Santiago - Part 3 - Orlando / Florida Guide
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Where you decide to stay will depend on your own personal budget. At the top end of the market, you could try The Aubrey in Bellavista which became Santiago’s first boutique hotel when it opened in 2010. It is set in a mock Tudor house formerly owned by a prominent politician, it mixes quirky designs with a beautiful pool and garden area, making for a tranquil escape. It has doubles which start from £175.
In the midrange then the Hotel Cumbres Lastarria blends colonial and modern styles to good etc. Its Mediterranean restaurant on the eighth floor has some good city views and the hotel’s location is also ideal for trips to the museums and galleries of the Lastarria district. Doubles here start from £150.
If you are on a budget but want something different then try La Casa Roja which is a hostel located in the student district of Barrio Brasil. However step inside its colonial building and you’ll find a nest of patios, a swimming pool, an al fresco bar and a well-equipped kitchen. You can choose between dorms and private rooms, with a private double around £50.
If you can spend more time then the beauty of Santiago is its handy location. Within a two hour drive are treks into the Andes Mountains, multiple wine regions to explore, plenty of beaches and a wealth of arty port cities. Some of these can be taken as day trips, while others are a great way to move on from the capital without having to travel too far. Hikers should head to Cajón del Maipo, 25km south east of Santiago, for dramatic mountain scenery and hiking, climbing and camping. The closest vineyards are Casablanca, to the west, and Maipo Valley, to the south. Both can be explored on a day trip, but if you want to indulge, stay at a vineyard hotel. Alternatively, Colchagua Valley is also celebrated for its wine and only two hours south of Santiago. Lastly, the colourful seaside town of Valparaíso lies just over an hour west of the capital. Explore its tangle of cobbled streets, climb its hills and ride its creaking 100-year-old funiculars, with great views out over the coast.
If you want to read more before you go then I can recommend the guidebooks ‘Chile and Easter Island’ by Lonely Planet, or ‘Chile with Easter Island & Patagonia’ by Fodor’s. Finally Chile’s official tourism website has a good English section. The city enjoys a dry, mild climate. In summer (Nov–Feb), temperatures can climb to 30ºC, while winters (May–Aug) can see it fall to as low as 15ºC. Spring and autumn can both be quite mild (20–23ºC). So there really is no reason not to plan a trip with a difference.
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