"CHILE---A Surprising Country!" Top 5 Page for this destination Chile by VeronicaG

Chile Travel Guide: 4,855 reviews and 13,456 photos

Santiago,Chile...Cultural and Fun!

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...

Shopping Around Santiago and Beyond

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!

The Chilean countryside

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 and Cons
  • Pros:Sophisticated, great shopping/restaurants, historic sites
  • Cons:Crowded, exhaust fumes, wild taxi drivers
  • In a nutshell:A city worth getting to know!
  • Last visit to Chile: Jan 2010
  • Intro Updated Mar 19, 2010
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Reviews (80)

Comments (67)

  • angiebabe's Profile Photo
    Dec 10, 2013 at 9:02 AM

    Hi, will have to come back and spend more time here...I had a fantastic 6 weeks in South America Nov-Dec last year and loved Chile too...had a 10 day medical/nursing conference to start off with - visited a Santiago hospital that showed us their video made to help their recovery from the trauma of evacuating from a high rise hospital - they did get all their 200+ patients out safely following/during the 2010 earthquake. Talk about dedication and working together they did Chileans proud for sure....and loved our wine tour too of course!

  • kenHuocj's Profile Photo
    Jul 27, 2013 at 3:13 AM

    so much info, great tips, trying to wind more info on their wines ;-)))

  • BruceDunning's Profile Photo
    Nov 20, 2010 at 3:53 PM

    What wonderful trips you have taken here. The pictures and detail comments are very well done. One day we may have time and enough days to get there to see personally

  • jumpingnorman's Profile Photo
    Aug 26, 2010 at 7:11 AM

    Veronica, finally I am going to Chile this weekend:) Will be reviewing your excellent tips and thanks for writing about your visits there...Cheers and Happy Bday again, Norman :)

  • Aug 25, 2010 at 9:19 AM

    Thanks for your pictures, i am from chelaean, but live in new york city.

  • deecat's Profile Photo
    Apr 27, 2010 at 12:23 PM

    I've sure missed "seeing" you, Veronica. Did all the updates, which are just terrific. Descriptions of foods was outstanding. Also enjoyed all the new places you visited.

  • hunterV's Profile Photo
    Mar 3, 2010 at 1:14 PM

    ~ Hi, Veronica! You made a wonderful trip there! Thanks for your nice page....I was glad to reread it...

  • TheWanderingCamel's Profile Photo
    Feb 20, 2010 at 8:26 PM

    Knowing your connectiuon with Chile, I can't believe I've missed this page up until now! Have I told you of MrL's Chilean connection? A very romantic story from the 1860s. Enjoyed revisiting Santiago with you here. leyle

  • junecorlett's Profile Photo
    May 24, 2009 at 5:54 AM

    Hi Veronica. You enjoy your food AND desserts as much as I do, Thanks for tips.

  • Nemorino's Profile Photo
    Apr 24, 2009 at 6:05 AM

    Me again, coming back to have a look at the many updates that you have added to this page since December 21, 2006. Thanks for including that Pablo Neruda poem and his three houses. I've never been to Chile, but my older son has friends there and loves it.

VeronicaG Visits Here Frequently!

VeronicaG

“Many cultures....one world”

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