Adventures in Santiago, Chile

I can’t even begin to describe what a magical experience I had in Chile. About 2 weeks ago I was whisked away on LAN airlines and arrived in Santiago for an #onlyinsouthamerica adventure.

I didn’t know exactly what we were in for, or any of the people I was going with – all I knew was that we were going to be covering basically the entire country in 10 days. From city life, to the northern desert and then all the way down to Patagonia. Check out the map of our adventures here!

Being someone who just kinda goes with the flow, I packed my bags and hopped on a plane!

After one of the most comfortable international flights on LAN (and more in-flight movies than I care to admit), I landed bright and early in Santiago.

I met up with 2 of my 3 new travel buddies, Jamie and Kevin from Ann Street Studio! In case you don’t know about them, you can find out all about them right here on their site. And if you’re a stalker like me, you’ll spend about 6 hours looking at basically every photo they’ve ever published. Once we rendezvoused, we were on our way the The Aubrey Hotel, a fabulously fun boutique hotel in the Bellavista district of Santiago!

The Aubrey Hotel Santiago, Chile

The Aubrey Hotel Santiago, Chile

The Aubrey Hotel Santiago, Chile

The Aubrey is a posh boutique hotel! With only 15 rooms, each one is decorated with it’s own personality! I was up on the top floor in this super cute loft overlooking the pool.

The Aubrey Hotel Santiago, Chile

 

 

The Aubrey Hotel Santiago, Chile

After refueling with some particularly excellent scrambled eggs, we rested up and got ready to hit the town for a little tour!

We headed out with Chris, a super knowledgable tour guide, from Santiago Adventures. If you ever find yourself in Santiago and the surrounding area – call Chris. He was a wealth of information and should probably go on Jeopardy because that guy knows just about everything about anything.

We started the day off at one of Pablo Neruda’s homes  just a few blocks away from our hotel. While we weren’t allowed any photos inside, it’s safe to say that this is a perfect way to start off any expedition through Santiago! Plus Pablo (we’re totally on a first name basis) had 2 bars in his house. I’m fairly certain him and I would get along just perfectly.

Pablo Neruda Home Santiago, Chile

Pablo Neruda Home Santiago, Chile

Post-Pablo, we wandered the streets of Santiago on a walking tour. We wound our way through different districts, checking out the architecture, culture, city life and people.

Santiago, Chile

Santiago, Chile

Santiago, Chile

Santiago, Chile

After working up quite the appetite, we wandered into Bocanáriz Vino Bar where they had over 300 kinds of wine! It was at the moment that I knew Chile and I were going to get along just fine!

We kicked things off with a round of sparkling rosé and got down to business.

Bocanáriz Vino Bar Santiago, Chile

I didn’t really know what to expect from the food in Chile – but I was 100% impressed. We feasted like royalty each day – and this lunch (complete with a full wine tasting) was the perfect way to kick things off.

We nibbled on oysters, salmon candies, lamb pops, salmon tartare, tuna tataki, and so much more! Those were the stand out dishes for sure – I’d order that salmon tartare about 4 times a day if I could. It was lovely.

Bocanáriz Vino Bar Santiago, Chile

That night we dined at Europeo and had an incredible 7 course meal that was complete with lots of wine, more bubbly and the most delectable braised short rib I’ve ever had in my entire life. Dessert consisted of chocolate with quinoa! Say whaaaaat. Mind blown. I couldn’t have asked for a better way to start the trip.

Plus Chef Francisco Mandiola, aka the best chef of the year in South America, came out after the meal to say hello and tell us a bit about his inspiration behind some of the dishes!

We packed up the next morning and hit the road! Dodging some serious traffic on the way, we kicked off the morning at the local market, Vega Central! I was in heaven! It was basically the biggest market I’ve ever seen and I could have spent hours walking around just gazing at all the beautiful produce.

Vega Market Santiago, Chile

Vega Market Santiago, Chile

Vega Market Santiago, Chile

It’s safe to say that within 24 hours we were off to a seriously good start! Big thank you to Santiago Adventures for showing us the best of Santiago! And to Jamie for snapping the pic of me!

Next up… wine country and Valparaiso!

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26 Comments

  1. Looking at your pictures of the vegetable market made think of my trip to Santiago a few years ago. Walking thru the most beautiful little girl I’d ever seen walked up and hugged me. I thought it was the sweetest thing ever. My friend behind me was quick to step in as she was trying to pick pocket me!!!

    1. Unfortunately, children are used for exactly that purpose, targeting tourists or other unsuspecting pedestrians. Sometimes, they swarm in groups, pretending to be beggars while the expert goes through pockets or purses. What a shame! Something like that would absolutely ruin a trip.

  2. Hi Gaby! I read you from a long time ago, and I had no idea you were going to travel here!
    Let me know for the next time and I could give you a tour! It’s a really beautiful city when you discover the hidden places…

    Kisses from Chile!!

  3. Wow! Just look at that big heap of avocados! 😎

    Looking forward to seeing more pictures and reading more about the trip. I seem to remember someone telling me, years ago, that Chile grew lots of really great fruit and veg.

  4. Oh my, oh my…….soooo envious! I’ve traveled quite a bit in my life, but have not made it to South America (yet). You are, indeed, VERY fortunate!! Those pictures are great! Such detail–you did a good job. Thank you for sharing those. I look forward to more and some exciting recipes from your adventure. OH–and that market?…..to die for…..would LOVE to have that here!!

  5. You’re killing me! I studied abroad in Santiago last year and then had a internship there over the past summer (which was winter there…). Santiago is an amazing and totally underrated city. I absolutely loved living there and am trying so hard to get back there!

  6. Lovely! I spent 7 months in Santiago 11 years ago, and La Vega was one of my favorite places. I bought peaches there so ripe that I could hardly resist them on the ride home on the Metro. And as a vegetarian, I could always, even in the meatiest restaurants, count on being able to get a tomate/palta sandwich. I ate avocados like they were going out of style, they’re so cheap there! Great memories your post brought back!

  7. I am very happy to have found your blog, thru AFAR. Your post brought back so many vivid memories.
    We loved Santiago/Valparaiso so much we are going back again. Last time, we hired Wine Tours Valparaiso to take us thru the Casablanca and Maipo wine valleys of Chile. It was such an outstanding experience we are traveling with them again, this time to Chile’s Colchagua wine valley. (We too stayed at the Aubrey, while in Santiago…. great hotel in a happening neighborhood.) After a brief visit in Valpo we will fly to Mendoza, Argentina to tour the regions wine valleys and taste the Malbecs, then to Buenos Aires for some tango and fine steaks. I highly recommend a trip to Chile for foodies who love wine too.

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