"CHILE---A Surprising Country!" Top 5 Page for this destination Chile by VeronicaG
Chile Travel Guide: 4,907 reviews and 13,609 photos
UPDATE: March 2010 Aftershocks continue but geologists say their magnitude and frequency will decrease as the months go by.
Stop by to read my new tips from our recent trip to Chile in January 2010. Please visit my Restaurant and Things to Do tips.
When we arrived in Santiago in January (2005) it was 89 degrees. We flew from JFK on Lan Chile departing at 10:30 p.m. and arriving in Chile at approximately 12:30 p.m. their time. A stop in Lima,Peru interrupted the flight for about 45 minutes. A standard security search was done while on the ground. It was suggested that we not leave the plane while stopping here. TIP: Use the restroom before the plane lands otherwise you CANNOT use it until in the air once more.
Our son and his family live in Santiago, so we've visited before. We found Santiago to be surprisingly sophisticated the first time we came. Suffice it to say, we knew little about this beautiful city. We DID know that the crime was low and its economy the best of all the South American countries.
Before leaving the airport, Americans must stop at the Reciprocity counter where you will pay $100 to enter the country. This is located near immigration. Once you pay, you'll then move into the immigration line which can be lengthy although it moves quickly.
UPDATE: U.S. Travelers-If your passport expires, you will need to pay the $100 reciprocity fee again.
There are several malls in Santiago. My favorite store was Privilege, where I found a flouncy floral blouse with matching skirt (I' m wearing it in this picture, in fact. )That evening our son must have been missing U.S. food because he took us to a familiar restaurant. TGIF!!
A TGIF was located outside Parque Arauco mall where I ordered a luscious strawberry daiquiri and chicken quesadilla. Would you believe they had HEINZ KETCHUP?? I'm from Pennsylvania where HEINZ is a familiar name,so this was a thrill to see!!! Now I know we should be sampling the Chilean cuisine, but don't worry we did that.
At this mall I was able to exchange my American dollars for Chilean currency for a small charge. Across from TGIF was a Showcase Cinema. I was told that this theatre shows English subtitles. A Cinemark theatre in Santa Rose Huechuraba shows the latest movies in English.
I LOVE CHILEAN FRUIT!! Although my daughter-in-law told me that Chile sends all its great fruit to other countries, I didn't find that. Each time we have visited we have been given the BEST fruit anywhere!! They ordered off the internet and it was delivered the next day just as ripe as you would want!! My husband and I often comment on what DELICIOUS fruit we've tasted there. Chile ships their fruit to the US during our winter. You may have tried Chilean sea bass, which can be found just about anywhere.
Everyone wanted to practice their English with us. I am planning to take a refresher course in Spanish before we go next time, though.
SANTA CRUZ is a lovely town about 2 hrs. and 20 minutes from Santiago.There were several service areas on the way where we were able to get gas or refreshment. The restrooms were clean, some required coins to use them.
Hotel Santa Cruz was beautiful and located in the Colchagua area of Chile. It was situated along a town park. See my TIPS on this hotel. There was a new restaurant being built when we stayed here and it should definitely be completed by now. I believe there were more hotel rooms added, also.
Nearly everywhere one drives you are embraced by the Andes mountains or its foothills. Glorious scenery awaits you! See my TIPS for things to do. While driving through Curico on our way to Santa Cruz we noticed many fruit stands. Some of these stands also sell homemade bread--yummmmmmmmmmm! You'll see many Chileans on horseback while driving through the countryside.
The most recent trip (Feb. '06) took us to TERMAS DE CHILLAN, POMAIRE, and ALGARROBO (in the Valparaiso district). I hope you take time to visit these pages!
MOST OF THE ABOVE MENTIONED PLACES HAVE THEIR OWN TRAVEL PAGES...
Los Dominicos was a former mission which is now an artisan's village. Shops specializing in silver jewelry pieces, pewter, leather crafts, ceramics, woven items and other products offer their wares to the public.
UPDATE: We discovered another great place in which to shop for souvenirs--Pomaire. See my travel page. ANTIQUE SHOPPING took us to Feria de Antiquedades Parque de Los Reyes. We found many objects that might have added a nice touch to our home...but I was looking for something in particular. See my tips on SHOPPING!
Just look at the Andes Mountains beyond the fringe of trees. Isn't it spectacular? You will glimpse the peaked domes of ancient volcanoes and perhaps active ones!
Recently I journeyed to Chillan to a five star thermal resort in the Andes Mountains. If you are looking for dramatic vistas, interesting side trips and an opportunity to be pampered try Termas de Chillan!
- Pros:Sophisticated, great shopping/restaurants, historic sites
- Cons:Crowded, exhaust fumes, wild taxi drivers
- In a nutshell:A city worth getting to know!
Barrio Bellavista has sure changed since we last visited! Something new has been added, Patio Bellavista! Not only will... more travel advice
Isn't Santiago's Municipal Theatre magnificent? It was designed by architect, Brunet des Baines Francisco and civil... more travel advice
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