At the end of February I was sent to Santiago Chile for a week of meetings. Luckily, I was able to add two and a half days to the trip so I could see a little bit of Santiago and surrounding area. On the day I arrived in Santiago I checked into my hotel, got my bearings then went out for a walk. I had a map that said there were Japanese gardens nearby so I set out to find them.
I was a little confused because my map led me to a park and as far as I could tell, I was standing right on top of where the gardens should be, but I couldn’t see them anywhere. I continued down this dirt path then realized the gardens were straight up the hill I was standing at the bottom of. So I set off up a very poorly marked path and hoped I wouldn’t get lost (or bitten by something) as I climbed to the top of the hill.
It was definitely worth it however, the gardens were beautiful.
And the view of the city was stunning.
The next day I rode the hop-on hop-off bus and was very impressed with how beautiful Santiago is. There were at least 6 stops I could have gotten off at to explore. I started with a stop close to the Mercado Central. I walked through a beautiful square where I purchased a small painting.
After checking out the market I got back on the bus and headed to Santa Lucia to check out another small market and climbed to the top of Castillo Hidalgo.
After walking around the castle and gardens I decided to walk to avenue Bellavista to look at the shops. To get there I crossed this river bed that runs through the length of the city. I’m assuming in the spring the river might be a little higher? I’m not sure.
After exploring a bit more I got on the bus and rode it back to my hotel. The next day I started off by finding the funicular.
It was pretty busy but the line went quickly and the ride was fun.
From the top of the funicular it was a short walk to San Cristobal and this big statue.
From there I rode the teleferico (gondola) back to the park where the Japanese gardens are. They let me ride it alone which was really nice. The views were amazing.
The next few days were filled with meetings. On my last day in Chile I took a tour to Valparaiso. On our way we stopped in Viña del Mar to see one of the few Moai statues outside of Easter Island.
Next we checked out a local fish market with a very attentive audience.
And a noisy one too.
Then we spent a few hours wander the narrow cobblestone streets of Valparaiso, taking in the vibrant and colourful street art.
On our way back to Santiago we stopped by a winery for a wine tasting.
I left the next day after catching one last sunrise over Santiago from my hotel room.
What a beautiful city.