Santiago

Attraction

Chilean Cities

For a taste of local culture, cuisine and heritage, visit one of Chile's vibrant cities and charming towns for a real South American experience. 

To the north of the country, San Pedro de Atacama is composed almost entirely of whitewashed adobe houses that sparkle in the desert sun, along with a pretty tree-lined plaza and quaint church. It's the best place to start exploring the surrounding desert landscape and nearby volcanoes. 

Chile's capital city, Santiago, is a charming mix of old and new. Set beneath the impressive Andes halfway down the coastline, Santiago is filled with a thriving culinary scene, a booming café culture, a delightful old district and many fine museums. A highlight of the town is the Cerro San Cristóbal: a hill that's crowned with a white statue of the Virgin Mary and offering stunning views of the city below. Take the funicular from Providencia, or climb the stone stairs to the top of the hill to find a museum, a zoo, gardens and an art gallery. We also recommend visiting La Moneda: the seat of the President of Chile and the three cabinet ministers. Built in a neoclassical style, La Moneda is quite possibly Santiago's most recognisable landmark, where you can even see the changing of the guards in the Plaza de la Constitución.

Or, head to the coastal town of Valparaíso for scenes straight out of a fairy tale. See colourful wooden houses that perch enchantingly along winding cobbled streets that overlook the surrounding ocean, and visit the Plaza Matriz at the heart of the city.