“Rainfall dispels a thick layer of smog, at last uncovering the Andes, the mesmerising mountain range which soars above Santiago’s cityscape. Breathtaking, enticing; the mountains feel close enough to touch.”
From the rooftops, after the rain: that’s where the beauty of Santiago emerges as if hiding it’s true charm for those willing to search. Beneath the world’s largest mountain range, Santiago is a diverse, cosmopolitan city with unique, colourful and contrasting neighbourhoods.
Tourists seem few and far between, an aspect I thoroughly enjoyed. The capital of Chile is a city for locals. No grand hotspots crowded with selfie sticks and burger stands, an honest, raw beauty can be felt upon every corner of the city, engrained in a mix of modern and Spanish architecture.
Ranked the safest city in Latin America, walking the streets of Santiago is the best way to explore…or so we thought until we stumbled upon ‘Lime’, an electric scooter rental company based in the United States. For those who don’t know, Lime provides deckless scooters, unlocked by an easy to install app with charges around 1 USD for a 30 minute ride. Not only is it convenient and accessible with scooters left all over the city, riding from café to café through the heart of Santiago is so much fun!
Set in the financial hub of Las Condes, the Hyatt Centric opened it’s doors in 2018, sitting proud in this pristine urban vicinity. The hotel absorbs it’s chic surroundings, offering welcome drinks up arrival in an opulent, contemporary lobby area, complete with a library of books and abundance of lounge space.
166 guest rooms boast high speed internet and 24 hour room service. The rooms, both modern and spacious, are compatible with everyday tourists and business people alike, combining the person touch of premium service with a practical layout. There’s even a small but sufficient fitness centre and a rooftop pool to enjoy breathtaking views of the district.
Impressed by the multitude of suitable, picturesque running routes around the city, you can run any terrain from dirt paths along the canal to kilometre loops around the Bicentenario Park. The Hyatt Centric even has a dedicated website which highlights a number of recommended routes leaving from and returning to the hotel. Such a simple yet useful idea!
Breakfast is found at the Foster 30 restaurant, offering an abundance of fresh fruit, bakery items, smoothies and a buffet style menu. The restaurant also serves lunch and dinner, delicious plates of local gastronomy from 12:30pm.
Santiago’s culinary scene has grown exponentially over the last few years, taking inspiration from it’s Spanish routes. Experience great food all across the city but particularly in Barria Bellavista, a neighbourhood between the Mapocho river and San Cristobal Hill. Bellavista has an abundance of quality restaurants and art galleries as well as weekend markets featuring handmade goods, anything from textiles to furniture.
Just 5km from the Hyatt Centric lies yet another flourishing neighbourhood, Barrio Italia, featuring the best design stores in the city. Chocolate bars, open air galleries and bespoke furniture stores line the streets of Barrio Italia. I was so glad to find yet another pocket of urban development that has embraced and preserved it’s heritage.
From San Cristobal Hill, take in some of the best views over the city and when pollution levels are low, a glimpse of the Andes. There was no way we could leave Chile without experiencing their majesty so on our final day we decided to take a flight with Rotortec.
Breathtaking, pure and overwhelming. The mountain range is vast and mesmerising. It seemed to have no end, rippling through the horizon and beyond as we made our way back to the city, passing over the ski resort of La Parva, a perfect spot for hiking…
Stepping into Santiago was as if entering the gates of Chile and now the gates are open, I have no doubt that I’ll be back.
Restaurants and Cafés:
Open just a few months (05/19), this is by far, the best coffee in Santiago. I dream of finding cafés like this.
Av. Pedro de Valdivia 51, Santiago, Providencia, Región Metropolitana, Chile
Monday – Friday: 7am – 7:30pm
Saturday: 8am – 3pm
Well made coffee in a quaint, informal café environment
Don Carlos 3185, Las Condes, Región Metropolitana, Chile
Monday – Friday: 8am – 2am
Saturday – Sunday: 9am – 5pm
Delicious french cuisine at a reasonable price.
Sta Magdalena 80, Providencia, Región Metropolitana, Chile
Monday – Saturday: 12:30pm-11:30pm
Best Italian food we experienced in Santiago
Nueva de Lyon 77, Providencia, Región Metropolitana, Chile
Monday – Saturday: 12:30–4:30pm, 7:30–11:15pm
Healthy smoothies, snacks and light meals.
Av. Italia 1206, Santiago, Providencia, Región Metropolitana, Chile
Tuesday – Friday: 11:15am-7:30pm
Saturday – Sunday: 11:15-6pm
Fresh seafood restaurant with generous portions
Sta Beatriz 191, Providencia, Región Metropolitana, Chile
Monday – Thursday: 12:30pm – 10:30pm
Friday – Saturday: 12:30pm – 11pm
Sunday: 12:30pm – 4:30pm
Cosy, informal restaurant serving French cuisine in a beautiful setting.
Cardenal José María Caro 390, Santiago, Región Metropolitana, Chile
Monday – Thursday: 10am – 11pm
Friday – Saturday: 10am – 12am
Sunday: 10am – 8pm
Huge thanks to Hyatt Centric Las Condes for having us during our time in Santiago. Thanks also to Rotortec for the incredible flight and of course, Elephant coffee for the most delicious V60 of the trip.