Best Day Trips from Santiago
Best Day trips from Santiago
Huddled alongside the magnificent Andes Mountains, Santiago is more than just a layover city now. This cosmopolitan city is gradually emerging from the shadows with colonial architecture, lush green parks, and vibrant cuisines. Its burgeoning food scenes along with boho wine bars, high-end clothing boutiques, top-flight restaurants, and expansive museums are leaving their mark on globetrotters. In fact, it is named as the Next Great Food City by Saveur, an influential US magazine! The city’s diversity is highlighted by its many neighbourhoods, each with a unique tone and flavour. The city is quite refreshing for visitors because of its rich Chilean heritage and culture. Anyone who is travelling to Chile is sure to visit Santiago. Besides a plenty of attractions to offer, the best thing about Santiago is its proximity to both mountains and coast. And quite a number of country’s main attractions are located just a few hours away from Santiago. So after exploring the city, you must also include in your itinerary the following getaway options which make for great day trips too!
1. Casablanca Valley
Indulge your palate with the flavoursome Chilean wines on a wine tour of the Casablanca Valley. Its agricultural perfection is known all over the world along with its immense wine production. The wineries in this valley are the birthplace of the excellent Sauvignon Blanc and Chardonnay. Experiencing the wine tasting while enjoying the splendid sceneries of the Casablanca Valley is one of a kind of an experience and definitely not to be missed! You must pair your wines with the sophisticated local food found in many of the restaurants in the valley. The panoramic view of the miles and miles of grape vines along with the mountains in the background make such a breathtaking sight! The valley is located some 60 miles away from Santiago and can be easily reached by your car. However, there are many tours organised which you can take if you don’t want to worry about too much drinking and then driving.
Valparaiso is a wonderful city to spend a sunny day in. Artists, poets, painters and philosophers have always been attracted to Chile’s most different city, wedged between a shipyard and a hill. Relax on the gorgeous beaches, or take a stroll in this colourful city, Valparaiso is one gem of a city that is sure not to disappoint you. With every turn, you will find something new or unusually beautiful. The sprawling vibrant maze of houses and its crazy architecture will leave you astounded, in fact even inspired. This World Heritage city hosts a small gallery, street graffiti, hip café and an everlasting excitement in the air of different carnivals, things that will never make you want to leave. Enjoy your day by exploring this charming seaside town on foot. From Santiago it will hardly take you a couple of hours to reach Valparaiso. You can drive on your own or rent a car or you also have an option of taking a bus.
Pomaire is a small dusty village about 37 miles south of Santiago. The city is known for its small-town Chilean culture and rural life and is most popular for its ceramic pottery that offers a large variety for different types of pottery ranging from decoration to cookware. A perfect place to pick some souvenir to bring home, it is a nice place to wander around, shop or may be grab some lunch. The restaurants here are also known for serving empanadas ranging from 1.5kg to 10kg; that’s huge right! However, make sure that you don’t visit this quaint town on a Monday, as it is practically deserted on that day. You can reach there by car but if you are taking bus, then take a bus to Mellipilla, nearest town near Pomaire. From there you can either rent a taxi or another bus.
4. Cajón del Maipo
Known for adventure and sports, Cajón del Maipo is the largest natural area of Santiago. This stunning mountainous gorge is perfect for any outdoor enthusiast with plenty of fresh air. Locals from Santiago flock towards this town for a weekend trip and to get away from hustle and bustle of city. The snow-capped mountains, verdant wineries, hypnotising landscape will capture your attention. There are quite a number of activities for some adrenaline indulgence like trekking through the canyons, bungee jumping and rafting. If you are looking for a leisure afternoon, then you are in for a treat! This village hosts 3 hot-springs also besides other fun facilities like horse riding, skiing and ziplining. All in all, Cajón del Maipo provides a huge array of options for both tourists and locals something for every kind of traveller. Whether you are an extreme adventure fan or simply want a relaxing day while enjoying the beautiful scenery, this place has it all for you. It is just 48 km away from Santiago and can easily be reached by car in a couple of hours depending upon the traffic. It is also well connected by public transport.
5. Valle Nevado
If you are visiting Santiago in the winter season, then you are in for a treat! Take advantage of the weather for winter sports in Vella Nevado, a well known ski resort just an hour and a half drive away from Santiago. Enjoy the vistas of snow-capped peak and glittering lake as you make your way to the resort. The drive itself is one slice of heaven to experience and cherish. During winter, the area also hosts annual international snowboarding competitions. It is highly recommended for every ski enthusiast to make a visit to the Andes range to enjoy skiing and marvel at the beautiful landscapes. The best time to go there is June-August. You can reach Valle Nevado by car, but if you don’t have one or not want to take a rental then there are number of tour companies offering transport, lunch, rentals etc.