In recent times Santiago has become one of the most exciting cities in Latin America. Having been ignored for many years, the attractions of the city have suddenly been discovered along with those of the whole country of Chile. Santiago is a colourful and cultural city. Outdoor exhibitions are frequent and colourful murals painted by well known street artists cover the walls of many buildings.
The history of Chile has been well preserved too in the many historic buildings in and around the main square, Plaza de Armas, and in the exhibits of the many museums throughout the city. Visitors will find bars and restaurants to suit all tastes – from gourmet cuisine to local street food.
In the areas around Santiago on the lower slopes of the Andes are many notable wineries. They can easily be reached for a day visit. Set off in the morning and you can be sipping delightful wines within a few hours. Tour the winery to learn about the processes of wine making and Chile’s particular specialities. Then it is time to sample the wines and enjoy a delicious lunch. If your schedule allows you can take longer and visit a number of wineries over a couple of days.
The historically important Pacific port of Valparaiso, with its cobbled streets and colourful buildings clinging to steep hills that plunge down towards the sea is definitely worth a visit. Its streets and buildings tell stories of its glorious maritime past. In recent times, though, Valparaiso has enjoyed somewhat of a renaissance as boutique hotels, restaurants, museums and nightspots have opened. This city, which was home to many famous poets including Pablo Neruda, once again finds bohemian artists on its streets and in its cafes.