Blogs from Santiago Region, Chile, South America


South America » Chile » Santiago Region » Vitacura May 14th 2020

If you haven’t heard, or maybe self-isolation is a familiar term and you are living like the Unabomber in a cabin in Montana, there has been a little virus going around that has completely shut everything down. I myself, have already spent 20 days of government imposed quarantine on our community in Santiago, and then emerged to freedom for several weeks (freedom light I guess), and then saw my shadow (Santiago Steve), so we head back into quarantine this Friday. It was a nice run of freedom (we even got to go get coffee once), and whether this quarantine lasts another week or another month, who knows. Chile like everywhere else in the world has been under various forms of quarantine, and at the moment we are heading in to our elenventy-ith week of working from ... read more
More Mascarilla Time!
Fire time!
Talk to the animals

South America » Chile » Santiago Region » Santiago March 15th 2020

It's a beautiful Sunday morning here in Santiago, Chile. Most of our small group arrived on Friday morning, looking forward to a lovely trip through four countries in South America, and for me, another chance to escape some of the winter's colorless cold in Maine. Our group numbers only ten intrepid travellers; eight had already cancelled for fears of the coronavirus or of the unknown. As it turned out, they were the smart ones. I hardly expected this trip to go forward because of all the shutdowns, but after calling Vantage and the airline multiple times (including on the morning I left home), I was repeatedly told that there were no problems in South America. So I travelled most of the day Thursday, and after arriving on Friday morning we met our Vantage leader, Nadia, and ... read more

South America » Chile » Santiago Region March 2nd 2020

Saturday 22nd February 2020 Another sea day and we didn’t get to Magellan Straights until mid afternoon. Bitterly cold wind, even though the sun was out - it was Chile!! Lol. The straights narrow to a gap about a mile wide which we reached about 7.30pm – we saw a few Comison dolphins but otherwise very quiet! Sea wise!! Sunday 23rd February 2020 I hope the penguins appreciated the effort (and cost – $310!!) to see them!! I somehow doubt it!! Up at 6.00 am to meet in the Theatre for our Cunard trip at 7.45am. Onto the tender, then onto the coach and along to our transport to Magdelena Island that was declared a national monument in 1982 and had a pinguinera (penguin colony!!) Transport left a lot to be desired!! It was an old ... read more
Our Ferry Boat
Sei Whale on Magellan Straights
Bad selfie with Amalia Glacier

South America » Chile » Santiago Region November 20th 2019

We learned a lot about the history of the countries we visited on this trip. This was due to us in part to the walking tours we took. The guides were very knowledgeable and enjoyed being able to share what they knew. Some of the guides we had have degrees in tourism and love the work they do. We enjoyed the local food. We noticed the dinner hour is much later there. Most people don’t eat dinner until after 7 o’clock in the evening. Some of the restaurants open for lunch then close for a few hours and then open again in the late evening for dinner. Breakfast is not readily available. There are many cafes and pastry shops where people stop for a coffee and some type of roll or pastry. We found that the ... read more

South America » Chile » Santiago Region November 18th 2019

Our last day in Santiago was short. We only had the morning which started out in a Starbuck's for a relaxing coffee and hot tea. We decided to do one last tour of the neighborhood before going back to pack our bags. Our wandering this morning took us to different streets that we had not seen before. We passed many colorful buildings which Bellavista is noted for. The protestors are spray painting graffiti on all the surfaces but are not damaging the street art. It's all done very artistically and some so vibrant. We came upon the Bario Bellavista plaza and stopped to watch all the neighborhood people rushing off to work and kids in uniforms heading to school. There is also a university in this neighborhood and some students were headed there. It was nice ... read more
Art Paintings On Businesses
House Paintings
Art paintings

South America » Chile » Santiago Region November 14th 2019

We had a great day today in Chile! This morning we were picked up at our apartment by Hector, our driver, and Francisco ("call me Frank"). There were six people already on board and we stopped to pick up four more tourists. They were from England, Toronto, Australia, and Switzerland. Frank did a superb job of guiding us around and giving us so much background, history and just fun facts about Chile. Hector did an outstanding job of driving us around since in the city many of the traffic signals are torn down or nonfunctional because of the demonstrations. He maneuvered around very well. On the road we made a stop to enjoy a chicha, which is a Chilean drink and a caramel like dessert. Both were quite good. Our first destination was Valparaiso , Chile. ... read more
Citrus farms
Grape Orchards

South America » Chile » Santiago Region November 14th 2019

We have had beautiful weather for all but an hour of rain during our trip. This has made it very enjoyable to walk around and see the sights. Today was another one of those days. We did a walking tour of Santiago with another couple from Chicago. During the walk it was interesting to hear their stories about travels they have been on, where they have been and what they really enjoyed seeing. We began the tour with ride through some of the sections of the city that have been heavily damaged by the demonstrations. Our guide wanted to explain what has been going on and why. He was deeply troubled by the extent of the damage to a city he was born and raised in and loves very much. He showed us the trucks that ... read more
Street art surrounded by graffiti outside our apartment
Police vehicle used to curtail demonstrators
Back of President's Palace

South America » Chile » Santiago Region November 12th 2019

Moved on to country number three this morning. We are now in Santiago, Chile. As the plane was approaching Chile the pilot made everyone aware of the beautiful site as we were nearing the Andes Mountains. That's the only snow we will see on this trip. It was a site to behold. Getting through Customs here was very quick as not many "foreigners" were coming in on this plane. The flight was full with citizens of Chile. We arranged our transportation to the apartment where we will be staying and got on the road with a few other tourists. One couple was staying near the airport so no issues there. Three other girls were staying near the government buildings. Little did we know it was a National Strike Day here in Santiago. The driver couldn't,t get ... read more
Santiago Icon
Plaza de Armas
My turn

South America » Chile » Santiago Region » Santiago November 11th 2019

So how to explain the last few weeks…and you may not be aware, but starting October 18th, Chile saw the beginnings of a massive social movement against the current state of the social system. And I don’t want to be flippant with this situation, as what people here are fighting for, is important, and the situation is complex. Now, not that I was predicting this would happen, but in hindsight I can see how the issues Chile faces with inequality, as well as the current structure of the social system, could lead to problems such as this. The best way to put it is that in the last few weeks when it comes to us and our lives, is they have ceased to have a rythym – each day is now different, each day is unpredictable. ... read more
Plaza Italia rally October 25th
Smoke over Santiago - Friday, November 8th
View of the same fire from a helicopter

South America » Chile » Santiago Region October 19th 2019

Hats off to Air France for a fab flight...great selection of films (I watched The Favourite and Rocketman), delicious aeroplane food (yes, really...and champagne!) and most importantly, we got there safely. Arrived to find Santiago in a state of emergency. The taxi driver described the previous night as a war zone. Protests over increases in metro fares sparked military intervention and he said about 300 arrests. At the hotel, the owner had prepared a letter advising guests to stay in the area (Barrio Italia), although she said it would be fine to go out for a wander, giving us a map and some routes. Casasur Charming Hotel is a gorgeous boutique hotel where we got a warm welcome, coffee and lots of helpful advice before heading out to explore. We aimed for the Mercado Central and ... read more
Waiters watching the news unfold
Los Panchos
Plaza de Armas

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