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Many of Chile’s locals often call their home “Pais del Poetas,” or “the Country of Poets” in English. Many of those same inhabitants also call the capital city of Santiago, the “City of the Island Hills.” While the inspiration behind Chile’s “Country of Poets” nickname may take some explaining, the inspiration behind Santiago's alias is apparent from the get-go. Santiago’s rolling hills and towering skyscrapers separate the city from the rest of Chile. However, these same elements give Santiago its scenic views and secluded atmosphere – making the City of Island Hills one of the best getaway locations in South America.
Santiago was founded by Pedro de Valdivia in 1541. The city is named after Saint James, one of the most prominent figures in the Judeo-Christain Bible. Legend has it that Valdivia was determined to build Santiago at all costs, as the city’s location would make it virtually impossible to invade. We can certainly see where Valdivia was coming from, as the Andes Mountains wall off most parts of the city. Because of its close proximity to Santiago, thousands of citizens and tourists regularly visit the Andes.
As of 2017, Santiago reported a population of 5.6 million people. Suffice it to say that the City of Island Hills can feel pretty crowded at times. The last thing you’ll want to worry about is finding a safe place for your luggage. Let Bounce take care of your belongings. We’re a luggage storage service available all through the week, at all hours of the day in many of our locations. To learn more about us and our services, simply download the app.
Top Things to Do
There’s plenty to do in Santiago. You could go sightseeing on a guided tour, visit one of the city’s concert halls, catch a game of Football at the Estadio Nacional de Chile – the list goes on and on. Santiago is also famous for its sprawling bicycle trails. If you’re up to the challenge, you can get quite a workout biking through Santiago.
Santiago has an abundance of museums and historical landmarks. Most of them are located in the city’s Historic Center, a district that many consider to be one of Chile’s most important cultural hubs. The following venues are certainly worth a visit:
Museo Interactivo Mirador: This sprawling interactive science center is located on Punta Arenas 6711 La Granja. With more than 350 interactive exhibits, there’s never a dull moment at the Mirador.
Chilean National Museum of Fine Arts: One of Chile’s three National Museums can be found on José Miguel de La Barra 650. Art pieces from revered artists like Luis Vargas Rosas and Roberto Matta can be found at this historic site.
Museo Violeta Parra: This tribute to the Chilean singer-songwriter Violet Parra is located on Avenida Vicuna Mackenna N 37. Ms. Parra is considered the “Mother of Latin American Folk Music.” We highly recommend visiting this museum and paying homage to one of Chile’s icons.
You’ll find hundreds of popular retailers in Santiago’s malls and shopping centers. Moreover, you’ll also find plenty of brands that are native to Chile and Santiago. The following venues are just a few of the most popular places to shop:
Patio Bellavista: Patio Bellavista isn’t just a shopping mall – it’s also a community center that hosts dozens of events each year. This Chilean cultural landmark can be found on Constitucion 53.
Costanera Center: Head to Avenida Andres Bello 2425 Providencia and you’ll find the heart of Santiago’s shopping scene. Hundreds upon hundreds of quality products can be found here, along with outfits designed by some of Chile’s most exclusive brands. The Costanera Center is a must-see.
Mall Sport: It’s all in the name, with this popular sports store. Climb a rock wall before you browse or try your skill at the wave pool. Locate Mall Sport on Avenida Las Condes 13451.
Chilean cuisine is often served in restaurants all around the world. However, you’ll be able to try out a slew of authentic Chilean dishes if you visit Santiago. The City of Island of Hills also serves plenty of Ethnic Dishes – Asian food, Mediterranean food, and more:
Seafood: Sushi, salmon, whichever kind of seafood you’re in the mood for, Santiago can supply it. Naoki is one of the most popular Japanese restaurants in the city. It’s located on Avenida Vitacura 3875 and offers amazing Sashimi.
La Cabrera: This Argentinian Steakhouse is located on Alonso De Córdova 4263 Vitacura. Most reviewers recommend trying the ribeye here. It’s a bit pricey, but it’s also apparently worth every cent.
Chipe Libre - Republica Independiente del Pisco: This is Santiago’s most popular Peruvian restaurant by a mile. Make your way to Jose Victorino Lastarria 282 and order one of Chipe Libre’s Braised Beef dishes.
Unfortunately, Santiago is considered to be a very dangerous city. Chile as a whole has an average crime rate, however Santiago experiences more violent crimes and property related crimes than any other Chilean city. Home break-ins, automobile thefts, phone scams, and pickpocketing frequently occur in Santiago. Moreover, muggings, home invasions, and shootings are also alarmingly common.
The main reason for Santiago’s high crime rate seems to be social unrest. Disparities between upper class and lower class citizens continue to grow in the city, leading to stark increases in criminal activity. Riots are also becoming increasingly common in Santiago, as are mass strikes and protests. In truth, it may be wise to wait until things calm down in Santiago before you visit. However, if you choose to travel to Santiago anytime soon, you’ll need to be extremely careful and aware of the city’s customs and culture.
“What’s the best way to get around Santiago?”
Traveling by foot is one of the best ways to get around Santiago. For longer distance treks, you’re highly encouraged to utilize the city’s metro system. It’s actually quite easy to navigate the city, as all of its streets are laid out in a grid.
“Is public transportation in Santiago safe?”
Santiago’s transit system is very safe overall. However, keep in mind that thieves tend to target two types of commuters – people who seem distracted and foreigners. If you’re visiting Santiago, you’ll automatically fall into the latter group. That’s why you’ll need to watch your surroundings and mind your possessions at all times. Bounce can also help you lighten your load, giving you one less thing to worry about.
“What’s the best neighborhood to stay in Santiago?”
Centro is one of the best places for first-time visitors to stay. It’s one of Santiago’s safer areas, as well as one of the most tourist-friendly. Many of the city’s historic landmarks also rest in Centro, as well as some of Santiago's most popular hotels.
“What are the best museums to visit in Santiago?”
Alongside the venues we recommended earlier, consider visiting Casa Museo La Chascona, the home of two Chilean Nobel Prize winning poets, and the Museo Nacional de Historia Natural, which is Santiago’s National Museum of Natural History.
“What’s the best time of year to visit Santiago?”
The best times to visit Santiago are the shoulder seasons, fall and spring, respectively. Try to book your flight between September through November or March to May, when the city is typically calm and quiet.
How much does luggage storage cost in Santiago?
The price for luggage storage in Santiago is just $5.90/bag for the entire day.
Where are there luggage storage locations in Santiago?
There are multiple locations all around Santiago which can be booked through the Bounce platform including near Plaza De Armas, Mercado Central de Santiago, Santa Lucia Hill and many other areas.
Is it safe to store your bags in Santiago?
Yes. Every bag is tagged with a security seal and comes with the $5,000 Bounce Guarantee. Every location is required to uphold tight security precautions. You may be asked to show ID and you will be required to use a credit card to book through Bounce in advance. With hundreds of thousands of bags stored, you can count on Bounce to handle your baggage in Santiago.
Are there storage lockers in Santiago?
Yes. There are storage lockers and many other luggage drop off points in Santiago. Bounce has multiple locations throughout Santiago where you can conveniently store your luggage with full security and the $5,000 Bounce Gurantee.
Where are the best places to stay and eat while in Santiago?
The most popular restaurants to visit are Mercado Central de Santiago, Giratorio, and Galindo. Additionally, the highest ranked hotels within Santiago are Ibis Providencia, Hotel Regal Pacific, and Manquehue Aeropuerto.
Where are the best parks and nature attractions in Santiago?
Santiago offers several scenic parks including Santa Lucia Hill, Sculpture Park, and Bicentenario Park.
Where can I find tourist information and guideposts in Santiago?
You can find local tourist information at @ElectoralPDC, ContactChile.cl, and Academía de Marinera "Raíces y Costumbres de Mi Virú".
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