Chile Things to Do Tips by VeronicaG Top 5 Page for this destination
Chile Things to Do: 351 reviews and 652 photos
Entrance to the Pre-Colombian Museum
We were told that this museum was the best of its kind in all of South America. I heartily agree because it contained many items that captured my interest.
For example, ancient ceramics and stone carvings from approximately 600 BC-800 AD, which allowed a glimpse into mysterious cultures
Intricate, woven textiles, which though ancient, remained brilliant in color and complex in design. How long must it have taken to create these marvelous pieces?
Metal objects once employed in religious rituals, displayed in glass cases next to more utilitarian artifacts.
A fascinating and in-depth look at mummy preparation.
If you are interested in archaeology/anthropology be sure to visit this museum. The hours are Tues.-Sun. 10 am-6 pm; Holidays 10 am-2 pm. Children and students free.
Address: Bandera 361
Hermanos Rodriguez in his studio with us
Our son read about the Rodriguez Brothers in a magazine and he wanted us to see their wood carving studio on this visit. There were originally four brothers working together on projects and their own commissions, but one brother passed away a few years ago.
Upon entering the home, we noticed detailed trim around the windows and the decorative carving on the massive front door. Hermanos revealed that those particular embellishments were all hand carved by the family.
After calling ahead and making an appointment, we met Hermanos Rodriguez at his Santiago home/studio. He showed us around his front rooms which are packed with finely carved statues and icons (pic #2). Hermanos specializes in religious pieces.
We visited for over an hour. Asking question after question, each one was patiently answered. The sculptures are all made from local woods, some are models of their larger works and others were done for their own enjoyment.
A steep set of stairs took us to the woodworking studio upstairs, where the three brothers ply their craft. It was interesting noting their tools and seeing their projects in various stages of completion. If the opportunity is presented, we would highly recommend that you visit the Rodriguez Brothers on your next trip to Santiago.
Address: Catedral 2487, Santiago,Chile
Phone: 56 2 699 7540
Museo de La Merced
Next to the Basilica La Merced is the Museum of La Merced, which offers seven rooms of exhibits ranging from the Rapa Nui culture to the colonial life of the Order. The Order of Mercy, was established in the city of Santiago in 1541.
We especially found the room housing artifacts from Easter Island very interesting (pic #3). Upstairs, a gallery of paintings featured Kings of the Bible. A side room held baby Jesus statues encased under glass. These carvings were produced in towns for annual festivals and were very beautiful renderings of the Christ child (pic #2).
The park-like grounds were prettily shaded and could be accessed via a walkway and there were a few benches for contemplation. The cost to enter the museum was $2. Hours are Mon.-Fri. 10am-4pm and 5pm-8pm.
Address: Mac-Iver 341, Santiago,Chile
Phone: 56 2 664 9189
Isn't Santiago's Municipal Theatre magnificent? It was designed by architect, Brunet des Baines Francisco and civil engineer Augusto Charme. The theatre opened its doors to the public in 1857 with seating for over 1800 which included galleries, boxes and stalls.
After seeing some of the city's sights, we decided that we needed a coffee/latte break. So as we skirted through traffic and headed towards Tavelli, we passed this venerable building where The Man of La Mancha was currently playing.
Here's a brief history: a fire destroyed the Municipal Theatre in 1870, during which one of the firefighters died and was honored with a bust in his likeness nearby. After rebuilding, the theatre reopened in 1873 only to be damaged by an earthquake in 1906, then another fire in 1927. I hope the recent earthquake in February, 2010 did not wreak havoc on this structure, also.
There have been innovations to the original architecture to allow for improved theatrical productions. Other cultural institutions calling the Municipal Theatre home are the Santiago Philharmonic Orchestra and the Ballet de Santiago.
Address: Plaza Alcade Mekis, Santiago, Chile
Phone: 56 2 1463 8888
Basilica La Merced
Basilica La Merced was constructed between 1735 and 1760 in the Hispano-American Baroque style and is listed as a National Monument (pic#3). There were two other churches built at this same site which were destroyed by earthquakes.
The beautifully carved pulpit was made in the 18th century (pic #2). It's exquisite! If you're not in a hurry, take time to investigate all who are buried within these walls*-plaques mark the spot. The basilica has been lovingly cared for all these years, its exterior and interior testifying to this fact.
When we visited, a mass had just concluded so we were careful not to disturb those who remained in the pews. In spite of the hubbub outside on the streets, it was serene and still inside.
Masses are held Mon.-Fri. at 7:30am,12:30pm and 7:30 p.m.; Sat. 12:30pm and 7:30pm, Sun. 10:30am, 11:30am, 12:30pm and 7:30p.m.
*This is the final resting place of Mateo de Toro y Zambrano (Gov. of Santiago), Rodrigo de Quiroga and his wife, Inez de Suarez and Antonio Guill de Gonzaga to name a few.
Address: Mac-Iver 341, Santiago,Chile
Phone: 56 2 664 9189; 633 0691
Casa Colorada* is considered Santiago's best preserved house from the colonial period. It is circa 1769 and was constructed by Joseph de la Vega. This was also once the home of Mateo de Toro y Zambrano who at age 83, stepped up to oversee the city when the colonial governor stepped down in 1810.
Bernardo O'Higgins and Jose de San Martin are just a couple of the notable characters who visited this house.
When you tour this historic structure, you'll enter through its original facade facing Merced Street. Be sure to note the striking iron balconies and tile platform for carriage drop offs.
We smiled at a lifesized party scene where gentlemen are gathered at one end of the room (pic #2) and a few demurely posed ladies are seated at the other end of the room. My husband and I imagined what the thread of conversation might have been!
Once inside, you'll find many dioramas depicting Santiago's early history and in some of these the miniature figures are humorously displayed (pic #3). See if you can pick them out!
There was also a large model demonstrating Santiago's development, with view of the surrounding countryside and Mapocho territory. A small side wing held an art gallery containing modern style paintings.
Although we did not bring the grandkids this day, we all thought they would have enjoyed the visit! I would recommend this site for the entire family. The charge was $2.00.
*Casa Colorada gets its name from the color it's painted--red
Address: Merced 860, Santiago,Chile
Phone: 56 2 633 0723
Barrio Bellavista has sure changed since we last visited! Something new has been added, Patio Bellavista!
Not only will you find shopping, restaurants and cafes, you'll find Santiago's funlovers here. It was swarming with people when we stopped by.
Our first stop was at a book store where we thumbed through their extensive travel section. Our son and daughter-in-law found a very helpful and comprehensive guide to Santiago, which we talked them into giving us before leaving Chile.
We also wandered through some of the unique jewelry and clothing shops, plus found a number of great postcards to send home to friends and family. There were also kiosks displaying memento's from Chile.
Here is a list of the restaurants: Antojo de Gauguin, Backstage, Barandiaran, Brannigans, Budapest, La Casa en el Aire, Celtika, De Tomo y Lomo, Dublin, La Bota, Le Fournil Bistrot, MosaiCafe, OpenBox, Plan B and Via Brera. Other eateries were Caburga Bar Cafe, Il Maestrale and Yogen Fruz.
Fortunately, there is an indoor parking garage at Patio Bellavista, however, as we were departing a line of cars were waiting to enter because the garage was full. Go early!
For more information you can go to the website below.
Address: Constitucion 30-70, Santiago, Chile
Directions: Barrio Bellavista
Wine Course-Balduzzi Winery
This trip to Chile involved taking a wine course at Balduzzi Winery, which our daughter-in-law's father provided. However, with the course being entirely in Spanish, our son was the only one of us who actually received a certification.
The winery is located in San Javier, Chile which is in the Maule valley. Jorge and Lisette Balduzzi oversee the production and live in a charming home on site (pic #2). We had no idea this was their actual home until after we had marched ourselves up the steps and posed on their porch. Oops!
Guided tours are offered and you will hear about the winemaking process, see the wine museum and visit the underground cellar where giant oak barrels guard the precious stock. On the tour you will have the opportunity to sample four different wines.
Visitors can stop by Mon.-Sat. 9am-6pm--reservations not needed for the tour.
Address: Av. Balmaceda 1189, San Javier, Chile
Other Contact: firstname.lastname@example.org
Phone: 56 73 322138
Palacio de la Moneda
Palacio de la Moneda is an impressive structure which was built under the guidance of Italian architect, Joaquin Toesca and completed in 1805, originally intended for use as a mint.
The building was first repurposed as a Presidential palace in 1846 when Manuel Bulnes claimed it for his residence and executive offices. It became a place of tragedy when Chilean President Salvador Allende committed suicide there to avoid capture after having occupied the palace when it was bombed in 1973 during the Pinochet coup.
In spite of its tragic history, it was a pleasant day to visit the Presidential Palace. The large, sunny courtyard featured an exterior iron-railed stairway to the upper level, a fountain, some orange trees, a cannon and metal sculpture. Iron detailing used in the palace was made in Spain, all other building materials came from Chile.
Security checked our purses before allowing us to enter. We came on a Sunday afternoon, but there was not much of a crowd. This structure is no longer being used as a Presidential palace.
Lengthier tours to the interior of the palace can be requested by calling 2/6711402. There is usually a 2-3 week wait; passports required. These tours are only conducted during weekdays.
Address: Barrio Civico
This museum displayed the artwork of many Chilean artists. Much of the art was contemporary, some pieces were in the traditional style. We really loved their collection of religious art--these were magnificent! The Bellas Artes Museum showcases International Exhibitions which feature artists of some import.
The Fine Arts Museum hours are 10 am-7 pm and closed on Mondays. Hours change in the summer. The Museum of Contemporary Art hours are Tues.-Sun.11 am-7 pm; Sat. & Sun. 11 am-2 pm; Guided tours are Tues.-Fri. 10 am-6 pm; Sat. & Sun. 12 Noon-4:30 pm and closed on Monday.
Address: Parque Forestal
Directions: Take the subway (line 2) and get off in Puente Cal y Canto. You'll have to walk 3 or 4 blocks to get there.
Phone: +56 2 632 7760
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