We love Santiago!
After spending 17 nights in the city, we got to know a small part of it very well: the Bellavista neighbourhood and the Providencia area. Santiago is up there with one of my favourite capital cities that I’ve been to so far.
Quirky, vibrant and adorned with colourful artwork, the Bellavista neighbourhood was a pleasure to call home for 17 nights! Packed full of eateries, pubs, bars and clubs and full of students, travellers and locals alike, it was easy to melt into this eclectic area.
San Cristóbal Hill
Rising above the city is San Cristóbal Hill, a tree and plant filled hill. One clear sunny day we walked up the winding path to see magnificent 360 views of Santiago from the Blessed Virgin Mary statue. With the Andes in the city backdrop and standing high amongst the greenery, I fell in love with Santiago that little bit more.
Cementerio General de Santiago
Santiago cemetery is one of the largest in South America, covering an incredible 210 acres with approximately 2 million burials. I’ve never seen such a stunning cemetery. It’s full of ginormous mausoleums in an array of designs, intricate headstones and statues, all resting within well-kept pathways, old trees, colourful flowers and glowing grass.
I had no idea that Santiago was home to so many street dogs! The dogs go about their day just like the people do. They wait to cross the road at the lights, they hold the free newspaper by the metro and lay about in the sun to chill out. Although homeless, they are very well looked after by the people. There are wooden dog houses dotted about, along with bowls of water and food. They all have a great temperament, some even wear a coat, and they look well. What’s funny is that these dogs were so well behaved compared to the dogs with owners! This is the ‘city of dogs’ and it’s brilliant! Wish I had taken some more photos though.
Santa Lucía Hill
This small hill still offers great views of the city, and also contained within it is lots of greenery, narrow winding stairways, sculptures, fountains and forts. Located on the remnant of a 15 million year old volcano, the area has a lot of charm and curiosity about it.
This area holds the highest percentage of the population, yet it doesn’t feel manic. We did a lot of walking around the area and it has such a vast variety of new and old buildings, interdespersed by the Mapocho river and tree-lined walkways. With pockets of nature and a mix of street styles, there was something different with every turn. Providencia seems to encompass a lot all in one go, which is what I really liked about it.