Santiago, Chile

I flew into Santiago direct from Toronto on an overnight flight, arriving slightly bleary-eyed, but knowing coffee could not be far away. I’d booked a dorm bed at the The Princessa Insolente hostel in Barrio Brasil, and so I hopped on the bus from the airport into the city.

When I stepped off the bus, it was a lovely autumn day. Enjoying the weather, and some coffee, I wandered through the streets with my small backpack exploring a small piece of the city. An alternate translation of this would be that I had no idea where I was, did not have a map, and wasn’t yet sure how to get to the hostel. :) Anyway, I found a metro station, consulted a map, and continued through some interesting neighbourhoods to reach the hostel–which was really excellent.

At the hostel, I found a brochure for a free walking tour that reminded me of the Sandeman’s New Europe walking tours I enjoyed in Amsterdam, Berlin and so on. So, after a night’s rest, I walked down to the square and joined the Spicy Chile walking tour. The 3-hour walking tour provided a good glimpse of city highlights, and the lovely Claudia offered many other tips on things to see and do.

During my stay, there was a national holiday, so the streets were filled with people, protests and music. So good. I walked a lot, enjoyed a hike to the top of the Metropolitan Park, and used the excellent metro system to explore many areas of the city based on ideas from Santiago’s Wikitravel article. As you’ll see from some of my photos, Santiago has a bit of a smog problem, but it was a lovely place and I would love to go back and spend a bit more time enjoying the city.

After a few days in Santiago, on the recommendation of some colleagues at work, I decided to take the bus to the coast to visit Valparaiso.