Santiago was one of the milestones to the trip. We lost 4 of our original members and added another 6 to our ranks. Nice to have some fresh blood. Anyway, with only 2 days in Santiago not much was done besides walking around the city and getting in a sight or two. There was some interesting architecture and cool markets about but the highlight was visiting the Santa Luisa Hill for panoramic views of the city. A couple blocks from our hotel was the student area of town featuring some cool bars and clubs so we made the best of the nightlife. Bizzarre coffee shops and shopping centers made Santiago an interesting visit.
Cerro Santa Lucia
Visiting this landmark situated in the center of the city is a great way to have panoramic views of the city. A tram takes you to the top (or you can walk it) and spend a few minutes walking around. There is a little curio section with all sorts of parafanalia as well as a gym (oddly enough) where people spend an hour or so pumping weights or riding stationary bikes. There is also a great section of water features with concrete pathways creating waterfalls and pools in an intricate pattern. A little ampitheatre is a good place to sit back and relax, maybe read a book or you can check out the great statue of Santa Lucia and have a moment of reflection. A definite recommendation for anyone visiting Santiago.
There were an area designated to artist and artesans all displaying their wares to the public. Lots of leather craft, wooded sculptures, maté mugs and spoons and all other forms of hand-made goodies. It was interesting enough but I just window shopped. I was in search of a maté mug that shouted out to me but alas, no cigar. That was it really. A market is a market is a market.
Santiago is a big city but there isnt all that much to do as a tourist. The architecture is interesting if that is your sort of thing and as with most Argentinian towns, there is the central cerro for views of the city. The nightlife was pretty cool and the markets as I’ve already mentioned but otherwise, that was it for us. Met the new guys joining our tour and on we marched!