2011's tourism hotspots: what to do in Santiago, Chile
Tuesday 01 March 2011
In January the
New York Times featured Santiago at the top of its list of places to see this year, saying that the Chilean capital has become "decidedly more vibrant."
Santiago is already by far the most popular place for tourists to visit in Chile, but has been experiencing something of a cultural renaissance of late, with new museums, music events and art galleries popping up all over the city.
That's been reflected in an astronomical rise in the number of places to lay your head - Santiago's hotel boom began over a year ago and the city is now home to some new luxury properties from names such as W Santiago and Radisson as well as smaller new properties such as the Hotel Boutique Le Reve.
So what can visitors do in a city that seems poised to emerge as one of South America's leading tourism destinations?
See the stars. Thanks to the positioning of the largest astronomical observatory in the world in the Atacama desert, Chile considers itself something of an astronomical attraction. Santiago isn't left out thanks to the new Observatorio Astronómico Andino, the city's first tourist-style observatory.
Ski. It may not be an immediate association, but some of Chile's best slopes are located near Santiago, with the season starting in June and ending in October.
Look up. Santiago is rather impressively nestled underneath the Andes mountain range, making one of the most beautiful skylines in the world, especially as the sun rises or sets.
Admire the art. Santiago is home to the Chilean National Museum of Fine Arts, which holds one of the finest collections in South America inside a beautiful building constructed in 1910.
Take a walk. San Cristobal hill offers one of the best views of Santiago (smog-permitting) and sits in the city's latest public park, meaning a pleasant stroll up and down.
Lose yourself. At the base of Metropolitan Park is the Barrio Bellavista neighborhood - an area bustling with activity day and night. Enjoy lunch or a drink in one of its charming terraces, overlooked by quaint houses, during the day, or visit at night to sample some of the city's best nightlife.
Listen. Iconic American festival Lollapalooza takes places in Santiago for the first time April 2-3, its first ever international expansion.
The Independent travel offers: Discover a world of inspiring destinations
- 1 Exclusive: Abusers using spyware apps to monitor partners reaches 'epidemic proportions'
- 2 Margaret Thatcher 'expressed fears of Asian rising' at Anglo-Irish summit in 1984
- 3 The 'Black Museum': After 150 years, public set to see exhibits from police’s grisly crime museum
- 4 The Unluckiest People of the Year 2014 (and one very unlucky giraffe)
British actor Idris Elba cannot star as James Bond because he is black, says shock jock Rush Limbaugh
Rozanne Duncan: Ukip expels councillor for 'jaw-dropping' comments made in BBC TV interview
Germany anti-Islam protests: 17,000 march on Dresden against 'Islamification of the West'
Ukip member gets into Christmas spirit with Union Flag plea to Santa 'for our country back'
Immigrants make UK racist, says Ukip councillor Trevor Shonk
BBC director Danny Cohen: Rising UK antisemitism makes me feel more uncomfortable than ever
£25000 - £30000 per annum: Recruitment Genius: The fastest growing fitness cha...
£240 - £275 per day: Investigo: Support the global business through in-depth a...
Negotiable: Ashdown Group: Data Manager - MySQL, Shell Scripts, Java, VB Scrip...
£27000 - £32000 per annum: Ashdown Group: Application Support Analyst - near S...