Santiago de Chile - A Travel Guide

Posted on Thursday, June 19, 2014

The booming city of Santiago de Chile founded by Spanish Conquistador, Pedro de Valdivia in 1541 is the fifth largest city in all of South America and capital of Chile. Nestled between the Andes Mountains and Chilean Coast known as the Cordillera de la Costa, Santiago de Chile is home to seven million people. Santiago is the most central city in all of Chile with access to ski lodges, beaches, and vineyards. Located about forty miles from the center of Santiago are some of South America’s main ski resorts such as Valle Nevado, El Colorado, and La Parva. An hour’s drive northwest of the city lie the beautiful beaches of the Pacific, including Vina del Mar, located in Valparaiso. Just south of Santiago you will find Maipo Valley, which is one of the most important wine-producing regions in Chile, best known for its Cabernet.

Climate

The climate in Santiago is opposite to our own, which is why you may want to steer clear of traveling during our summer months of June, July, and August, which is their winter. The average temperature in Santiago during the months of January, February, and March is 83 degrees Fahrenheit, which is considered Mediterranean without the humidity. The average low during this same time is 51 degrees Fahrenheit.  During the winter months of June, July, and August, the temperature drops to an average of 60 degrees Fahrenheit, while the lows drop even further into the mid-thirties. These phases in temperatures are what keep this metropolis one of the liveliest cities in South America.

Best Time to Travel

The best time to travel to Santiago would have to be during their summer months of January, February, and March. This is a very small window of opportunity, which is why you should be in the planning stages as early as June as hotels and tours tend to fill up fast. You might want to consider the month of December as well, as temperatures are in the low 80s during the day. It would be prudent to bring the appropriate clothing during Santiago’s summer. Unlike summer months in the United States, especially in the East, Santiago’s temperature can dip into the low 50s, so bring something warm for the evenings.

Getting Here

Comodoro Arturo Merino Benitez International Airport – airport code: SCL, which is located only 37-minutes northwest of Santiago. It is the second busiest airport in South America. There are several panoramic tours of South America which include Santiago de Chile as a post-tour extension. This not only makes it easier, but less expensive to leave out of this gateway due to all the competition provides. The two most popular airlines providing service from the United States into and out of Santiago de Chile are American Airlines and LAN Airlines. Both airlines operate non-stop flights from Miami, New York, Los Angeles, and Dallas. Delta is another airline offering non-stop service from the US, but only offers service from Atlanta. If you’re hailing from Canada, Air Canada provides service from Toronto six days per week.

Do and See

There are several things to do and see in Santiago beginning with all the theatres, museums, and beautiful parks the city has to offer, first of which is Parque Metropolitano aka Cerro San Cristóbal. The park itself covers almost 1800 acres and houses a zoo, a botanical garden, 2 municipal swimming pools, snack stands, and one of the two most beautiful views of the city and Andes Mountains. A 46 foot white statue of La Virgen de la Inmaculada Concepción (The Virgin of the Immaculate Conception) stands atop of the park’s hill which has an elevation of nearly 950 feet from the base. Located at the feet of the statue are benches are people sat when Pope Paul II presided mass in 1984. There also wineries, great skiing, hiking, and mountain climbing.

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