I don’t know much about the skiing/snowboarding in Chile, but can tell you Portillo is beautiful. If you end up staying in Santiago a day trip out to Vina del Mar might be worth it too! It’s a $4.00 bus ride there and is about 2 hours and right on the ocean with amazing views of the ocean and clubbing in Valparaiso! In terms of traveling about the country, air- LanChile, would be the fastest, but most expensive option. I personally LOVED the bus system in Chile. Tur-Bus will take you pretty much anywhere for very good prices! Though, since Chile is so long it can take quite awhile to get anywhere-about 15-17 hours from Santiago to Puerto Montt/Chiloe region, but it’s a night bus trip and really comfortable and economic! I hope this helps some! Let me know if you want more details on anything
Santiago Metropolitan Region
I’m chilean and I live in Santiago..
About galleries and stuff, if you don’t have that much time, then don’t go. Nowadays there’s none worthy show in any museum here…Museums in Santiago aren’t that good. But downtown near the Museo de bellas artes, is really pretty; cerro Santa Lucia, Lastarria ST. and the Forestal Park are nice. Though if it’s raining don’t go haha.
Nightclubbing can be risky in some neighborhoods like Bellavista or Suecia, but there are some really good and hip ones around. It depends in your age though, I’m 19 so I don’t know where adults go, but I can tell you that there are some great bars and discos in Santiago; just ask.
Pucon is incredible, I love that city. There are some good bars too there, but the best things there are the lake and all the outdoor sports spots there. I recommend going to one of the springs that are near Pucon :)
Since you’re coming during the winter vacations, I don’t think the subway will be as crowed as is it the rest of the year; it is a great way of moving through the city, is modern, clean and fast. Taxis are a good option too though they’re more expensive of course.
Between cities buses are the best option; TurBus goes from Santiago to everywhere in the country and there are some buses that are super-comfortable (the best way of traveling south is in nightime, because distants are long). Air is a good option too; I know that you can go from Santiago to Pucon by plane, in LanChile (which rocks), but obviously going by bus is way cheaper than on plane.
My only suggestion besides all that you can do there is just to watch for your stuff, your wallet and cameras. try not to look too turistic. There are many pocket pickers there…..I saw one time in the subway at rush hour how a guy open a turist’s bag in front of him, smiling at him and taking the money and a camera. The subway was full and each person was againt to each other. That’s why they were face to face….smiling….and getting robbed. I couldn’t say anything because behind the turist there was another guy watching for the first one steeling.
I dont mean to scare you, Santiago is a safe place, but it’s just like any other big city.
Enjoy your trip, it is a beautiful country, specially the south.
I’m an American that lived in Chile. Chillan skiing is INCREDIBLE. Do it!
I have to concur. Termas de Chillan was the best steep off-piste skiing we found. But the town was tiny.
For the best mix of riding, apres-ski and urban options, we loved Cerro Catedral and the nearby town Bariloche, which was gorgeous.
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