On a recent transfer flight between Argentina and Peru we had around 7 hours between flights and instead of staying in the airport lounge, we decided to hop into the city for a few hours to take in some food, wine and culture. Luckily it is a very short bus ride around 20 minutes to the heart of the city and the cost is minimal around $6-7 USD.
What made the whole thing possible was the fact that Santiago Airport has a luggage storage facility that is also affordable. For three pieces of heavy luggage the fee was around $20. The facility has various rates and accepts credit cards as well as cash and you have to inform them of any valuables contained therein. The process of drop off and pick up was super easy.
Once we got on the bus we headed for the last stop on the airport bus. It goes to the plaza of the heroes. This is just around a 15 minute walk from the central houses of government, pedestrian streets, all kinds of shops and restaurants. It was a sunny afternoon and people love being outside to chat, young and old and people are moving in every direction. The city’s underground metro was crucial for us to see several things on the itinerary because it cut down transport time.
The Cathedral is a beautiful treasury of the country’s famous saints, heroes, art and heritage. It looks a like like Europe and the presentation is clean and beautiful. In the same square we found ethic performances as well as a very handy tourist information office.
The newest part of the city is where we went o explore the tallest building in the city, shopping malls, riverwalks and lots of fashionable stores. There are all the international chain restaurants here too. The Costanera shopping center is where the lively action is.
Just a few blocks away we capped off our entire visit with a stroll into a fantastic wine bar. The place was called Baco on Calle Nueva de Lyon. Their selection of Chilean wines opened a whole new set of bottles to us that we’ve never had outside the country.
Needless to say this was a great call on a side trip in just a few hours. It didn’t feel rushed because we decided to take it easy and see a few major spots and cap it off with a great sampling of the country’s wonderful wines.