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Visiting Santiago

From: andrew cooke <andrew@...>

Date: Sun, 21 Mar 2010 08:04:52 -0400

This is based on various emails I threw together for a friend who was going to
be in Santiago while I was elsewhere.  After writing them I realised it
probably made more sense to gather them in one place so other people could use
them too.

Obviously many things can change with time, so please check how old this web
page is when *you* read it (see date above).  Given the nature of the original
emails, things are a little jumbled.  I have edited some parts, but please
forgive anything that doesn't make sense...


Central Santiago

You're right in the middle of the city [edit: Casa Bonita; see accomodation
section below], so it's going to be pretty scruffy and noisy.  I hope that's
OK.  It's "real" Santiago...

The area with cafes + restaurants is to the north along the road called
"Brasil".  The end of that road that meets Alameda (the big main road) looks
pretty scruffy (lots of shops selling spare parts for buses!) but as you
continue north it gets prettier.

In this map -

you can see a vertical road called Matucana (on the left).  There's a modern
art museum on that road that's sometimes worth visiting (you can just see it
marked, it's called Centro Cultural Matucana 100).

On this map -

you can see the presidential palace (Palacio de Moneda) which has a museum in
front (underground).  Further north is the main square (Plaza de Armas).

The *best* museum in santiago - i recommend it - is the pre-columbian.

On Sunday everywhere is pretty much dead; many museums are also closed Monday.

If you want somewhere a bit less big city dirty noisy head for the park (and
the main art museum - Museo de Bellas Artes) that is in the NE corner of that


Food!  I forgot to mention Bellavista...

This is the "Soho" of Santiago - lots of restaurants and nightlife.  It also
has a house that belonged to Pablo Neruda, and which is a good place to visit.


That map shows the house (I guess you know he was a poet - very famous
Chilean guy - travlled all over the world collecting amazing crap and sticking
it in this house...)

The area between there and the river (which is not shown on the map, but is
where the big road called "costanera" is) is full of restaurants.  A
famous/expensive one is marked on the map (Agua Para el Chocolate).

It's within walking distance of where you are (45min?) but also you can get
there on the metro.

For the metro you need to buy a card, and then put money on it.  I think the
card is a couple of dollars.  It's called "tarjeta bip" (because it makes a
beeping noise when you use it).  You can do all this inside a metro station.

Also, for money, use cash machines in banks all over the place.  You can open
many at night by sliding your card in the slot outside.  All like everywhere
else in the world...

Wine Tour

This is the place i would suggest for a tour of the winery -

It says they're closed because of earthquake damage until 31 march, but
hopefully they will be ok when you are here.

It's best to book a couple of days in advance at winery if possible.  Not
sure what directions they give, but i'd say go by metro and return by bus
(because getting the right bus out is hard, but the right bus back is easy and
quicker than the metro).  However, if you do that, be prepared for quite a
long walk from the metro station - I think they used to say on the web page
that it's 15m walk or something, when it's more like 40! (and the road you
walk down is a bit "in the middle of nowhere" - you need to have faith and
keep walking....)

Allende / Politics

Just remembered a couple more places you might find interesting - they are a
bit more political

Villa Grimaldi is a "peace park" in the site of a house that was used by the
secret police as a detention and interrogation centre.  It's a pretty powerful
place to visit.  http://www.villagrimaldi.cl/como-llegar.html

It's not terribly easy to get to, but this map shows it in relation to some
metro stations

In fact, it's quite close to the vineyard i mentioned yesterday.

This map
shows the villa (marker) while the vineyard is on Av. Quilin, which is the
road that crosses the lower third of the map, just to the west of the junction
with Tobalaba (main vertical road paralell and to east of Autopista Central).


After searching the web, this looks pretty good - http://bbcasabonita.com/ -
for $70 a night single room and is in a central location (it's near the
centre, but also near Brasil, which is a "young" area with good cafes and
restaurants).  It's probably got a bit more "character" that the places in
Providencia, and is also probably slightly better value for money.  It's got
very good reviews here - http://www.bedandbreakfast.com/

Otherwise, i looked at the following places in providencia, for my parents who
came to stay recently:

This is an "apart hotel" which had very modern, new rooms, with mini kitchen
etc, for $80 a night - it was a special reduced price, but I might still be
able to get it for you (includes a breakfast)

A bit cheaper, and slightly scruffier, is Lafayette,
http://www.lafayette.cl/home.html which is also an "apart hotel".  I think
that's about $60-70 a night.

A more traditional hotel is Orly, http://www.orlyhotel.com/ which is more like
$100 a night.

These are all in Providencia (all within about 200m of each other) which is a
nice, busy area of town, with many restaurants, on the main metro line.  It's
where we live, so it's fairly "rich", but still "normal" if that makes sense.
It's easy to get from here to the town centre on the metro.

Personally, I would say that casa bonita is probably best - more central, and
best value.  Spending less is also possible, but would probably mean either
something a less pleasant, or a "hostal" with other foreigners (which can be
good or bad).

Museo Allende

From: andrew cooke <andrew@...>

Date: Thu, 25 Mar 2010 18:46:37 -0400

Somehow I lost this part, from the Allende / Politics section:

Similar, and close to where you are staying (which, i forgot to mention, is
just on the edge of the universty district) is the Museum Allende.

this map has it marked (and casa bonita appears too)

Anyway, that's another place that was used by the secret police, and which now
houses art that was donated to Allende from many people.  It's a good place
for us to visit, because it has the best collection of "modern" art by
foreigners in Santiago, but it's not so good as a museum that tells you about
Chile.  However, it is close to where you are staying, so might be worth

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