Five reasons to visit Santiago


Maria Marcela Alasino, British Airways airport manager

Photography by Getty

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February 2017

We caught up with Maria Marcela Alasino, airport manager for Buenos Aires, Lima and Santiago, to find out why the Chilean capital – a new British Airways route – is more than just a stopover city for travellers en route to Patagonia and the Atacama Desert.

On top of the world

Santiago is set against the dramatic backdrop of the Andes, so you won’t be short of photo opportunities. Costanera Center’s observation deck has the best views, but to get even higher, climb the Cerro San Cristobal, a hill at the north of the city in Parque Metropolitano, Santiago’s largest green space.

The fertile plains at the foot of the Andes are ideal for growing wine grapes, and you’ll find emerald-hued vineyards within driving distance of the city

The grape escape

The fertile plains at the foot of the Andes are ideal for growing wine grapes, and you’ll find emerald-hued vineyards within driving distance of the city in Maipo Valley. Head to Concha y Toro, one of the country’s oldest wineries, to sample its renowned Cabernet Sauvignon. The Casablanca region between Santiago and Valparaiso is also worth a visit to discover up-and-coming wineries such as Veramonte.

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  • Wine and food pairings are the order of the day at Bocanariz

    Time for wine

    At Bocanáriz, the wine complements the food, with menus designed around a map of flavours. And you won’t be stuck for choice – there are 400 Chilean wines on the list to choose from. Fly from London to Santiago from:£735 return

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  • The statue at the top of Cerro San Cristóbal © erlucho/Getty Images

    Take a hike

    Pack your walking boots for a leafy stroll up to the 850m summit of San Crisóbal Hill, where a chilled glass of mote con huesillo (a fruity, non-alcoholic drink made of peaches) awaits you as a reward – not to mention the breathtaking views of course.

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  • Soak up Santiago’s cityscape at Sky Costanera’s observation deck

    The sky’s the limit

    With 360-degree views at 300m, and two elevators taking you to the top in two minutes, Sky Costanera is the highest viewpoint in Latin America – plus it’s open 365 days a year.

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Shop ‘til you drop

For authentic handicrafts visit Pueblito Los Dominicos, for everything from musical instruments to handmade jewellery. The leafy Bellas Artes district in downtown Santiago is also becoming a hub of creativity. Don’t miss the cutting-edge jewellery at Aji, or alpaca scarves and ponchos at Ona.

Wine and dine

Sit down to a food-and-wine extravaganza at Bocanariz. Themed tastings help you get to grips with Chile’s wine trends, and the food receives rave reviews: order ceviche, Wagyu beef and passionfruit cheesecake, and judge for yourself.

Bed down in style

Hotels in the upscale neighbourhoods of Vitacura and Providencia offer easy access to the whole city, but the Ritz-Carlton Santiago is the choice for travellers with a bigger budget. Enjoy a dip in the indoor pool – its arched windows provide superb skyline panoramas.