Tucked into a valley about 70 miles east of the Pacific Ocean, the capital of Chile is many things: a modern metropolis of 7 million; a hotbed for colonial-era architecture; a nature lover’s dream situated in the shadows of two mountain ranges and boasting world-class urban parks. Throw in its pisco sour-fueled nightlife and world-class art centers like Centro Gabriela Mistral and you get a South American superstar that’s worth the long flight.
When to go
Santiago is located below the equator, so its seasons are opposite those in the northern hemisphere.
Enjoy lows in the low-40s°F and highs in the mid-70s°F while taking in Fiestas Patrias, a weeklong celebration in mid-September that commemorates Chile’s independence from Spain with parties and parades.
If you visit in January, when temps range from the high-40s°F to the high-80s F°, check out Santiago a Mil International Theater Festival, the city’s most important arts event.
Fall brings temps between the high-30s°F and the mid-70s°F, along with the harvest for the grapes that create Chile’s famous wines. Head just south of the city to the Maipo Valley, a wine region known for its harvest festivities.
The Santiago International Film Festival occurs each August, when lows hit the mid-30s°F and highs reach the mid-60s°F.
Transantiago runs the city’s efficient bus and subway systems. Buy a Bip! Card to get the best fares.
- Bargaining is not generally accepted by businesses in Santiago, so prepare to pay full price.
- La Vega Central Market, with its 500-plus food vendors, is a great place to get a glimpse at everyday life in Santiago.
- A couple Chilean-Spanish slang words to get you started: “filete” means “super cool.” “Cachai?” means “do you understand?”
Situated within walking distance of Espacio Riesco, Radisson Ciudad Empresarial Santiago is also positioned closely to the beaches and shops of Vina Del Mar. To make transportation easier for their guests, the hotel offers complimentary parking and an airport transfer service.