Oh what an incredibly modern city! After a month in Lima and ten days in the Peruvian mountains it was so refreshing to be in a city with well maintained sidewalks and traffic that respected pedestrians. We lived near the downtown of Santiago, close to government buildings and museums. It was definitely the most polished part of Santiago and we, admittedly, adored the comfort.
Not all of Santiago is full of refined walking streets and polite Mote con Huesillos vendors. Parts of the city are as chaotic as any part of our past experiences with Latin America. For example the Mercado! oh mannn! Our first impression of the market was all kinds of “extra” because we went on the Sunday before New Year’s Eve!
EVERYBODY was there getting groceries at the same time as us. Luckily we had the calm cool heads of people who had expertly braved Bogotá’s biggest food market and the Christmas markets of Cusco.
So ya the market was a hell level of crowded, but I still got to enjoy a tasty espresso, Venezuelan empanadas, and purchased groceries for the week. I admittedly felt like a pro.
Stuff to note about Santiago:
- It is hot and dry in January like I went 4 days without washing my hair because it never got greasy!
- It’s so walkable! Many streets are closed to car traffic, cars respect pedestrians, and the sidewalks are wide/well maintained. There’s even a big park that runs along most of the river and it’s not unlike something you’d find in Paris.
- Even though walking is made easy the metro system is excellent.
- NOBODY loves hawdags more than Chileans love hawdags.
- An Italian sammich means the Italian flag made up of a pile of mayo, guacamole, and tomato.
- You tip the grocery bag person. They don’t work for the store and just work for tips.
My favourite Santiago things:
- Cemetery General
- Parque Forestal
- Barrio Bellavista
- Mote con Huesillo (a sweet peach and wheat berry drink/dessert)
- Vega Market
- Cafe 2D6
- The view of the mountains
- The epic sunsets on the mountains
- hot dogs