I’ve been telling friends that this trip has one of my favorite itineraries because you get a little bit of everything – relaxing fancy beach time, cultural adventure time, and city exploring time. Here’s how we wrapped up the itinerary of the year.
#1: Where we stayed: Hotel Ismael 312
Ugh, I forgot to take pics of our hotel but this is a very cute boutique hotel in the very hipstery Lastarria neighborhood. I say hipstery as a good thing, btw. Sara and I are from the land of hipsters so we were quite comforted to be back in sorta familiar surroundings.
#2: What we ate: Restaurante Nolita (Trip Advisor reviews)
We were craving Italian food and this came recommended by the front desk at the hotel. It was grrrrreat. Enormous fresh salads, soft gnochhi in a hearty bolognese, and creamy seafood risotto. I also ate the crusty bread with no regard for Sara’s gluten intolerance. Sorry, Sara.
We also had meals at Tambo (TA reviews) which had very hearty Peruvian food (I had a shrimp stew/soup which was great on a chilly night), Casa Lastarria (finally! the famous Chilean dish pastel de choco), and Cafe del Opera (great for a quick bite).
#3: Museums are closed on Mondays! We only visited one: Museo Chileno de Arte Precolombino
Spent some time roaming the exhibits here – really interesting stuff and would recommend it to anyone visiting.
#4: Where your feet take you: Plaza de Armas
This was a bit of a walk from our hotel but easy enough if you’re taking in the sights. It’s bustling with people, street performers, and the ubiquitous Chilean street dogs (really the nicest strays I’ve ever come across).
#5: On our last morning: Castilo de Hidalgo
This is atop the Cerro Sta Lucia with little gardens and other nooks and crannies plus a view of Santiago.
#6 Santiago streets
Couldn’t help but take some shots of the street art. It’s really appealing to me for some reason.
Other friends who had visited Santiago weren’t huge fans but I think it had its own charms. I think it highly depends on the area your hotel is in. While Lastarria and Bellas Artes were very walkable we did get a glimpse of the rougher parts of the city on our way out of Santiago on our wine tour.
We booked flights on United (ugh) back to the good ol’ USofA. It took us through Houston (10 hours), onward to LA (4 hours), and then home to SF (1 hour). We were on business for the 10 hour leg which we paid for in United miles. Note that the business class from SCL to IAH was just meh. The LAN Chile business leg from PPT to IPC was much nicer.