TRAVEL DIARY OF CHILE AND BOLIVIA

DAY 1

Our trip to Chile and Bolivia begins in #Santiago, a cosmopolitan and lively city that is home to 40% of the entire Chilean population. The best way to discover Santiago is to get lost in its neighborhoods, each with a particular character. Needless to do it on purpose, our first stop is one of the symbolic places of the city: the Cerro Santa Lucía, the place where the Spanish conquistadors decided to found Santiago in 1540. Walking along the paths of the delightful park and climbing steep stairs, we arrive at the Mirador de la Torre from which we have the first glimpse of the majesty of this city, with the Andes in the background. A few days later we will discover that the one you can enjoy from the top of Cerro Santa Lucía is definitely not in the first place in our top 3 of panoramic views of Santiago, but it was worth it, especially for the peaceful atmosphere of this park, the place perfect for enjoying some peace away from the chaos of the center. Continuing to walk we reach the barrios Lastarria and Bellas Artes, oasis of culture and entertainment that host the most important museums of the city, as well as a series of bohemian bars and restaurants. Furthermore, from Thursday to Sunday, on via JV Lastarria there are a slew of stalls with vintage stuff, used books, ancient maps, handmade objects and other curious things. If you are in Santiago you cannot miss these two neighborhoods, as you absolutely cannot miss the next stage of our walk. Crossing one of the bridges that cross the Rio Mapocho, we enter the Barrio Bellavista, the real heart of Santiago’s nightlife. We wander through its streets full of brightly colored graffiti until we realize that it’s time for dinner and we decide to stop in a Chilean Sangucheria-Brewery. After dinner, returning to the hotel on foot, we begin to notice how lively and engaging the nightlife in Santiago is, but the long journey and jet lag prevail and we decide not to get involved, for this time! Also because the next day an excursion to Viña del Mar and Valparaíso awaits us and we want to be at our best!

DAY 2

On the second day we plan an excursion to Viña del Mar and Valparaíso, so we wake up early and meet our guide Jaime, a nice and helpful Santiagheno who answers our many questions about Chile on the way. de Casablanca, one of the main wine-growing valleys in Chile.When we leave the motorway, we realize that, from a distance, Viña del Mar and Valparaíso seem almost the same city. Pacific. The first stop is # ViñadelMar, the “Hermana Chic” calls it our guide, the favorite seaside destination of the inhabitants of Santiago. We take a walk starting from the Reloj de Flores, symbol of the city. Here our gaze is captured by some typically European-style buildings set in the rocks facing the ocean, completely different from the rest of the architecture of the city.The most curious is certainly the Castell or Wulf, built by an important German entrepreneur. We get back on the bus and continue towards # Valparaíso, the “Hermana Hippie”. Declared a World Heritage Site in 2003, Valparaíso is nothing short of surprising! “cerros” in a harmonically disordered way, a city where time seems to have stopped in the early 1900s, when it began its decline following the opening of the Panama Canal which took Valparaíso from the status of the most important port in South America. first “La Sebastiana”, one of Pablo Neruda’s residences, from which you can enjoy a wonderful view of the city and the ocean. Soon after we get lost in the labyrinth of the narrow and steep streets of the center, where buildings with styles mix different, wonderful murals and graffiti that shine under the hot sun of this day. We go down to the main square with one of the characteristic ascensores of the city, “El Peral” and salia mo on the “Cerro Artilleria” to admire the port of the city from above. Valparaíso seduced us with its decadent charm and lively atmosphere and is definitely worth a visit if you are in Chile!

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