After a few weeks of somewhat spartan accommodations, the five days we spent in Santiago was a welcome reprieve. Santiago sits in the center of Chile and is not only its largest city (a little over 5 million), but it comprises almost a third of the population of the country. Undoubtedly, a large portion of Chilean identity, culture, and influence spirits from this metropolis. It is a city with a vast skyscraper lined vista, surrounded by very high mountains - most notably the Andes. The lack of rain overall, causes major pollution in the Valley, but despite this drawback, it captured our imaginations. We will without a doubt be back soon, as we felt like we merely scratched the surface of what this great place has to offer. Intensely cosmopolitan, one can find amazing food from any corner of the world, a mature art scene, and a very international feel.
We spent our time there at a modern 21th floor Airbnb loft in a high rise with floor to ceiling windows. It was just the taste of home we needed as it felt very similar to our place in Phoenix. One of the amazing advantages of Santiago, is that you are only about an hour from wine country and an hour and twenty minutes from the ocean. On our first full day, we took advantage of the city’s geography to enjoy a wine tour just outside the city in Casablanca. We visited two wineries and learned about the wine culture of the region. We finished the tour off with a lunch on the terrace of ViñaMar winery with stunning views of the surrounding vineyards. When back in Santiago, we spent our time walking its varied neighborhoods and enjoying some of the many wine focused restaurants with dozens of wine flights to choose from.
Leaving for our next leg of the trip was hard for us. There was something about the city that is hard to describe. I don’t know if it was the food, streetscapes, architecture, people, or style, but it left us wanting more. // Jeff