Has somebody ever told you not to do something because something is boring, not fun, not worth it or something along those lines, and then you do it and it was the best decision ever? That is how I feel about the city of Santiago in Chile. I originally was only planning on going to Argentina for my five week trip, but I found that taking a flight to Chile was cheaper proceeding by bus to Argentina. However, everything I read on the internet advised me not to go to Santiago because it “didn’t offer anything fun or worth it”. Well, I found that to be the most untrue claim, and I feel in love with Santiago, ESPECIALLY THE MOUNTAINOUS SKYLINE OF THE ANDES ❤
The city was simply beautiful
Walking the chilly streets of Providencia with leaves falling from the trees giving me a nice memory of the back where I live in Wisconsin but in a city feel. Walking down the streets with elongated city buses zooming by giving me a more relaxed feel of New York or Minneapolis (More of Minneapolis I would say). The streets were fairly clean with almost no garbage laying around. The people all looked nice in their suits and warm clothes and would smile upon giving your own out. The tall modernized looking buildings arched in the sky towering over you.
Cerro San Cristobol in El Parque Bicentenario
A giant park resided north of my hostel which was only a 40 minute walk, so I went to explore on an early morning. It was Sunday, and everyone was walking, jogging, biking, with family and friends and having a relaxed wonderful Sunday morning. This park has so much to offer. This park has its famous Cerro San Cristobol where you can pray, meditate, and have a great view of the city. Also this park has skate parks, a swimming pool, a cable car to take you up and/or down the mountain with spectacular views. Here I met two Chileans listening to a Venezuelan rapper. We hung out and spent time exploring the park and are still in contact today. I hiked through the woods, ran into wild dogs, and even found a botanical garden.
This park literally has so much to do, and you can spend hours here taking in the sights of the city and enjoying it alone or with good company! Bring your significant other, bring your friends, and have a good time and a picnic! They also have biking classes, exercise classes and other live events!
The friendships I made > expected
Out of my whole trip for 5 weeks, I met the coolest and most memorable and kindest people in Santiago. The majority were Brazilians studying Spanish. We shared a hostel in Providencia called Egali. By far was the coolest hostel I have stayed in, in terms of amazing people and atmosphere.
I would come home from exploring the city and people would be people hanging outside smoking, listening to music, drinking wine, and having a good time and always looking for people to join them. When I first arrived to the hostel, a lot of the stores around were closed and I had pretty much no food. A Venezuelan living at the hostel made me dinner that night (I made sure I returned the favor), but he made it without any hesitation.
Not only were there Brazilians, but people from France, who I went skiing with! I also met two people from the United States who were incredibly chill an interesting to talk to. Those two were almost the only people from the United States I met until I got to Buenos Aires, Argentina. After leaving the hostel to go to Mendoza, Argentina, we all swapped numbers and Instagram accounts to stay in touch. Most of them and I still talk here in there almost two months from meeting them. Those times in Santiago were some of the most memorable times of my trip simply due to the people!
Museums, Monuments, Parks,
This city is packed with museums, monuments and parks. People say to only visit here for a few days and nothing more, but honestly I would love to stay there for a month to explore more and see more! Every block has some kind of park that has it;s own character. There was an interactive museum I wanted to go, but heard wonderful things about. There are also interesting looking historical monuments and places located near Plaza de Armas.
Transportation is SOOOOO easy
The Metro/Subway is so easy to work. There are only 5 lines to choose from, and they are all so so soooo easy to figure out. And, if you are not comfortable with figuring it out, the officers and workers are incredibly helpful and will take their time to explain it to you without any type of rush! They helped me a little bit when I was first starting, but I get confused with subways as I am from the country. However, after they taught me which way was which – it was a piece of cake! 🙂
Likewise with their buses. They have maps and numbers that tell you where each bus has to go. When I was trying to catch my bus to Mendoza, Argentina the subway was closed at 6am. So I asked someone about the buses on the street in hopes they were not creepy, and they told me how it worked, I grabbed 102 and boom. I arrived at the central station to catch my bus!
Needless to say, Santiago has a special place in my heart. I will always be grateful for my experiences in Santiago, the places I went, the places I have seen, and of course the people I met! I remember leaving at 5am from my hostel, and while the sun was rising, I could see the sun behind the mountains shining and casting this orange glow over the mountain range. That moment in my life created a memorable image that will never escape my mind. It was a shame I could not take a picture of it, but I will forever keep that in my mind.
Thank you Santiago, maybe one day I will be back to visit and see more of you and the rest of the country of Chile ❤