To know the Best hostels in Santiago the Chile - Click Here.
On the same page you will find the Backpackers' Quick facts, and many things to do in Santiago de chile, including a discounted Spanish school, and outdoor activities!
A giant cosmopolitan city, Santiago de Chile is abuzz with business and commerce. But peer beneath the smog and you’ll find a thriving culinary culture, a bustling artistic community, and great cultural finds. All less than an hour away from world-class skiing, rolling vineyards, and famous beaches, making Santiago a great place to center your vacation while exploring beautiful Chile.
Though Santiago is quite massive, the center is relatively small, and as a traveler you will rarely venture beyond its borders. On a clear day the Andes are visible to the east, and the downtown area follows a standard grid, making orienting yourself relatively easy. Be sure to check out Plaza de Armas, neighbor to many of Santiago’s more notable buildings, and lively Barrio Bellavista, the “Paris quarter.” While you’re there take the funicular to the top of Cerro San Cristobal, which will give you a magnificent view of the city as well as help you to understand its sometimes crazy layout. Or, to enjoy the outdoors in the big city, rent a bike and ride through scenic Parque Forestal, or through Bellavista and up Cristobal. It’s a challenge but the view at the top and the easy coast down make it all worthwhile.
To escape the noise and the smog, take a short bus ride out of the city and go on a vineyard tour. About an hour from the city you can find several wineries offering tours and tastings for a small fee. Some also have small restaurants offering wine-friendly items such as gourmet cheese and olives and of course traditional Chilean lamb and seafood.
For something less relaxing but of truly Chilean flavor, head over to the Estadio Nacional for a game of football/soccer. Even though you’re not on the field, you’ll get a great workout jumping up and down, stomping your feet, and shouting and singing fight songs to your hearts content.
There’s plenty of nightlife in Santiago no matter what you’re looking for. Fantastic restaurants, chill bars, and hopping nightclubs can be found all over the city. There are also several jazz clubs. Santiago has a very active underground music scene, with many venues playing live music of varying styles every night of the week.
There are many fairs and festivals taking place throughout the year in Santiago. The Feria de Libro, Book Festival, takes place in early November. Expo Nuevo Mundo Rural showcases Chilean agricultural goods ranging from llama products to native fruits. Feria Internacional de Santiago is for the business-minded and also Santiago’s biggest and longest-running event. There is also a great Jazz Festival that runs every summer, with super-cheap tickets starting from about US$3 (in 2007).
With its thriving economy, Santiago is not the most backpacker-friendly place to travel, budget-wise. Prices are higher in Chile than anywhere else in South America, but the advantage of being in a big city is you can find treasures at any price. Cheap hostels can be found in all major neighborhoods, and friendly hostel staff can likely advise you on places to go and things to see that will enable you to stretch your pesos. Whether you’re a student learning Spanish, a couple on vacation, or a backpacker trekking the globe, Santiago is a great place to experience some culture, meet great people, and live life in a big Latin American city. So do some research, plan your budget carefully, and then enjoy!