Coming in to Santiago is an experience that never disappoints. The Andes mountain range simply gives you chills. Both majestic and foreboding at the same time. The peaks look razor blade sharp and never ending has they stretch beyond the horizon.
This time I stayed downtown at the Crowne Plaza. The accommodations are first class and the lounge on the twenty second floor while small provides excellent all around service and the views of downtown, the skyscrapers with the Andes in the background are beautiful.
Las Tarria, the restaurant district is a few short blocks away. My personal favorite for both drinks and dinner is Nolita. For best views go to Casa Laterria and check out the rooftop bar; spectacular. For lunch the quaint Sur Patagónico is also a great place and the service and food is top drawer.
Costeneira Center is the place to go shopping. There is every store you can think of and more. You can recharge your bAtteries at one of the many cafes dotted around the expansive mall.
So many tours to choose from but I highly recommend that you take a few hours explore the city center. The Basilica de la Merced is a special place to visit as are any of the many gardens dotted around the outskirts of the city. Cerro Santa Lucia was my favorite. Also the Bella Vista area has great bars and restaurants. The view from rooftop bar at The Hip is worth checking out. Also, the zoo is worth a quick visit at the end of Bella Vista.
The metro is very convenient and is an awesome way to get around town. Finally, as a word of caution, stay away from any of the unofficial cabs; trust me you will get ripped off which I learned the hard way one night. Don’t make the same mistake.
I hope you get to visit Santiago.