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Santiago, Chile

This guide is a work in progress and will continue to grow with my experiences and time in santiago.

  • Chilean Spanish is extremely difficult to understand -Chileans are known to speak very fast, not pronounce the entire word and speak in slang

  • Common Greeting: 1 kiss on the cheek.

  • Santiago has a major pollution problem -there is a lot of smog. If you're looking to get some good views of the city, go on a day after it rains.

  • Chileans eat lunch around 2pm, they have a tea-time at about 6pm with bread or cookies and dinner at about 8 or 9pm.

  • Chile receives the most earthquakes in the world. Santiago's buildings are built to withstand earthquakes. If an earthquake does occur, avoid being near windows, shelves, and things that could fall on top of you.

  • Tipping: Restaurants leave a 10% tip. You do not need to tip taxi drivers.

  • As a foreigner, I don't recommend taking taxis. Some make the meter run 2-3 times as faster because you're not from here.

  • The people bagging your things at the grocery store work entirely from tips. You should tip them about $300-500 Chilean pesos.

  1. El Cerro San Cristobal -a large hill overlooking Santiago. It is known as a religious site with a 22 meter statue of the Virgin situated at the top. 

  2. El Pueblito -a local artisan market in Los Dominicos. Here you'll find many Chilean souvenirs.

  3. El Parque Bicentenario -a gorgeous park alongside the river. Enjoy a relaxing stroll through the park discovering the many statues, plants and interesting people.

  4. Parque Forestal -another beautiful park draped in trees.

  5. El Cerro Santa Lucia -a lovely hill directly across El Cerro San Cristobal. Follow the trail to the top to a smal castle-like tower for a great view.

  6. La Chascona -The unique and quirky house of Pablo Neruda, an early 20th century Chilean poet who went on to win the Nobel Prize for Literature. 

  7. Sky Costanera -A newly opened 300 meter tower attached to Costanera Center. Atop Latin America's largest building, you'll have a 360° view of Santiago.

  8. Patronato - A long street located in Bellavista filled to the brim with street vendors selling everything imaginable at very affordable prices. Quite an experience and lots of cheap, fashionable clothes!

  9. La Moneda Palace - The current home of the Chilean president. Built in 1805, it was first used as a minting factory.

  10. Plaza de Armas -The center of the city. A great place for people watching.

  11. El Museo de Memoria y Los Derechos Humanos -A wonderfully done museum that commemorates and honors the people who were tortured and disappeared during Pinochet’s dictatorship. The museum is free. Audio guides are only $2,000 CLP.


  • Empanadas (pico) -A typical Chilean food. Stuffed bread filled with meat and/or cheese.

  • Mechada -slowly cooked roasted meat, it falls apart!

  • Torta Chilena -many thin layers of cake separated by manjar.

  • Sopaipilla -fried pastry, similar to fried dough. Often served with powdered sugar on top or pebre.

  • Pastel de Choclo -a corn-based meal with beef, egg, chicken, raisins, onions and olives.

  • Cazuela - soup containing meat (chicken or beef), a potato, a slice of pumpkin, broth and vegetables.

  • Pisco: A staple alcoholic beverage in Chile. Belonging to the brandy family, produced by distilled wine. There is a debate between Peru and Chile on which country created Pisco. Be sure to try a Pisco Sour/Piscola (Piscola Blanca).

  • Carménerè: Chile's own sweet red wine which is mass produced in the central and south regions.

  • Terremoto: An alcoholic (and touristic) drink consisting of fermented white wine, pineapple juice, grenadine and topped with pineapple ice cream. Terremoto translates to earthquake.


  • Liguria-A Chilean restaurant with an eclectic feel and local vibes. You'll surely be dining among many other hungry Chileans so be sure to plan accordingly. I highly recommend the torta Chilena for dessert!

  • La Signatoria -My favorite restaurant in Chile, tucked away in downtown Santiago in an old Victorian style house. The restaurant is owned and managed by an Italian family, with a menu that changes daily. Closed on Sundays.

  • La Diana - Perhaps one of the most unique restaurants you'll visit. Located in an old mansion, it has a charming and rustic feel with fascinating architecture and indoor gardens. With a variety of foods from pizza to seafood -be sure to try the cheese fondue bread bowl!

  • Cantina California-Looking for some comfort food? Look no further, although it is commonly referred to as a "gringo bar", the food is delicious and the prices are good. 

  • Pad Thai - Amazing Thai food in a quaint little location. Prices are excellent and portions are generous.

  • Las Palmas- A lovely and affordable Italian place to grab a bite. Get something on the daily "Menu" which includes beer or wine and delicious homemade pastry of your choice. Not open on the weekends.

  • Doce Trece- Mouth watering sandwiches and burgers. The prices are low and they deliver every day until 2:30am. Be sure to get the chorianna!

  • Uncle Fletch -Arguably the best burgers in Santiago can be found at this American-stye restauraunt. With many mouth-watering burger creations, your pants will definitely feel a bit tighter after leaving.

  • Azotea Matilde -Situated at the bottom of Cerro San Cristóbal and right in the heart of Bella Vista, Azotea Matilde is a spacious terrace filled with plants and twinkling lights. 

  • Noi Hotel -a fancy rooftop terrace with breathtaking views of Santiago. The restaurant is a bit more posh and pricey however the atmosphere and views make it-well worth it.


Chilean souvenirs are harder to come by than one might think. Stop by these places to find all the trinkets and gifts one could ever need!

  • El Pueblito -a local artisan market in Los Dominicos with a small village vibe. Here you'll find many good quality Chilean souvenirs.

  • El Centro Artesanal Santa Lucia -an artesan market with cheap prices.

  • El Patio Bellavista - A lovely little enclosure with beautiful restaurants and many souvenir shops.

  • El Artensanal Bella Vista -an artisan market with the cheapest prices. On the way from el metro Baquedano to El Cerro San Cristobal.

  • Valparaíso/ Viña del Mar -a short hour and a half bus ride to the coast. These two destinations are right next to each other but have very different vibes. Valparaíso is a grungy yet somehow charming town covered in impressive street-art. Viña is more quaint and has lovely beaches.

  • Cajón del Maipo- a goldmine for nature lovers, Cajón del Maipo is located just outside Santiago is a canyon with stunning views. It's great for hiking, camping and escaping the city life.

  • Valle Nevado -Perhaps one of the best ski centers near Santiago. The views of the Andean Mountains will surely take your breath away.

  • Maipo Valley -For wine enthusiasts, explore Chile's central wine region and visit the several vineyards. You'll learn all about Carménère, Chile's own type of wine.

  • San Pedro de Atacama -Located in the North, San Pedro is a vast dessert that shows off how geographically diverse Chile is.

  • Isla Negra- Contrary to it's name, Isla Negra is not an island, but a coastal Island located about 1.5-2 hours from Santiago. It's houses the famous Chilean poet, Pablo Neruda's eclectic home. The beaches are also stunning.

  • Pucón -Located 10-hours (by bus) in the South of Chile, Pucón is a charming and geographically enchanting destination. Located in the heart of the Andean rainforest, you can spend your time in the thermal hot springs, hiking Chile's most active volcano or rafting down Chile's clearest waters. *Highly recommended destination

  • Huilo Huilo -2 hours from Pucón (see above), Huilo Huilo is a biological reserve with jaw-dropping water falls and forests. Be sure to visit the famous Moñtana Magica Hotel!

  • The International Police will hand you a small white paper when you enter the country. DO NOT LOSE THIS PAPER. YOU NEED IT TO EXIT THE COUNTRY.

  • When leaving the country (by plane), do not buy water or any other liquid after passing through security. TSA agents will confiscate it before you step onto the plane.

Sights to see :

 Delicious food :

Restaurants :

souvenirs :

Other Destinations in chile :

General Tips :


Disclaimer: I do not claim to be a professional tour guide. Such opinions are entirely my own and based on personal experiences.

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