Santiago is Chile's capital and largest metropolis—home to nearly one-third of the country's population. The city was founded in 1541 by Spanish conquistador Pedro de Valdivia, who selected the site for its beauty, climate, and strategic position on the Mapocho River. Since then, Santiagueños have overcome war, fire and at least three powerful earthquakes; this is a city that knows how to rebuild and reinvent itself.
In recent decades, strong economic growth has led to the opening of new hotels, innovative restaurants, and some of the best museums in South America. The Chilean Museum of Pre-Columbian Art houses treasures from across the Americas, including ancient textiles, pottery and mummies. The collection of the Centro Cultural Palacio La Moneda ranges from folk art to cinema to fine art photography. Artistry is also evidenced in the city's handcraft and lapis lazuli galleries.
Santiago is located in the temperate Central Valley, flanked by the snowcapped Andes on the east and the Coastal Cordillera to the west. Smaller spur ranges enclose the northern and southern ends of the valley. These slopes and valleys are well known for their recreational possibilities. Alpine hiking, whitewater rafting and horseback riding day trips can be arranged. The ski resorts of Portillo, La Parva and Valle Nevado are also within reach. To the south, the Maipo and Colchagua valleys produce world-class Cabernet and Merlot.
Mosaico arranges privately-guided tours of Santiago's cultural and scenic highlights. Day trips are available to the nearby wine valleys, Valparaiso and Vina del Mar. Other Santiago area activities include hiking in the Andes, horseback riding, whitewater rafting and mountain biking.
Santiago can be visited in any season. Precipitation is light year-round, and most months are blessed with cool, comfortable nights and sunny days. Temperatures can reach into the 90s from December to March, but even during these summer months the nights cool to near 50º F.
Santiago is served by Comodoro Arturo Merino Benitez International Airport, located approximately 20 minutes from downtown. Overnight flights from New York reach Santiago in under 11 hours. Flights from Miami last eight hours. Trips to Santiago are easily combined with visits to Argentina, Peru, and Ecuador.
Mosaico Travel Services arranges personalized travel in Chile and throughout South America. We organize luxury accommodation, private transportation, and tours with expert guides. Speak with a Mosaico travel planner today at 801.582.2100. We’ll take care of the details.
"Youth is intoxication without wine; old age is wine without intoxication."