tasting last 1h and 30 minutes and includes 5 wines, one of them with a premium label and a small portion of cheese and dried fruits.

HOW TO GET THERE

Near Santiago, there are various vineyards but this is the closest to the city. It is easy to get to Cousiño Macul with public transportation. The closest metro station is Quilín (línea azul, blue line). From there you can take a cab to the vineyard (about 2.5 km) or the D17 bus outside of the Quilín station.

For a bit more comfort, you can book a guided tour with Chile4u and you will be picked up at the door of your hotel and taken to the vineyard with a guide who will tell you more about the wine production in Chile.

By Lucila Runnacles
Journalist and author of the blog Viagem Cult (in Portuguese)
Translated to English by Grégory Noël

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The Top 10 Attractions in Santiago http://www.daytours4u.com/en/chile4u/the-top-10-attractions-in-santiago/ Mon, 06 Feb 2017 09:00:08 +0000 http://www.daytours4u.com/en/?p=10950 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

1. PLAZA DE ARMAS

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.

2. LA MONEDA PALACE

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

3. SANTA LUCIA HILL

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!

4. NATIONAL FINE ARTS MUSEUM

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.

5. MERCADO CENTRAL

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

6. SAN CRISTOBAL HILL

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.

7. CHILEAN MUSEUM OF PRE-COLUMBIAN ART

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.

8. BELLAVISTA NEIGHBOURHOOD

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

9. CAFÉ CON PIERNAS

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.

10. LA CHASCONA

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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5 Reasons to Visit Valparaíso http://www.daytours4u.com/en/chile4u/5-reasons-to-visit-valparaiso/ Mon, 14 Nov 2016 09:00:54 +0000 http://daytours4u.com/en/?p=9892 Extraordinary urban art, charming boutique cafes, spectacular panoramic vistas – these are just some of the reasons why you simply must visit Valparaíso.

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The colourful seaside city of Valparaíso, affectionately shortened to Valpo, is a firm favourite for Chileans and foreign tourists alike. The summer months, in particular, draw large crowds. So what is it that is so appealing about this working port city? Here are 5 of the many reasons you should visit Valparaíso.

5 reasons to visit ValparaisoThere are great views aplenty in Valparaiso / Photo by Daytours4u

1. THE COLOURFUL GRAFFITI

One of the things that has made Valparaíso so famous is its incredible street art movement. Wandering up and down the steep hills of Valparaíso is like walking through an open-air museum, with extraordinary graffiti around every corner. From huge murals to painted steps and drawings on lampposts, make sure you keep your eyes wide open to see all the beauty. Enjoy it by yourself or take a graffiti walking tour to learn about all the local artists, writers, musicians, and international street artists who’ve added their work to the facades of Valpo.

5 reasons to visit ValparaisoThe fascinating street art is one of the biggest appeals of Valparaiso / Photo by Daytours4u

2. THE HILLS AND THE ELEVATORS

Speaking of the steep hills of Valparaíso – this is one of the reasons that makes this city so unique and wonderful. There are several hills that make up the city, most notably Cerro Concepción and Cerro Alegre. The lofty streets, cobbled in some of the older parts, look out over the bay, giving you premium views from just about everywhere. The best part is that you don’t have to walk. There are a number of wooden elevators, or funiculars, around the city. Not only are they practical and cheap, but they’re great fun to ride. They’re a wonderful throwback, having been built in the late 19th and early 20th centuries, and have maintained their old world charm.

If you time your visit right, you might just witness the crazy downhill race: Cerro Abajo. This extreme downhill mountain-bike race, sponsored naturally by Red Bull, usually takes place in February. Watching these bikes hurtle down the narrow streets, stairways and even off buildings and obstacles is an incredible experience.

5 reasons to visit ValparaisoRiding a funicular is a must-do activity whilst in the city / Photo by Daytours4u

3. PABLO NERUDA’S HOUSE

Chile’s famous poet, and winner of the Nobel Prize for Literature, Pablo Neruda, was in love with Valparaiso. He called it a “crazy lunatic port” in his Ode to Valparaíso, and built a house here – one of a few across Chile. La Sebastiana is located in Cerro Florida and is now a museum. It’s a must visit, whether you’re familiar with this romantic poet or not. The house is a magical, rambling affair, filled with eccentricities, port holes, and Neruda’s memorabilia. The staircase winds up to the eclectic living room, his bedroom with bay windows that has the best views in town, and all the way to the top of the tall and narrow building to his study, where he penned some of his most memorable work. Get here early – it’s extremely popular.

5 reasons to visit ValparaisoFall in love with Valparaiso just as poet Pablo Neruda did / Photo by Daytours4u

4. BEAUTIFUL BOUTIQUE HOTELS AND CAFES

Local businesses have cottoned on to the charm of Valparaíso (or perhaps vice versa), and the city now boasts some of the best boutique hotels in Chile. The modern apartment buildings and hotels were left for nearby Viña del Mar, while Valparaíso has kept its working charm, with small hotels located in the heart of the colourful hillside neighbourhood offering great views from beautiful balconies. It’s definitely a place to spend a few nights. This is complemented by many cute and charming cafés and restaurants, particularly around Cerro Alegre and Cerro Concepción. This all makes for an enjoyable and relaxing stay.

5 reasons to visit ValparaisoWander up and down the streets and dip in and out of quaint cafes / Photo by Daytours4u

5. SUPER CLOSE TO SANTIAGO

The beauty of Chile’s geographical shape means that few things are too far – at least in width, anyway. Valparaíso is conveniently situated close to Santiago. This makes it simple to do a day tour to Valparaíso for those short on time – without having to spend hours on a bus. For those looking to stay a night or longer, simply take a bus from Santiago’s Terminal Alameda. Buses leave every 15 minutes and the journey takes approximately one and a half hours.

BONUS: Best NYE in Chile

If you happen to be travelling over New Year’s Eve, Valparaíso has quickly gained a reputation for the best NYE celebrations in Chile thanks to an impressive fireworks display over the bay. The city’s geography means you’ll have great views whichever hill you’re on to see the show.

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With all these and more reasons to visit Valparaíso, you simply can’t skip this vibrant and colourful city if you’re going to be in Chile.

If you are looking for tours in Valparaíso and the rest of Chile, Chile4u has the scoop on what to do.

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

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Chile4u Review: Concha y Toro Winery Tour http://www.daytours4u.com/en/chile4u/chile4u-review-concha-y-toro-winery-tour/ Mon, 31 Oct 2016 09:00:43 +0000 http://daytours4u.com/en/?p=10564 Check out our review of Chile4u's Concha y Toro Winery Tour, a relaxing half-day wine-tasting experience in the heart of Santiago’s outlying wine region.

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The beauty of Chile’s wine route is that you don’t need to travel very far to find yourself surrounded by vineyards. This is especially true if you’re in Santiago. You only need to travel to the outer suburbs of the city to enjoy a wine tasting at a top winery.

Chile’s most famous winery is undoubtedly Concha y Toro. It is not only the largest wine producer in Chile, producing around 25% of the country’s wines, but also in the whole of Latin America. Therefore, if you’re looking for an overview of the wine industry in Chile, and looking for a label you might be able to find back home, then this Concha y Toro Winery Tour is the perfect option for you.

concha y toro winery tourBeautiful vineyards lie just a stone’s throw from Santiago / Image Source

CONCHA Y TORO TOUR

We were picked up for our morning half-day tour bright and early at our hotel in Santiago. The transfer dropped us off at a central meeting point, where we joined a small group of passengers and our tour guide and hopped on our mini-bus. This system of transfers was much quicker and easier than many other tour pick-ups I’ve encountered – a relief, given the size of Santiago.

We set off in the minibus to Santiago’s suburbs. The journey took roughly an hour. Along the way our guide told us about the Chilean wine industry, explaining the typical varietals, the various wine routes and the history of wine-making in the country.

Then we arrived at the grand estate located in Pirque, south of Santiago. The estate is the old summer residence of the Concha y Toro family. The winery was established in 1883 by Melchor de Concha y Toro and his wife Emiliana Subercaseaux, and they built the estate where the winery offers tours.

concha y toro winery tourCome and discover Chile’s most famous wines on a Concha y Toro Winery Tour / Photo by Daytours4u

Once at the winery, the tour is run by winery staff, with different language tours running at separate times, allowing everyone to follow along in either English, Spanish or Portuguese. The tour started with a walk in the gorgeous gardens, visiting the grand summer residence. The guide shed some light on the estate’s history. It is now owned the Concha y Toro Group, with vineyards all over Chile, in Argentina and in the USA.

The next stop was the Old Pirque vineyard, where there are 26 varieties of grapes grown. We had a chance to wander around and compare the vines and learn more about such varietals as Carménère, which is grown almost exclusively in Chile.

concha y toro winery tourCarménère is to Chile what Malbec is to Argentina / Photo by Daytours4u

After seeing the vineyards we had our first taste of the Concha y Toro’s wines, with an outdoor tasting of a crisp white wine. We were then guided inside the cellars, where we were treated to the legend of Casillero del Diablo (the legendary Devil’s Cellar). This was followed by a tasting of two more delectable red wines.

The tour wrapped up with a gift of a branded wine glass. We then had a chance to wander through the estate’s extensive wine shop. The facilities here also include a lovely restaurant, although we didn’t have enough time to eat anything. We were then transported back to the city just in time for lunch, with the option to either be dropped off back at our hotel or any other place we wished to visit in the city.

All in all, it was a wonderful experience and a great introduction to Chile’s wines and its most famous winery. To book this Concha y Toro Winery Tour, contact us today.

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

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