We arrived in Santiago bright and early after an overnight bus from Pucon. Only able to check into our hostel at 3pm we dropped off our bags and we were off roaming the streets (as we do) before the city had awoken.
We decided to join a free walking tour, and we are so glad we did! Our guide Felippe was amazing and brought the city to life. After hearing not such great things about the city itself from other travellers, we found a liking to it and would highly recommend popping by if you’re in the area! We stayed in the awesome neighbourhood of Bellavista recommended by Aarin, a lovely girl we met in Pucon who lived here for a few months. Lots of great bars, restaurants and fun vibe.
There was a great buzz- street performers, cool street food stands and don’t worry if you forgot to polish your shoes, there is someone conveniently placed every 10 metres of the city offering this service. Coffee-on-legs was another interesting service on offer all over the city district. What looks like an espresso bar with skimpily dressed girls serving coffee to men smoking cigars in business suites, feeding their egos for tips- is just that! Some of the places still have ‘happy minute’ where they ring a bell, shut the doors and close the window shutters – stripping for the business men, collecting tips then resuming business as usual.
As well as cultural norms of the city, Felippe did squeeze in some more historical info too.
This pic was actually taken to capture our new friends aka our fellow Aussie walking tour companions in their matching Kathmandu hats and belted up cargo pants (us in 40 years)
The next day we caught a bus to the charming, bohemian style, overly congested and colourful city of Valparaiso. My aunty had a friend who lived there and highly recommended us visiting it- thanks for your advice as always Mish!
We then headed down to the neighbouring coastal city of Viña Del Mar. So different to its neighbour- spread out, modern and city with a real beach-holiday vibe. Lots of beautiful gardens, hence it’s known as the Garden City.
We enjoyed walking along the sunny boardwalk and stopped for some delicious dulce de Leche churros (dulce de leche is the famous caramel-like Argentinian spread use in everything- desserts, pastries, ice cream etc).
Overall an amazing couple of days! Next destination the wine region of Argentina, Mendoza 🙂
Thanks for tuning in friends, until next time adios!
P.S. Thankyou for the ongoing comments- we never have long enough periods of wifi to respond to each comment but we really love reading them! To our new blogging friends from all over the globe, feel free to leave us a comment or any questions about places we have been so far (and of course, any recommendations for us will be greatly received as well!)
Check out our Travel Page for more of our adventures!