Chile – Daytours4u http://www.daytours4u.com/en Tours, activities and travel tips in South America Tue, 19 Jun 2018 20:29:18 +0000 en-US hourly 1 https://wordpress.org/?v=4.7.8 96832869 Tips for a safe travel in Chile http://www.daytours4u.com/en/chile4u/tips-for-safe-travel-in-chile/ Tue, 08 May 2018 11:00:11 +0000 http://www.daytours4u.com/en/?p=12287 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 [...]

The post Tips for a safe travel in Chile appeared first on Daytours4u.

]]>
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

The post Tips for a safe travel in Chile appeared first on Daytours4u.

]]>
12287
Route of the Seven Lakes in Chile: What to do and where to go http://www.daytours4u.com/en/chile4u/route-seven-lakes-in-chile/ Tue, 03 Apr 2018 12:00:19 +0000 http://www.daytours4u.com/en/?p=12216 In recent years, one of the destinations most valued by national and international tourists who vacation in Chile is in the Los Ríos Region. We’re talking about the Route of the Seven Lakes, a circuit of towns located on the banks of different lakes that stand out for their natural beauty, the lushness of their [...]

The post Route of the Seven Lakes in Chile: What to do and where to go appeared first on Daytours4u.

]]>
In recent years, one of the destinations most valued by national and international tourists who vacation in Chile is in the Los Ríos Region. We’re talking about the Route of the Seven Lakes, a circuit of towns located on the banks of different lakes that stand out for their natural beauty, the lushness of their landscapes, their friendly people and their traditions. 750 kilometers south of Santiago, one of the qualities of this route is the proximity between the towns, so the tourist can choose to settle in one of them and from there visit the others by bus or even rent a car.

The Route of the Seven Lakes is a circuit of towns that stand out for their natural beauty / Photo: Daytours4u

How to get to the Route of the Seven Lakes

You can take a direct bus to Villarrica in the South Terminal or travel by car following Route 5 to Freire and then turn left on route 199. You can also take a direct plane to Temuco and from there take a local bus to any of the towns along this circuit.

If you want to go by car from Argentina to Chile you can enter from San Martin de los Andes following route 48 to the Hua Hum border crossing, where you will reach the town of Pirihueico; from where the car must get on a ferry that will take you to Puerto Fuy, on the north shore of Lake Pirihueico.


Villarrica

If we had to recommend one place to “set up camp” along the Route of the Seven Lakes, that would be Villarrica. It’s a beautiful city and very well maintained. In addition, it’s the city (perhaps with the exception of Pucón) that has the most varied and sophisticated range of services and products, and this makes it an international destination.

To give just a few examples, here you will find exquisite ice cream parlors, tea houses and shops with regional and organic products, as well as adventure tourism packages that include night expeditions to the Villarrica Volcano, hiking, horseback rides that end at waterfalls hidden in the middle of nature, ziplining, mountain bike circuits and others.

Travel tip: Along many of the streets that overlook the lake, including the waterfront, there are cozy cabins and hostels at a great price, some of which include breakfast. On average, a double room costs around USD 50 per night, while a cabin (with capacity for five people) costs around USD 85 per night, which is convenient if you’re travelling in a group.

In Villarrica you can make expeditions to the volcano and live a great adventure during your vacations / Photo: Daytours4u

Pucón

Pucón is another favorite destination on the Route of the Seven Lakes, especially for young people. Its at the opposite end of Villarrica, on the shores of the lake with the same name and literally at the foot of the volcano, so that the tourist who decides to go in winter will be awed by the visual spectacle of the large snow-covered massif.

Visiting Pucón in winter is synonymous with snowboarding and skiing, since the Pucón Ski Center is located twenty minutes from the city. However, if you prefer to come in summer, it is also very close to the Huerquehue National Park, which corresponds to an important reserve of native flora and fauna, and is also just minutes from the Trancura River, an ideal place to try out rafting and hydrospeed. Not to mention all the options for entertainment that exist in the same city, such as breweries and nightclubs to dance until dawn.

Travel tip: Staying and eating in Pucón is more expensive than in other towns in the area, which is why it is also considered a more exclusive destination. A cabin can cost around 100 USD per night. If you’re a couple, our recommendation is to rent a hotel room, as some offer promotions for three nights for 280 USD with breakfast included.


Coñaripe

Coñaripe is a somewhat rustic town; not fully conditioned to meet the needs of demanding tourists. However, it has a great attraction that makes it a must for anyone who travels the route outlined here. We’re referring to its spectacular beach on the shores of Lake Calafquen. Bathing in these waters is a difficult experience to describe, since a few kilometers from the shore there are huge green mountains that “embrace” the lake, producing an enveloping visual effect and the sensation of being suspended at a great height . A truly moving experience.

If your plan is to continue on to Pucón after leaving the lake, then we recommend that you make a stop along the way and visit the famous Geometric Baths, a complex of various pools carved into the rock of a ravine twenty minutes from Coñaripe towards the northwest and surrounded by forests. Take advantage of its more than seventy tributaries of hot springs that arise naturally at 80 degrees Celsius. If you want to relax and disconnect from everything, then this is the right place for you.

Coñaripe is a charming town; its surroundings are truly fascinating / Source

Lican Ray

Lican Ray is a small town of two thousand five hundred people located on the north shore of Lake Calafquen that subsists mainly thanks to the active tourism. It stands out mainly for its wide beach and warm waters in the summer season. Here there are also traditional markets where tourists can buy regional products of all kinds; mainly jams, textiles, traditional liquors, wood crafts and natural ointments based on native herbs, among others.

The Mapuche national park is also located in Lican Ray, run by the indigenous community itself and open to the public. There the interested tourist can learn many things related to the culture of this unique town, try typical foods and take guided tours.


Caburgua

Lake Caburgua is one of the main destinations for the vacationers from the area, who’re attracted by the spectacular landscapes that surround it and by its warm transparent waters, ideal for bathing and practicing water sports.

Travel tip: There aren’t many food options in the vicinity of the lake. If you come from Pucón or Villarrica, you may want to put together your own lunch and some snacks before leaving. If you come by car, it’s recommended to arrive early, as the (private) parking lots fill up quickly.

Lake Caburgua attracts locals and tourists for its beautiful transparent waters / Photo: Brian Gray

Panguipulli

Panguipulli, like Villarrica, is a good place to “set up base”, since you can visit several nearby towns from there and, being a city, it has services of all kinds. It is, of course, on the shores of Lake Panguipulli. If we had to recommend just one thing to do here, we would definitely tell you to visit the Casona Cultural de Panguipulli, an old restored Swiss-style mansion that was formerly a boarding school for Capuchin monks and today is an architectural heritage site in this area. It’s an ideal place to have coffee or tea, taste the exquisite pastries of southern Chile, attend exhibitions, plays or just sit and read.


Neltume

Neltume is a small town with simple houses and very few shops. Why do we recommend it here? Because of the incomparable beauty of the Fuy River that runs parallel to the town on the south side and that’s worth seeing as it has the most crystalline waters that can be found in the area. In addition, the waters are calm and suitable for bathing on this part of the river, although very cold because of its proximity to the mountains. Further on, in the direction of Huilo Huilo, those same waters are the protagonists of spectacular jumps that are worth viewing from a distance and with safety precautions.

Further north, in the same area, the adventurous tourist will find the Neltume River, a short watercourse just one kilometer long, an ideal extension for rating and fly fishing.


Huilo Huilo

Huilo Huilo is a biological reserve with international fame and a reference for sustainable tourism in Chile. It has an extensive network of perfectly marked and interconnected trails that allow tourists to get into nature and visit various geographical and architectural attractions.

Within its geographical milestones the “jumps” or waterfalls are highlighted, which make an impact with their beauty and power. There are also endless elements of the evergreen forest and the “Valdivian jungle” that can be experienced to their fullest with a guide, who can assist you with many activities such as learning about the native flora, bird watching, trying out different adventure sports and excursions to the top of the Mocho Coshuenco Volcano.

The most surprising of Huilo Huilo are the impressive waterfalls and its beautiful “Valdivian jungle” / Photo: Brian Gray

As for the architectural attractions, Huilo Huilo stands out for its good taste and for the intelligence invested in the design of the accommodations, which include a wide range for all tastes and price ranges, from camping areas where the visitor can set up his tent, shared cabins for backpackers, private cabins and lodges. The latter deserve its own mention, since their structures are true works of art that merge with the natural landscape, as can be seen with the famous Montaña Mágica Lodge.

As if all this weren’t enough, in the heart of the reserve, on the side of the road, Petermann Craft Brewery is located, where one of the best beers in the area is produced thanks to the unparalleled purity of the glacial waters used to make it.

Travel tip: This reserve is very large, so you will need at least three days to hike all of its trails and take a couple of excursions.


The Route of the Seven Lakes is one of the destinations that you should not miss in your travel itinerary in South America. Get in touch with our team of experts and book all your excursions in Chile with Chile4utours.

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

The post Route of the Seven Lakes in Chile: What to do and where to go appeared first on Daytours4u.

]]>
12216
The best beaches on the Central Coast of Chile http://www.daytours4u.com/en/chile4u/best-beaches-central-coast-chile/ Thu, 15 Mar 2018 12:00:44 +0000 http://www.daytours4u.com/en/?p=12169 One of the advantages of Chilean geography is that, being a strip of narrow land, the sea is always relatively close to the inner cities. And that is well known to the Santiaguinos, who during the holiday season and practically all long weekends take the opportunity to escape the hustle and visit the beaches along [...]

The post The best beaches on the Central Coast of Chile appeared first on Daytours4u.

]]>
One of the advantages of Chilean geography is that, being a strip of narrow land, the sea is always relatively close to the inner cities. And that is well known to the Santiaguinos, who during the holiday season and practically all long weekends take the opportunity to escape the hustle and visit the beaches along the Central Coast of Chile. Some of the nearest destinations are no more than 120 kilometers away, about two hours of travel by car or bus, depending on the specific destination.

Algarrobo is one of the most beautiful beaches of the Central Coast of Chile / Photo: Alexis González Molina

Many of these beaches make up what is now known as “El Litoral de los Poetas” or “The Poet’s Coast” because some of the most important writers lived in these coastal towns who were fascinated by the beauty of the Pacific and its rugged landscape marked by gorges, cliffs , rocks and small bays. For this exact reason Pablo Neruda, Adolfo Couve, Vicente Huidobro and the recently deceased Nicanor Parra built their houses here. For this and for many other reasons, we recommend all those who visit Santiago (even for a few days) to take a tour of the popular beaches of the central Chilean coast.


El Tabo

Possibly one of the most popular beaches in Chile, due to its proximity to Santiago. It has two wide beaches, San Carlos and Playas Blancas, which every summer attract thousands of tourists. They stand out for being “encased” by small bays, which causes the waves to be calmer and therefore are both suitable for wading in, in addition to having a pleasant temperature compared to others that are colder on the same central coast. From the Tabo you can also visit Isla Negra, a town that doesn’t stand out because of its beach (it’s obstructed by rocks), but because it’s the place where the poet Pablo Neruda lived and where his house which is now a museum is located.

Travel tip: On many of these beaches there are “caletas”, which are small piers used by artisanal fishermen. In the vicinity of these coves you can buy fresh fish and seafood, as well as sit down to eat in the restaurants that the fishermen collectively administer.

Reserve a tour to Isla Negra with Wine Tasting from Santiago online.


Las Cruces

Officially belonging to the El Tabo district, this area has three beaches suitable for swimming (Playa Blanca, Las Salinas and Los Pescadores). It stands out for its natural beauty, which has sparked the development of scientific research focused on the flora and fauna of the coast, and for one of its emblematic neighborhoods, the Vatican, where even today remain the beautiful mansions with heritage value dating back to the early twentieth century. Las Cruces is also well known for having been the home of the recently deceased poet Nicanor Parra.

Cruces is known for having been the home of the recently deceased poet Nicanor Parra / Photo: Rubén Pérez

Punta de Tralca

It officially belongs to the El Quisco district, but unlike this beach, Punta de Tralca is very quiet and ideal for families or couples who want to get away from the hustle and bustle. Don’t forget that many of the nearby areas literally “explode” in summer, but in Punta de Tralca that doesn’t happen. Its beach is very pretty, safe and has a wide range of activities and outdoor sports, such as rock climbing , surf and bodyboard classes, and bicycle rentals.


El Canelo

It is one of the most beautiful beaches on the central coast, both the main one and the smaller one that bears the name “El Canelillo”. Both are located between a peninsula and a cove that ends in an islet, so in the area of the bay the water is very calm. It also stands out for the color of its sea water, an intense and transparent bluish green hue. The only problem with this beach is its small size, so during summer season it’s full of people and at certain times during the day it is impossible to find a place to lay down your towel.

Travel tip: this beach is ideal for visiting very early in the morning or after five in the afternoon. Do not forget that the sun sets at 8 o’clock pm during the summer in these latitudes.

The blue-green color of El Canelo makes locals and tourists fall in love / Photo: Gonzalo Frez

Algarrobo

Algarrobo not only has a beautiful beach with golden sand, but it is also a town with a very refined architecture; and that is immediately seen when one comes from the areas that are just south of there (such as El Quisco) where the building styles are more rustic and don’t follow a specific style. Here tourists can find a more varied gastronomic offer, as well as various cultural activities.

Depending on the point of view one has, one of the disadvantages of this town are the huge towers of buildings that have been built in the last ten years justifiably attracted by the qualities of the beaches that are located here, which are free of rocks and apt for swimming. One of the most famous buildings complex in the area is San Alfonso del Mar, which even has a huge artificial lagoon pool that adjoins the coast.


Mirasol

The next town, travelling north on the coastal road from Algarrobo, is called Mirasol. Here you won’t find big tourist centers nor crowded streets, just low houses with beautiful and well-kept ante-gardens.

Going down to the beach along the main street, tourists will find a lovely square that has a wide variety of plants and flowers, which are cultivated by the skillful residents who live there. When you reach the end of the street, the tourists can turn right to find the “Buenos Aires Passage” which is where the access to the Mirasol wetland is. This is, without a doubt, the main attraction of the town. It is a huge green ravine from whose underground valley waters emerge, as slopes. Thanks to this, the entire bottom of the ravine that runs to reach the coast becomes a micro natural sanctuary which refreshes different species of native birds.

Then, when the reeds are behind you you will find a beautiful golden sand beach sandwiched between cliffs. This beach is not suitable for swimming, as its waters are very violent, but it is a true spectacle for the eyes. You won’t regret it.

Mirasol is a lovely beach ideal for contemplation / Photo: Camila Santibánez

Tunquén

In the indigenous language, Tunquén means “brittle land”, and this name is very accurate, since if you go down to the beach from the cliff that projects from El Yeco (the town that’s between Mirasol and Tunquén), you will see long and narrow cracks that are projected on the ground and that mark the tone of this incredible landscape. Just where the steep slope descends from the cliff you can stop and admire a beach that seems never ending, because it is really large, both wide and long. You’ll also notice that the beach is practically deserted, because it’s a difficult place to access.

If you don’t feel like going down the side of a cliff, you can also arrive by car following the same coastal route that took you to Mirasol. There you will find a fork that indicates El Yeco to the left and Tunquén to the right. Follow signs for the second option and after several sharp turns you will reach a field where there is a public access to the beach; you’ll have to pay 4 USD for the parking. From that the parking lots its a 20 minute walk to reach the ocean through the sand. It may seem difficult, but it’s worth it, since Tunquén is the most beautiful beach on the entire central coast.

Tunquén is a beach that seems never ending because of its immensity / Photo: Juan Guillermo

How to arrive from Santiago and daily budget

If you travel by bus from Santiago, you’ll need to go to the San Borja Bus Terminal in the Central Station Comuna, or you can also go to the private terminal of Tur Bus and Pullman, located in the same municipality. The buses that travel to the coast leave very frequently, especially during summer.

Now, if you’re travelling by car, you’ll want to take Route 68 and go straight west for approximately an hour and twenty minutes. Then, when you arrive at the intersection of Casablanca, turn left towards Route F-90. This route takes you straight to Algarrobo, and from there you can take the coastal road G-98-F, both to the south and to the north to visit the different beaches. All of these are very close to each other, no more than fifteen minutes of travel.

Although all these beaches are connected to each other, some prices vary depending on the location. But as an estimate of average expenses; renting an apartment or cabin will cost around 65 USD per day, and you can eat a traditional coastal meal, such as fried fish with a side, starting at 6 USD.

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

The post The best beaches on the Central Coast of Chile appeared first on Daytours4u.

]]>
12169
Guide to visit Pucón http://www.daytours4u.com/en/chile4u/guide-to-visit-pucon/ Tue, 28 Nov 2017 12:00:01 +0000 http://www.daytours4u.com/en/?p=11909 The small town of Pucón, located in southern Chile, is a charming place. It is surrounded by a huge lake and by the active volcano Villarica which makes it the perfect destination to relax in its warm waters, enjoy the beautiful natural landscapes of the region and pushes you to try out extreme sports. Here [...]

The post Guide to visit Pucón appeared first on Daytours4u.

]]>
The small town of Pucón, located in southern Chile, is a charming place. It is surrounded by a huge lake and by the active volcano Villarica which makes it the perfect destination to relax in its warm waters, enjoy the beautiful natural landscapes of the region and pushes you to try out extreme sports. Here in our guide to visit Pucón you will find advice and useful tips for planning your itinerary.

Guide to visit PucónPucón is the favorite city for lovers of adventure / Photo: Lucila Runnacles

What to do

Its biggest attraction is the Villarica Volcano. Active, imposing and with its snowy summit, it seems to greet all those who visit Pucón from above. For the more adventurous, reaching its crater is a great challenge that can be done during a day of intense hiking.

Several agencies offer the climbing trip to the volcano, which can only be done with a guide and professional equipment (snow boots, crampons, gas mask, etc). The tour starts early, before sunrise and the expected arrival time to the top is around 1:00 p.m. In total it takes about 8 hours to reach the top of Villarica and take in the incredible views of the lakes and other volcanoes of the region. Although the agencies offer this tour for all types of tourists, it is necessary to have some physical preparation to get to the end.

Other adventurous activities to do in Pucón are rafting and hydrospeed (descent by mountain rivers in a single boat) in the Trancura River, paragliding, canopy and zip-lining in the waterfalls. These activities are mainly done in the summer months (from November to February) and during this time it is common to see the Caburgua and Villarica lakes full of boats and jet skis.

Guide to visit PucónThere are more than 10 spas in Pucón to relax in its thermal waters / Photo: Lucila Runnacles

If, on the other hand, you are looking for quieter activities in the Pucón region, you can take a relaxing bath in its famous hot springs. There are more than 10 spas around the city. The most famous is the Geometric Spa, which has 17 stone pools and plenty of hot water available to visitors. This activity can be done all year round, but it takes a little extra courage to take off your clothes in the cold and soak in the warm water during the winter.

For lovers of hiking, a few kilometers away from Pucón are the national parks Villarica (10 km) and Huerquehue (36 km), ideal for long walks on quiet trails.


Visiting the City

Despite being small, Pucón has many restaurants and bakeries that offer visitors exquisite dishes. Most travel agencies are located on O’higgins Street, which is the main avenue, and there is a wide variety of restaurants on Fresia Street.

The city also has several markets selling handmade crafts. The pieces made of wood and the wool clothing are typical products and you won’t be able to stop sampling the merkén, a reddish condiment with pepper typical of the region.


When to go

Going to Pucón during in summer is perfect for those who enjoy water activities and outdoor excursions. During the months of December and January, Pucón is filled with Chilean tourists. In this period of the high season, the roads near Pucón become congested. During these months the average temperature is 22 ° C and there is little rain.

Guide to visit PucónIn any season of the year you can go hiking in Pucón / Photo: Lucila Runnacles

For its part, the winter in Pucón is a paradise for lovers of skiing and snowboarding. The main ski center, which has 12 runs, is only 20 minutes from the city. Between July and October, thousands of foreigners and Chileans fill the region to ski and enjoy the snow at the foot of Villarica Volcano. During the winter, the thermometer varies between 10 ° C and 0 ° C. The months of June and July are also the rainiest.

As this region has two high seasons (December / January and July), choosing the low season has its advantages; better prices in accommodations and restaurants and fewer tourists circulating. March and April are good months to go because the temperature is pleasant, around 17 ° C and it almost never rains. Another option is to go during the spring (from September to November), when the temperature in the city is around 14 ° C and it is also low tourist season.

How to arrive

Pucón is located in the south, 780 kilometers from Santiago, in the Chilean region of Araucanía. The nearest airport is in Temuco, 80 km away. From Santiago there are direct flights to Temuco and the trip lasts about an hour. From the Temuco airport it is necessary to use a transfer service or take a taxi to Pucón.

There is a small airport in Pucón, located 5 km from the city, that only operates during the months of January and February. It is also possible to go by bus from Santiago. Although the trip is longer, about 10 hours, the bus brings you all the way to the city center of Pucón and that way it is not necessary to pay for a transfer.

Find your tours and excursions in Chile here.

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

The post Guide to visit Pucón appeared first on Daytours4u.

]]>
11909
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 [...]

The post Things to do in Santiago: what to see and where to go appeared first on Daytours4u.

]]>
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

The post Things to do in Santiago: what to see and where to go appeared first on Daytours4u.

]]>
11851
Travelling to Torres del Paine: Travel Guide to the Chilean Patagonia http://www.daytours4u.com/en/daytours4u/travelling-to-torres-del-paine/ Thu, 17 Aug 2017 18:24:19 +0000 http://www.daytours4u.com/en/?p=11718 Torres del Paine is one of the most beautiful national parks of Chile. Travellers who love nature and trekking should definitely consider travelling to Torres del Paine as a top priority during their time in South America. Declared a World Biosphere Reserve by the Unesco, Torres del Paine is located in Southern Chile, in Patagonia. [...]

The post Travelling to Torres del Paine: Travel Guide to the Chilean Patagonia appeared first on Daytours4u.

]]>
Torres del Paine is one of the most beautiful national parks of Chile. Travellers who love nature and trekking should definitely consider travelling to Torres del Paine as a top priority during their time in South America.

Declared a World Biosphere Reserve by the Unesco, Torres del Paine is located in Southern Chile, in Patagonia. These last few years this region has been receiving more and more tourists; thus, we will answer the most common questions travellers ask so that you can plan the best way possible to travel to this nature reserve.


– What is the best time of the year to be travelling to Torres del Paine?

Trip to Torres del Plaine

One of the best times to make be travelling to Torres del Paine is between October and April when the days are longest. Picture: Lucila Runnacles

The park is opened all year long, however, one of the best times to be travelling to Torres del Paine is between October and April, when the days are the longest and most hotels, refuges and circuits are opened.

High season is from October to April and low season from May to September. During summer (November to February), temperatures can get to 20°C as during winter (April to October), it can go down to 0°C.

This summer is high season and this is the time when most tourists come. Therefore we highly recommend you make your reservation early enough, especially for low-cost camping areas.


– How much does travelling to Torres del Paine cost?

Trip to torres del paine

If you want to spend the night in the park, you will have to pay extra for lodgings and food. Picture: Lucila Runnacles

For strangers, the price of the ticket to enter Torres del Paine during high season (summer) is around USD$32. During low season (winter) adults pay USD$17. Those are the prices for 2017 and this is the only mandatory cost.

If you want to spend the night in the park, you will have to pay extra for lodgings and food. The walks in any of the park circuits are free.


– Where can I find lodgings?

trip to torres del paine

Vértice offers the Paine Grande, Grey and Dicksons refuges as well as the camping area Los Perros. A night in a shared room in the refuges of Vértice costs about USD$30, breakfast, lunch and dinner included for USD$70 and camping areas costs USD$10 per person.

The other company, Fantástico Sur, offers the following refuges and camping areas: Torre Central, Torre Norte, El Chileno, Los Cuernos, Domos el Francés and the Serón camping. One night in a shared room in the Torre Norte Refuge costs about USD$66 and if you want all three meals, USD$144 per person.

For travellers who do not want to spend too much money, the Conaf (Corporación Nacional Forestal) offers 3 free camping areas (Paso, Italiano and Torres). However, you should book them very early, especially during high season. You can do so using this link: http://www.parquetorresdelpaine.cl/es/sistema-de-reserva-de-campamentos-1

Besides refuges and camping areas that are the simplest lodgings, you have about 10 hotels and guest houses inside the park, 4 and 5 stars luxury hotels and 3 stars guest houses that offer comfort and beautiful landscapes; obviously, the cost is much higher.


– What are the circuits of Torres del Paine?

trip to Torres del Paine

The W circuit is the most popular circuit for trekking lovers who decide to make a trip to Torres del Paine. Picture: Lucila Runnacles

The top attractions in Torres del Paine are the circuits. You can go through them in a car or enjoy short walks, but if you are into trekking, there are several mountain circuits you can enjoy.

Macizo Paine Circuit.
This is the hardest of the park circuits. 93 kilometres in a challenging land that requires physical efforts, made for experimented trekkers. To finish this circuit, it should take you about 8 and 10 days, this is why you should have an excellent physical condition.

W Circuit
This is the most popular circuit for trekking lovers who decide to make a trip to Torres del Paine. The circuit is 76-kilometre long and owes its name to its W shape. To realise this circuit you should need 4 or 5 days, according to your physical condition.

Base de las Torres Circuit
Travellers who have little time and just want to climb up to the base of the towers can realise this one-day walk that lasts between 6 and 9 hours. You will arrive at the famous picture of the park at the bottom of the towers.


– Should I bring all my camping equipment or can I rent it inside the park?

trip to Torres del Paine

Besides refuges you can also find small markets that sell gas for camp stoves, the basic camping equipment and food. Picture: Lucila Runnacles

If you want to travel light and are going to several destinations during your trip and doesn’t wish to sleep in a sleeping bag all the time, you can rent the camping equipment directly in the refuges and camping areas of Torres del Paine. So that you can have an idea of the cost, renting a sleeping bag can cost between USD$15 and USD$20.

Besides refuges you can also find small markets that sell gas for camp stoves, the basic camping equipment and food. Obviously the price is a bit more elevated than outside the park but this is a valid option if you are forgetful or wish to travel lightly.


Distances if you are travelling to Torres del Paine

Puerto Natales – 80 Km

El Calafate – 253 Km

Punta Arenas – 322 Km

Santiago – 3250 Km


Book a tour for as you are travelling to Torres del Paine:

Boat Ride to Torres del Paine from Puerto Natales: Full-day boat ride. Departures every day.

Tour to Torres del Paine from Puerto Natales: Full-day bus tour available every day with the possibility to visit magical places such as the Cueva del Milodón.

Torres del Paine from El Calafate: This tour from El Calafate to Torres del Paine is one of the favourites of travellers who go to El Calafate in the Argentinean Patagonia. You should book it with anticipation since this tour has a limited capacity and you should also use the same ID that made you used when you came to Argentina to make the crossing of the border easier. You will be able to stay at Torres del Paine and use another service to get back to El Calafate a few days later.

For more information about Torres del Paine: http://www.parquetorresdelpaine.cl/en/

Lucila Runnacles, Journalist and author of the blog Viagem Cult
Translated and adapted to English by: Grégory Noël

The post Travelling to Torres del Paine: Travel Guide to the Chilean Patagonia appeared first on Daytours4u.

]]>
11718
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 [...]

The post Day trip to Viña del Mar and Valparaíso: Two for One appeared first on Daytours4u.

]]>
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

The post Day trip to Viña del Mar and Valparaíso: Two for One appeared first on Daytours4u.

]]>
11602
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 [...]

The post Shopping in Santiago: the best places to spend your travel budget appeared first on Daytours4u.

]]>
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

The post Shopping in Santiago: the best places to spend your travel budget appeared first on Daytours4u.

]]>
11556
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 [...]

The post Cousiño Macul vineyard bike and wine tour appeared first on Daytours4u.

]]>
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

The post Cousiño Macul vineyard bike and wine tour appeared first on Daytours4u.

]]>
11508
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.

The post The Top 10 Attractions in Santiago appeared first on Daytours4u.

]]>
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.

The post The Top 10 Attractions in Santiago appeared first on Daytours4u.

]]>
10950