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One week in Chile
Are you thinking about visiting Chile? One week in Chile might not seem enough, but let me promise you it is possible and also a pretty epic trip. Chile is a long and thin country – 2,653 miles long and only 217 miles wide at its widest point.
Therefore a one week itinerary is not going to enable you to cover the entirety of the country; so it might seem surprising to suggest a one week in Chile. However this itinerary covers Santiago, the Andes, Valparaiso, Vina Del Mar and a visit to a vineyard. That’s a pretty good week you can have! Plus, with this itinerary there is no need to hire a car!
Day 1: Santiago
Take the over night flight from London to Santiago, and arrive in the city around midday. This gives you enough time to check in and start covering some of the city.
First stop in Mercado Central for a spot of lunch – the fisherman display their catch of the day and eat in the restaurants around the edge for the freshest food (as long as you like fish).
The head to Bella Artes for 3pm to meet the free walking tour of the city.
After this, if you still have the energy hike up for the views over San Cristobel. If you are feeling less energetic, take the funicular or the cable car! It is definitely worth it for the views.
Interested in Santiago – this post covers a lot more for you to see and do. Click HERE.
Day 2: Day trip into the Andes
Join a day trip from Santiago to head out to see the infamous Andes mountain ranges.
Embalse El Yeso is about a 2 and a half hour drive from Santiago – so easily doable as a day trip. These trips often combine with a stop in the town of San Jose, which is a lovely charming town built for those who worked at the dam.
The lake at Embalse El Yeso itself is extremely impressive feat of nature. A glacier lake that sparkles bright blue in the sun against the backdrop of the mountains. Getting out of the city and seeing the iconic mountains is a must do when in Chile!
Day 3 & 4: Valparaiso
The absolute jewel of this trip and the real highlight. Based on experience this one week in Chile itinerary has been tweaked slightly to include a few more hours in this city. It is possible to do Valpo as a day from Santiago, but it is definitely worth taking the time to see even more of this place. It is one of those cities that begs to be wandered around in. Explore all the little hidden alleyways, the stairs and the cerros.
Start off by taking a walking tour of the city. An awesome way to see the highlights of the city, as well get to a feel of the place and your orientation. Don’t miss the funiculars that scale the hills (cerros) and spend all the time you can discovering beautiful street art around every corner.
If you are heading to Valpo click HERE to find out more about this wonderful place.
Day 5: Vina Del Mar
Take trip for the morning, or a just a little longer, from Valparaiso into the next door beach town of Vina Del Mar before heading back to Santiago. It is a 20 minute uber ride from Valpo.
This is said to be the more upmarket and where locals go for their holidays. There isn’t a huge amount to do here. However, Tours4Tips do offer an afternoon tour around the town, if you fancy hanging around a bit longer.
A personal hihglight of Vina Del Mar was the Museo de Arqueología which has an original Moai standing on guard outside. Having always wanted to see them, without the expensive of Easter Island. Albeit, not quite the same!
After Vina Del Mar take a bus back to Santiago. Pullmans bus go from the Vina Del Mar bus station into Santiago, and take just an hour and a half.
Day 6: Visit a Vineyard
Chilean wine is amongst the most delicious in the world. So when in Chile! Again this can easily be achieved as part of a day trip from Santiago. The Maipo valley comes highly recommended, is the most popular and easy to get to from Santiago.
Most people do visit the vineyards as part of a day tour. However, it is also possible to visit alone if you book in advance. Viña Santa Rita is located in Buin, which is easy to access via public transport. You do not want to be taking a car!
If you are looking for some day trips to Vineyards, take a look HERE!
Day 7: Santiago
Enjoy a last day in Santiago before heading home. Take some to explore the local parks, the amazing museums, have an ice cream from Emporio La Rosa. Must importantly take sometime to explore the Barrios. A firm favourite is Bella Lastarria.
Definitely also make sure you visit the GAM, a very popular cultural spot in Santiago.
It is often said Santiago is a city with a very European feel and not worth spending too much time. However, Santiago has lot to offer and is definitely worth spending a day or two. As well as it being a great base for exploring the surrounding mountains and vineyards.
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