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short stay in santiago as part of tour of argentina

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short stay in santiago as part of tour of argentina

We were planning to spend 3 or 4 nights in Santiago early in March 2013 before going on to Mendoza. Should we base ourselves in Santiago and visit Valparaiso and Vine del Mar as day trips or should we consider overnight stays in one or other. It sounds as though Valparaiso is quaint but a little "down market"?

Which of these venues offers the best evening and eating out experience for 57-60 year old couple

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1. Re: short stay in santiago as part of tour of argentina

I think Viña del Mar is easier to walk around as it is flat. Valparaíso is mostly on the hills. I would suggest spending your night in Viña and going over to Valparaíso to see it and perhaps have lunch. The views are wonderful from a lot of the restaurants. Oda Pacífico is a good one. If you can afford the Hotel del Mar in Viña, it has wonderful sea views and good restaurants around.

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2. Re: short stay in santiago as part of tour of argentina

I am notsure what you mean by 'down market', the hotels are certainly not and niether are the restaurants. The ascensores have seen better days. I have never been bothered by the hills. It is much more interesting than Viña.

Edited: 5:59 pm, April 17, 2012
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3. Re: short stay in santiago as part of tour of argentina

Hi Cameron,

I agree with Toid, Valparaiso is much more interesting than Viña and the evening and eating out experience in Valparaiso would be much more fun and unique.

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4. Re: short stay in santiago as part of tour of argentina

I'm in your age range and we had three days at the end of a cruise in March 2012 in Valparaiso and Santiago. We ended up choosing two days in Valparaiso and one in Santiago - but would have done a second day in Santiago if time had permitted.

Valparaiso is known as the cultural centre of Chile and I wouldn't have missed it. Start with Tours 4 Tips in the Plaza Sotomayor - just go there for 10 am or 3 pm. and you'll see them across the square from the statue.

The guides are young, enthusiastic, knowledgeable young Americans. Ours studied in Santiago and now lives in Valpo.

This is a town for billy goats, with narrow winding streets . The steps between the streets can be fun to see the creative gardens and private oasis for the Chileans who own houses there. Just avoid the steps between streets at night - dark and isolated.

The cable car ascensors (from the 1880's to early 1900's) are one way to go between levels. Another is the collectivo group taxis which are very reasonable and go up the hills where the buses can't.

The Open Sky Museum is murals on stone steps and walls and under bridges. Really amazing. Paseo Gervasoni is another place for murals

and there is an ascensor next to it called Cerro Concepcion. Best views were from Ascensor Artilleria.

Both of Pablo Neruda's homes are worth a look. The one in Valparaiso is more of a cottage with some beautiful views of the bay. He had a quirky sense of humour and his homes illustrate that. He was a political figure, an ambassador (Paris) and a Nobel prize winning poet.

The architecture in Valpo shows its European roots. Valparaiso was the major port prior to the Panama Canal so there's more here than you would expect.

Doing a Chilean cooking class was something recommended to us by another cruiser leaving the B & B to get on our ship. We didn't call early enough - you should book a day ahead.

The bus companies are quite good between Santiago and Valparaiso and run about every 20 minutes for a 1 1/2 hour trip. I would stay in Valparaiso overnight and take a bus to look at Vina del Mar it's only about 8 k north.

Santiago is a large (about 5 million) smoggy city. My favourite thing was the Los Dominicos market at the end of one of the subway lines. The artisan work here (about 80 shops) was the best quality we saw. If I'd known ahead of time I wouldn't have bought in other cities.

Santiago has an excellent subway system that goes along the main streets so it's easy to get around.

There's also a Sculpture Park with 30 sculptures by Chilean artists that's quite interesting (Avenida Santa Maria).. The sculpture everywhere in Santiago is worth a look. I especially liked Fuente Aleman in Parque Forestal - a condor (symbol of Chile) opening its wings on a ship. it was donated by the German community in honour of Chile's independence.

This is right by the Plaza des Armes by the San Sebastian University corner (close to the Museum of the Arts).

There is more English spoken in Chile than I'd expected, because it is now

a requirement in their school system.

Hope this gives you a few ideas to make your Chilean trip more interesting.

Susan

Edited: 5:01 pm, May 26, 2012
5. Re: short stay in santiago as part of tour of argentina

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