Topics include Transportation, Chile: For Foreign Visitors & more!
Valparaiso, Vina del Mar and Quintay are so worth visiting. On the way to the coast, visit a charming winery Indomito and taste excellent wine - especially white ones! Also, on the way to Vina del Mar, stop to see the biggest pool in the world in Algorrobo.
Quintay is a hidden gem, a very small fishermen village with just a few restaurants and fresh fish - try Conga fish, no bones!
John Gotlieb Bracchi (Eagle tour) isa well educated private guide. John will design a tailor-made tour for you, give plenty of explanation and drive you safely in his comfortable car anyway you like, both in Santiago and around. Slightly more expensive than private tours offered by travel agencies, but worth every dollar!
For a different type of day tour there's Cajon del Maipo, the deep valley/canyon of river Maipo, just south east of Santiago. This is one of Santiaguinos favorite weekend spots; it might be overcrowded at the entrance of the valley, but if you go further on, up mountain, you’ll find yourselves in the midst of a breathtaking scenario surrounded by the high Andes and very few people.
One of the best ways to see the scenery and mountains in the Cajon de Maipo is on horseback. You can go further with less effort to enjoy the views of the Andes mountains surrounding Santiago. Horse Riding Chile have good, quiet, well cared for horses and guides who know how to look after tourists, from beginner to experienced. You can be fetched from central Santiago or be picked up from the end of the metro line. See the reviews on Tripadvisor as many say 'this was one of the best things to do in Chile’.
A good advice is taking a very beautiful hike there, a 4-hour walk to the glacier and lake of Cerro El Morado. The glacier hanging down Morado’s slope onto the lake is quite a sight. The trail you follow is safe and not very steep. Anybody, moderately fit, will make it to Laguna del Morado. The view up there, the mountains, the colors, the sky, is quite awesome! and you might even see some condors flying overhead.
There are tour companies that take you there from Santiago: one is Chilemontana and Vivianne, mountain guide and owner, is very experienced and competent.
Ameristar Tours offers highly customizable tours from one to an unlimited number of people. Ameristar offers several varieties of tours from Santiago to Santiago and the Coast, Santiago and Mendoza, Argentina, Santiago and a Vineyard, etc. The prices are reasonable considering it is personalized and private. They also offer vacation packages (tour, hotels, food - all inclusive).