San Antonio is a bustling city with a reputation for being the gateway to Chile's central valley and capital of Santiago. The town of Santiago sprawls at the foot of the snow-capped Andes. Chile is famous for its internationally renowned wine district, with sun-drenched wine regions like Casablanca and Maipo Valley. This area also boasts a temperate Mediterranean climate and rich volcanic soil that contribute to its growth as a wine-growing region. Your cruise will dock in San Antonio, 87miles/140km away from Santiago.
A passionate spirit permeates every aspect of life in this birthplace of Nobel Prize-winning poet Pablo Neruda. Each turn provides a rich history and a romantic setting in a city known for its vibrant culinary scene and the jazz community. For those seeking respite from the city, the slopes and the beach are just a couple of hours away—and you can do both in a single day. Apart from shores and slopes, here are a few things to do in Santiago.
Escape the city center crowds and enjoy panoramic views over Santiago's rooftop to the Andes mountains. Within the city limits is an extinct volcano that is 69-meters tall. It is an urban park smack dab in the middle of Santiago, and it's a popular hangout place on afternoons and weekends. The hike is a pleasant one with lots to see, including fountains, spiraling staircases, defensive forts, sprawling gardens, and excellent lookout points. At the top of the hill, there is Castle Hidalgo, an event center. Visitors can even visit the observation deck above the castle for a better view of the city.
Go shopping in a seven-story mall, Santiago's center's main attraction. You can find everything – from bookstores to fashion and jewelry to sportswear and food. The shops are arranged on each floor based on themes. This center is one of South America's tallest buildings with modern retail and business center. Several skyscrapers in the complex are occupied by hotels and offices, including the glittering Gran Torre Santiago, one of the tallest buildings in South America.
The entry to Francisco Fonck Museum, named after the archaeologist and Via del Mar native, welcomes you with a 500-year-old stone head from Easter Island. It is a small but complete museum dedicated to the native people with exciting collections of artifacts and relics from the original people of Chile. It is also said that Francisco Fonck Museum has one of the most complete exhibitions on Rupa Nui outside Easter Island.
Sculpture Park has a collection of about 40 modern sculptures, including – mythological animals and wooden, stone, and metal pieces by both Chilean and international artists. While admiring the exhibition, one can enjoy the views of the Andes or watch live music events in this park in Providencia. The park runs along a section of the Mapocho River in the affluent suburb of Providencia, Santiago. Go towards the Mapocho River and enjoy the views of the snow-capped Andes Mountain.
On September 11, 1973, General Pinochet began his 17-year rule from this plaza with the Palacio de la Moneda signing. It occupies an entire square block in the heart of the civic district of Santiago.
Santiago is a nice place to visit all year round, but in the summer when crowds are lower it’s best. Apart from summer, the best time to visit is in the spring and fall shoulder season, which starts from September to November and March to May. June, July, and August are the winter months that bring showers, cooler temps, and increased smog levels. Still, the powder blanketing the nearby Andes beckons to skiers.