Santiago De Chile Information
Santiago de Chile is the capital of Chile. It is situated at an elevation of 520 m (1700 ft) in the country's central valley.
Approximately two decades of uninterrupted economic growth have transformed Santiago into one of Latin America's most sophisticated metropolitan areas, with extensive suburban development, dozens of shopping malls, and impressive high-rise architecture. The city also boasts some of Latin America's most spectacular infrastructure, such as the Santiago Metro and the sparkling new Costanera Norte, a highway system that passes below downtown and connects the Eastern and Western extremes of the city in 40 minutes. Santiago is headquarters to many important companies and is a regional financial center.
But beyond the cities skyscrapers, outdoor lovers can venture an hour into the countryside for skiing, white-water rafting, and beaches.
• The Museo Chileno de Arte Precolombino
The Museo Chileno de Arte Precolombino is Santiago 's finest museum, with a beautifully presented collection of pre-Hispanic art drawn from the whole South American continent. Highlights include elaborate Meso-American incense burners, Andean textiles dating back as far as 3,000 years, and Maya carvings - not to be missed on any account.
• Cerro San Cristobal Cable Car
For a gut-churning ride and matchless views of the city, take the cable car over Cerro San Cristóbal - rounded off with a plunge in the magnificent hilltop pool, Piscina Tupahue.
• Mercado Central
Try a fresh-as-it-comes seafood lunch at the stately Mercado Central, surrounded by stalls packed with glistening sea bass and salmon, and buckets of salt-crusted oysters, mussels and clams.
• Changing of the Guard
Don't miss the changing of the guard at the government palace - the splendid Palacio de la Moneda - when hundreds of green-uniformed soldiers in high black boots goose-step around the square to the Chilean national anthem.
• La Chascona
The former house of Pablo Neruda - Chile 's Nobel Prize-winning poet - is packed to the rafters with bizarre and beautiful objects, from Victorian dolls and African carvings to music boxes and paperweights. Preserved as a museum, it makes for a fascinating wander.
• Cerro Santa Lucía
Climbing up the exuberantly landscaped Santa Lucía hill - via a maze of swirling stairways, turrets and fountains - is an essential part of the Santiago experience. Your reward is sweeping views over the city, impressive even when the smog is out in force.
• Los Dominicos Market
The best place to hunt for souvenirs is without doubt the lively Los Dominicos market, where you'll find a huge range of beautiful handicrafts as well as antiques, books, fossils, a restaurant, and live music and dancing at weekends.
• Dinner at Camino Real
Santiago's most memorable venue for dinner is Camino Real up on Cerro San Cristóbal - especially magical at night, when the city lights spread out below like a blanket of diamonds.
• Palacio Cousiño
For a glimpse of how Santiago 's other half lived in the nineteenth century, visit the sumptuous Palacio Cousiño, a splendid 1870s mansion complete with all original furnishings.
The narrow streets and village-like atmosphere of Bellavista, the capital's arty, bohemian quarter, make for a great wander. Check it out by night when the main street, Pío Nono, becomes a colourful crafts market - and wrap up your evening with a candlelit dinner in one of the area's intimate restaurants.