Santiago was not originally on my radar when we first mapped out our time in South America, but when David and numerous friends in Buenos Aires insisted Santiago has all the charm of BA while remaining a bit less discovered to visitors from the States, we decided we needed to squeeze in a few days to check it out. Nestled into the Andes Mountains, Santiago de Chile had so much to offer we wished we had allotted more than four days to explore this incredible city!
We made the beautiful Matildas Boutique Hotel our home base in Santiago, and I can’t recommend it more highly. The owners revitalized a 1912 French Neo-classical Building and infused its pristine white corridors with pops of brightly colored furniture, making it the perfect place to explore this upbeat and vibrant city. Even the standard rooms feel grand and inviting with soaring 15-foot ceilings trimmed in ornate moulding. Also, we were grateful for the incredibly fast internet, which was perfect for backing up our photos from South America. Centrally located, Matildas was a short walk to many of the best neighborhoods.
In the mornings we lingered on the beautiful back porch overlooking the gardens, catching up on the news or working a little. Matildas offers coffee, tea, and palmier cookies – a weakness of mine – to fuel you in between excursions.
After four days we felt like the city was just starting to unfold for us, and we wished we had more time to explore. That said, here are our list of favorite places from our time in Santiago:
1. Lastarria Street – A charming and vibrant street in the center of town, Lastarria Street is dotted with cafes sprawling onto the sidewalks. Grab a sandwich at Paul Reuben, Ice Cream at Emporio La Rosa, try one of over 20 wine-tasting flights at Bocanaritz and take home a delicious loaf of bread from Le Fournil Bakery for breakfast the next day.
2. Bario Italia – This is where you’ll want to get all your shopping done. Such a fun, upbeat street, Barrio Italia is full of pretty little alleyways brimming with design-forward fashion, jewelry and home decor shops. We ate lunch at Cafe de la Candelaria and loved their whimsical garden setting and healthy menu offerings. I came for the avocado toast, and it was HUGE.
3. Sunset at Cerro San Cristóbal – We took the gondola up to the top of the park for sunset and the ride was even better than arriving at the top! With sweeping views of the city I’d recommend doing this on your first night in town – rather than your last, like we did.
4. Sarita Colonia – With a tagline like “Cross-dressing Peruvian food” you know you’re in for an adventure at Sarita Colonia. The concept derives from the many influences that play into Peruvian cooking and we thoroughly enjoyed their artful take on ceviche, lomo, and drinks. On warm summer nights make sure you grab a table on the lively rooftop terrace and order their spicy pisco sour. Our favorite pisco in the city!
5. Walk or Run along Parque Forestal – the park design feels straight out of Paris and is a great way to people watch as many residents walk home after work.
Chile has so much to offer we feel like we only scratched the surface. From Santiago there are so many incredible days trips you can take – either to wine country south of the city or to the artsy community of Valparaíso on the coast. We know we’ll be back to experience Chilean Patagonia and the Lakes District someday as well!
Thank you so much to Matildas Boutique Hotel for a lovely introduction to Santiago de Chile!
If you want to receive updates as we travel be sure to subscribe here and never miss a post!
All photos by David and Stacie Flinner for stacieflinner.com.