Destinations in Chile

Post written by Kate Robinson.
Santiago no es Chile translates as Santiago isn’t Chile, and it is one sentence which always sticks in my mind when I think of this country. It is actually the name of a television documentary which was launched in April 2010 and I managed to catch a few episodes during my stay in the city. The series follows eight Chileans from the capital as they leave their city lives and families to embark on an adventure and discover how life is outside Santiago in other regions. One of the things which I learnt from this series is that Santiago really isn’t Chile. For this reason I would advise anyone who is travelling there to visit the capital for a few days, but also to book flights with LanChile or the low cost airline Sky Airlines to other regions and discover the real beauty of the country.

Santiago is the gateway to Chile. All international flights arrive here, so this will be your first impression of the country. It is important to visit the city because here you will see the political and financial centre of Chile, as well as have the opportunity to visit tourist attractions such as La Moneda and San Cristobal hill. However, don’t spend too long in the city as its downfalls are noise, pollution and stress. That is one of the reasons why Santiago isn’t Chile.

Every Chilean is proud of Valparaíso, a World Heritage Site which is set on hills and is famous for its port. If you like photography you will love this city. However, it isn’t everyone’s cup of tea. Some people are put off by its shabby appearance. I learnt to love Valparaíso. Underneath its outward look is an interesting city with unbelievable architecture and fantastic views. Do not take valuables with you and only carry a photocopy of your passport or ID. Petty crime is common.

Viña del Mar
Just around the corner from Valparaíso is Viña, a popular seaside resort complete with all the charms of a city.

La Serena
La Serena is the perfect seaside resort with long golden beaches and warmer waters that those of Viña del Mar. The city is also renowned for its beautiful architecture and optimal conditions for astronomical observatories.

Punta Arenas
Punta Arenas is the gateway to Torres del Paine National Park where you can see spectacular natural ice fields.

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