Footsteps Backpackers

Almirante Simpson 50, Santiago, 7500856, Chile
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More about Santiago


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A Sunday dip in the main plazaA Sunday dip in the main plaza

Tribunales de JusticiaTribunales de Justicia

Mercado Central in Santiago de ChileMercado Central in Santiago de Chile

Forum Posts

Cajon del Maipo

by rene82

Since I'm not going to be able to go down to Torres del Paine as I had hoped while in Chile, I want to try to get my fill of some beautiful mountain scenery while around the Santiago area. I'm thinking about Parque Nacional el Morado to hike to see the glacier as either a day trip or a one or two night stay. How difficult is the drive to Banos Morales? I know it is a dirt road for a distance, but how dangerous or steep is it (I'm going in mid-March)? Are the trails marked well enough we can do the hike without a tour? Any other suggestions or tips would be appreciated.

Re: Cajon del Maipo

by Huentetu

Definitely go with a tour. They know what conditions are and will be able to handle any emergencies. There are no trails as such on the glacier. March should be fine. It is a longish day trip. Prices for tours vary a lot and you can pay anywhere from US$100 to 300 per person. I have booked SWA for friends visiting and they were very good. They are very responsible and passionate about what they do. They had a horse riding option as well, but that cost more.

Re: Cajon del Maipo

by kiwigal_1

Cajon de Maipo is one of my favourite places to go near Santiago. Well worth it! I have not done the hike all the way to the glacier so won't comment on that however just wanted to say that the drive to Baños Morales is not a difficult one. At the end of the road is a great place to stay also called the Refugio Aleman. They can also help organise hikes, horse riding etc from there. I have information and pics of the Cajon del Maipo on my VT page for Santiago.


Re: Cajon del Maipo

by rene82

Our itinerary is still a little bit in the works. We are thinking we might have about four full days between when we arrive in Santiago from the Atacama desert before we want to head over to Valpraiso and Vina del Mar. My friend was interested in going down to Termas de Cauquenes for a night and on to Santa Cruz for a day in the wine country. I suggested Sewell, but she didn't seem too excited about it. Any preferences between Cajon del Maipo and Termas de Cauquenes, or are they unique enough areas it would worth going to both? Any other suggestions of places to go within driving distance? I'm also looking into whether to try to spend those days in the Laucas National Park, or going a bit south to the Lake District, but I'm not sure if I'd feel a little rushed with all the travel time. Thanks so much for all the help!

Travel Tips for Santiago

Restrooms and Custody

by Andre_C10002

In the Terminal Alameda (buses) you can find clean restrooms (2nd floor) for CH$150 and Custody (what they call Custodia), where for CH$1600/day you can leave your heavy luggage securely.

Both, restrooms and custody are services of Turbus.

Visit a winery... any winery!!

by Jefie

Chile is the world's fifth largest exporter of wine, and many of the country's finest wineries are located within easy driving distance from Santiago. Viña Concha y Toro ( and Viña DeMartino ( are among the most famous ones, and they can easily be reached by bus (reservations are highly recommended, especially in the peak tourist season). As for me, I got to visit Viu Manent, a family-owned winery located near Santa Cruz, in the famous Colchagua Valley. The winery tour (US$20) lasted about an hour and it included a horse-drawn carriage ride through the vineyards, an in-depth tour of the winery and cellar where we got introduced to the wine-making process and got to taste some wine before it was even put in the bottles, and finally our guide Luis took us back to the wine tasting room where we got to try some more reserve wine and received a souvenir glass. The winery also featured a wine store and a craft shop, and a great restaurant where we enjoyed a wonderful meal (along with some more great wine, of course!). Chileans say that there is no bad wine produced in Chile so no matter which winery you end up going to, you should be in for a real treat!

Suecia, muchos pubs y...

by Ragazzo20

Suecia, muchos pubs y discotheques, restaurants
happy hours, no es caro y hay buen ambiente.
San Damián, caro y muy top, muchas discotheques, restaurants, pubs y cine, muy fashion la disco Skuba.
San Enrique, si quieres tomar y bailar hasta muy tarde, acá es el lugar, muchas discotheques.
Vitacura y Alto Las Condes, zonas caras y para gente más adulta.
Bellavista, barrio bohemio por excelencia, discotheques, pubs, resturants, galería de arte, museos, etc. Mucha pintura y arte en las calles, al lado del centro y muy barato.
Brasil y Plaza Ñuñoa son área mas relajadas, de pubs, cines y restaurants, para compartir toda la noche.
Recoleta, discotheques para adolescentes.

Local Landmark

by Jim_Eliason about Chez Henry

On the south side of the Plaza De Arrmas is this restaurant that specializes in local cuisine. Pastel de Choclo

This is similar to a "chicken pot pie" except that the crust is a creamed corn. Absolutely delicious!

How much time do you have?

by TheWanderingCamel

Santiago is often dismissed as a rather boring, mostly modern, city with little of the glamour or colour of other South American cities. Disastrous earthquakes (the last as recent as 1960) have seen many of its historic buildings destroyed; internal migration, rebuilding and rapid economic growth in the second half of the 20th century has left a legacy of dubious buildings and urban sprawl and lying as it does in a bowl between two mountain ranges (the Andes and the coastal Cordillera) it is very prone to smog - all factors which can lead visitors to restrict their time here to simply a quick stop before moving on other parts of the country - the lakes and mountains of Patagonia, the high deserts of the north or maybe Andean winter sports. I actually liked it right from the start and subsequent visits only increased my liking for the place. Of course the time you have there may well depend on your overall plans, but if you can take the time (I'd say 3 at a minimum preferably with one weekend day included) to explore and get to know the place, I think you'll find it has much to offer.

Although it is a sprawling place of 6 million people, generally the most interesting and attractive parts of the city are contained within quite a small area. You could see a lot of the central area - museums, markets, cathedral, churches, the main squares and major buildings in a couple of days. One would be a real rush and you wouldn't have time to do more than take the most cursory look at the highlights. A third day - Saturday or Sunday if possible - would let you join Santiagans at play on Cerro Cristobal and out at the Dominican handicraft village.

More time to spare? Valparaiso is a great day trip, as is a day spent in the Cajon de Maipo up in the mountains . You could take a wine tour too but you could well find there is more of the city you'd like to see. I know that's what I'll be doing if I'm lucky enough toreturn to Chile.

Getting around is easy enough. The metro is efficient, extensive, cheap and safe. Taxis are plentiful and usually fine but rip-offs are always a hazard - they happen everywhere.- and all the usual cautionary advice applies. Walking is a generally a pleasure - the centre can be crowded but the strees are almost all tree-lined and buzzing with life. Street crime (other than pickpockets in the usual crowded places) is rare but use your common sense and stay away from deserted streets, especially at night.


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