Destination Guide - Santiago

Despite being a thriving modern destination, Santiago has retained its elegant colonial charm. Get among the locals and embrace the eclectic culture, vibrant cafés, restaurants and nightlife. Should you find yourself longing for the great outdoors, you can also take a road trip to the Andean mountains and hit the slopes, hike or just take in the sights.

The Basics

Currency: Chilean Peso (Ch$)
Population: 7,000,000
Time zone: -4
Daylight savings: Second Saturday of October to second Saturday of March
Language: Spanish
Country code: +56
Area code: 02
Electricity voltage: 220V
Electricity hz: 50Hz
Electrical plugs: Two parallel round metal pins
Mobile network: GSM

Highlights

  • San Cristobal Hill
  • Plaza de Armas
  • Praza do Obradoiro

Events

  • 12 October
    Día de la Raza/Columbus Day
  • 2 November
    Dia de los Muertos/Kite Festival

Weather

The most popular time to visit Santiago is between October and April when it’s dry and temperatures hover between 25-30°C. During the wet season (May to August) it’s cooler and rainfall is significant.


Getting there and around

Taxi is probably the best way to get around Santiago unless you feel confident enough to hire a car. It is possible to hire a bicycle, although beware of the competing traffic. Take a tour if you plan to head out to the mountains and wine regions.

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Travel Insider Santiago suggestions

Insider City Guide

Santiago: Chile factor

It takes time to savour Santiago. Our guide to the city beneath the Andes will whet your appetite.

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Shopping

Gabriel del Campo Anticuario
Antiques in South America

Culture, history and shopping conveniently come together in South America; an insider's guide to antiques tourism in Rio de Janeiro, Santiago, Valparaiso and Buenos Aires.

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Accommodation

Hotel Foresta, Santiago
Hotel Foresta, Santiago

Victoria Subercaseaux 353, Santiago Centre.

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Further reading

Here are some suggestions for more destinations and experiences around Chile and South America.

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  • The flight between Auckland and Santiago takes 14 hours. If you can cope with not much to do for a very long time, take the flight across the South Pacific but remember that you might like to take something to amuse yourself with. (My laptop battery didn't last the trip when I flew this way with Lan last April.)
  • Santiago is a beautiful city. Spare some time to stroll alogn the gardens under the big plane trees along the river - and try to find a few days to head down to Valparaiso

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