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Santiago de Chile

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South America : Chile : Central Chile : Santiago de Chile
Revision as of 01:07, 4 May 2008 by 75.50.116.180 (Talk)

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Santiago de Chile Map is the capital of Chile, a country on the west coast of South America.

Understand

SERNATUR[1] (State Tourism Agency). Main office: Av. Providencia 1550. Phone: 7318336 – 7318337.

Districts

Get in

By plane

Santiago Airport (IATA: SCL) (ICAO: SCEL) is the main Chilean gateway for international flights. The travel time to the city centre has been drastically reduced recently, with the construction of a new tollway, the Costanera Norte. Private taxis will charge about $15,000 for a trip to downtown or Providencia. Tur-bus is a nice alternative, you´ll find them in a kiosk right after customs. They charge $4.800 for door-to-door mini-van service, leaving every 15 minutes, or $1.300 for a bus to the Tur-Bus station, which connects directly to the Metro. Another alternative are the Centropuerto buses, which connect you with the Metro Line 1 (red line) and charge about $2 USD.

From the US, American Airlines and LAN operate flights from Miami, New York, Los Angeles, Washington, D.C. and Dallas. Some flights have layovers in Guayaquil or Lima. Delta Air Lines operates direct flights from Atlanta. Many of these flights are overnight, and most use widebody aircraft such as the Boeing 767.

Air Canada operates a daily flight from Toronto.

From Europe, Air France, Iberia, LAN and Lufthansa (code-sharing with SWISS) operate daily flights into Santiago from their hubs. Some flights stop in Sao Paulo or Buenos Aires. Please note that flight times from Europe vary between 18 hours from Frankfurt (due to stop-over in Sao Paulo) to 12 hours from Madrid and is considerably tiring! Most routes to Europe are operated with Airbus A340s.

From Oceania, Qantas and LAN operate a daily code-sharing flight from Sydney to Santiago via Auckland, New Zealand. It's at least 12 hours each way. LAN also operates a Tahiti-Easter Island-Santiago route.

By car

Entering Santiago by car, you'll probably find yourself on the Autopista Central. To use this freeway you need a "TAG", which you can buy from service stations. One day passes are Ch$3500. With a bit of planning and consulting your map before you head into the capital, you can avoid using the freeway altogether. This is best done by not entering from Ruta 5.

By bus

There are bus connections to all major destinations on the continent.

From Mendoza in Argentina it's a beautiful eight hour bus ride crossing the Andes. The border crossing is at about 3200m. Be aware that it is not allowed to bring fruit, vegetables or animal products into Chile, and all luggage will get checked at the border.

The Principals Bus Terminals are located at:

  • Terminal Alameda: Avda. B. O'Higgins 3750 (U. Santiago subway station, Line 1). Private station for Turbus and Pullman buses. National and international departures. Phone: 7762424
  • Terminal Santiago: Av. B. O'Higgins 3848 (Pila del Ganso subway station, Line 1). Phone: 3761755
  • Terminal Los Héroes: Tucapel Jiménez 21 (Los Heroes subway station, Line 1). Phone: 4200099

Bus travel times to/from Santiago de Chile:

  • 54 hours: Sao Paulo (Bus company: Pluma)
  • 7 hours: Mendoza

Get around

If you are staying in town more than a few days get a bip!-card at any subway station ($1200, minimum recharge $800). This card is good for both subway and bus, and allows you free transfers between the two (you still have to swipe your card, but there is no deduction) in a 2 hour period.

  • Metro Santiago has one of the best metro systems in the world, -many stations with interesting art exhibitions. Trains run between roughly 6 AM and 11 PM, each station posting the exact hours for first and last trains. Buses run paralell to subway lines after hours. Tickets ($380, $420 during peaks, when the trains are packed) are good for a single ride with unlimited transfers, no time limit.
  • Bus Buses are mostly very modern and run around the clock on the main lines. The only way to pay your fare is by bip!-card.

See

  • Parque Metropolitano - Map- This vast park is home to Cerro San Cristóbal. From the top there is a beautiful view over the city and, on a clear day, the Andes. The summit can be reached by funicular, cable car, or a long hike. In the park there is also a botanical garden, zoo and two swimming pools. Pope John Paul II visited its summit in 1987.
  • Plaza De Armas - The capital's main plaza, also the sight of the national cathedral and main post office. Not very clean but otherwise interesting area of major historical importance.
  • Santiago Centro - The Centro (Downtown) area is a nice place for a stroll down some of its major Paseos (streets turned pedestrian walkways), watch out for pickpockets.
  • Cerro Santa Lucia Map - A park with fountains and stairs leading up to the top. The summit has a great view of all but the skyscraper-obscured city center. Charles Darwin visited this peak at one point in his travels.
    Santa Lucia Park in Santiago
  • La Chascona - One of three homes of the famous poet Pablo Neruda, La Chascona (meaning tangle-haired woman, after his third wife) is located in the artistic Bellavista neighborhood. The house is filled with lots of quirky artifacts collected by Neruda throughout his life, as well as artwork by some of his famous friends. Tours are given in English and Spanish.
  • La Moneda Palace - Presidential Palace, guided one-hour tours are free, unfortunately with a reservation of at least 15 days in advance. [2]
  • Parque Forestal Map - A long park that runs parallel to the Mapocho River, also site of the National Museum of Fine Arts and Modern Art Museum.
  • Theatre & Dance - Santiago offers much in the performing arts, most takes place Friday & Saturday, check listings in El Mercurio. $500-5000 CLP, most offer discounts with student ID, even to foreigners, just ask.
  • Centro Cultural Matucana 100 - Inaugurated in 2002, Matucana 100 is an excellent exhibition venue for a variety of arts. From Metro Quinta Normal, walk south on Matucana (towards Alameda), M100 is on the left hand side. [3]
  • Teatro Municipal - Historical performance venue, including international dance and opera, worth a visit even if just from its outside. [4]
  • Jazz Clubs - Santiago is home to an impressive jazz scene, with several intimate clubs scattered throughout the city. The Club de Jazz de Santiago is arguably the best. Located in the northern part of the Nunoa neighborhood, this small club routinely brings in some of the best local, national, and international artists specializing in everything from latin jazz to blues to bossa nova. Check music listings in El Mercurio.
  • Festival de Jazz de Providencia - A very good jazz Festival takes place during summer (typically each february) in Providencia. The Festival de Jazz de Providencia takes place each year in Mapocho's riverside and showcasts the best local bands and some international guests. Tickets are cheap (from about 3 USD in the 2007 edition), so it's a good alternative for summer nights.
  • Hidalgo Castle Map
  • Pirque
  • San Jose de Maipo
  • Panoramio Link for Santiago Chile

Do

Go wine tasting, right in the city. Concha y Toro (http://www.conchaytoro.com), is one of Chile's largest producers, and they have a modern, Napa Valley-style tasting room and gift shop set up. Tours are given regularly in both Spanish and English, and they can be booked via email. It is probably one of the few wineries in the world that is easily accessed by public transportation from a major city. From the center of town, it should take around an hour to access by subway and bus. If you go to the travelers information center on Avenida Providencia, you can get a promotional pamphlet for this winery with a discount on the entrance fee. Also at the end of the tour you recieve a free Concha y Torro wine glass that you use during the tasting.

Many mountains are found in and all around Chile great for climbing.

Learn

Work

In order to work in Chile a working permit needs to be obtained, which can be accomplished with the sponsorship of an employer. However, numerous people work illegaly, but it is obviously best to obtain a permit.

Buy

Santiago has a lot of Malls the principal are:

  • Mall Plaza Vespucio Map
  • Mall Plaza Oeste Map
  • Mall Parque Arauco
  • Mall Alto Las Condes
  • Mall Florida Center
  • Mall Plaza Norte

If you prefer buying handcrafts, the ones in the Centro Artesanal Santa Lucia are good and relatively cheap compared with other handcrafts stores. Other handcrafts centes are in Bellavista (though a bit more expensive).

Eat

  • Amadeus, Av. General Bustamante 50 (Between metros Buquedano and Parque Bustamante), [5]. Most pizzas at $ 3500-4000.
  • One worth a visit is the Bar Nacional, which offers hearty meals and a range of local and imported drinks.

Nightlife

Choices vary widely and their location usually reflects their price and style. For instance, Suecia, Vitacura, and Isidora Goyenechea are more expensive and upscale, being closer to wealthier parts of the city, while Bellavista, Plaza Nunoa, and Brasil are more popular. Manuel Montt is somewhere in between and though small has a very unique atmosphere.

  • Isidora Goyenechea - Metro to El Golf. The neighborhood is very nice and safe, and there are plenty of restaurants, albeit expensive ones.
  • Barrio Brasil
  • Plaza Nunoa
  • Barrio Bellavista - Metro to Baquedano, or bus to Plaza Italia. Cross the bridge and you are at Pio Nono, probably the street of highest beer density in Chile.
    • Bellavista has a wide range of choices from popular places to upscale, -such as a jazz bar. In addition, there are discos with all kinds of music, from contemporary eletro-pop to salsa and merengue. This is probably the only barrio where you can find a disco that has a predominately gay audience, which although can look a bit sketch to outsiders due to the precautions that they take, it is a fun atmosphere and features drag-queen shows during Saturday nights. Moreover, Bellavista is the area that lasts the longest during Friday and Saturday nights, with most places closing at 4-5 AM, and a few places (so called "after hours" run till 6-7AM
  • Barrio Manuel Montt - Metro Manuel Montt (line 1)
  • Suecia - Roughly located at Providencia with Suecia, in between metro Tobalaba and Los Leones (Line 1). It is a boleavard of bars and discos about 3 blocks long. It caters to a foreign audience and upscale audience.
  • Vitacura - This area is located pretty far up (east, towards the Andes) in Vitacura. Although you can get there by bus, it will be hard to leave on anything but a taxi since buses don't run late.
    • It is composed of bars and some places where you can dance. The places are nice and altough they certainly lack cohesiveness as nightlife (since only recently bars started establishing there) it can be fun to go. It should be noted that it is more expensive that other places and frequented by people that live in the eastern (wealthier) side of the city.

Sleep

On the edge of the Barrio Paris Londres, the Hotel Fundador is conveniently located for sightseeing. It also has a good quality restaurant. Another place is Providencia, a quiet nightboardhood you can go to SuitesChile apparts with gym, pool, internet, tv, near restaurants, shooping and bar.

The Ritz-Carlton is, as expected, very nice. It is across the street from a small park and a stone's throw from El Golf metro station. There are restaurants and bars nearby and the neighborhood is modern and organized.

Hostel Bellavista[6] is located in a great area for dining out and nightlife. The staff is helpful and friendly, and the atmosphere is very warm. There are several old computers from which you can access the Internet for free, and there's a large common room equipped with a TV, DVD player, plenty of seating and even a guitar.

The Plaza de Armas Hostel is a lovely, extremely clean hostel which is located right in the central square with a great view out over the plaza. Small (located on an upper floor of a building; so no patio) but very friendly and lively place with really good staff who take you out to the clubs.

Hostal de Sammy[7] is a great, rather worn-down place with a lot of facilities at no extra charge: internet access (computers in the lobby and WiFi), complete breakfast until 1 PM, living room with a huge big screen TV and 100's of movies to watch, game room with pool table - table tennis - Playstation 2, kitchen, clean rooms, DVDs, free rental of bikes and a lot more. It's good value for money (5000 pesos for a bed in a dormitory), though none of the toilets or showers work regularly. The staff is helpful, if loud, and there are some adorable pets.

Hotel Tabita[8], phone 6715700 - cosy, friendly and quiet, but right in the middle of town, Principe de Gales 81 (off Moneda between San Martin and Amunategui), tabitachile@hotmail.com, singles from $7000.

Contact

Internet and post offices.

Stay safe

By South American standards, Santiago is a safe city, but visitors should be aware of pickpocketing and other petty crimes. But if you compare Santiago with other cities in South America, it is by far pretty secure. Avoid the city parks at night and don't wear expensive looking jewlery or watches even in the middle of the day. Avoid large crowds of people. Also if you are blonde or ¨gringo/gringa¨ expect a lot of attention as Chile is not very diverse racially.

If you are going to see a football match, be careful with the "bravas" who are the most fanatic but also dangereous fans. They are often involved in troubles with the police both inside the stadium and outside. Walking to the stadium you will find people begging for some pesos so they can see the match. Avoid giving them if you want to stay ot of trouble.

The barrio where the Estadio Nacional is located is a place where you have to walk with precaution and keep your eyes on the people when it's crowded. It's better to take taxi or car to the arena if you can find a place to park your car.

Variants

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