Photos from Some Time Spent in Santiago de Chile

plaza_de_armas_square
Greetings from Chile,

I’ve already moved on from Santiago after spending two nights there and find myself in a port city called Valparaiso which I do believe is seriously over-hyped. That said, today we’re going to talk about my time in Santiago de Chile aka the capital of this fine country. Arrived late at night and it was well really anti-climatic; immediately upon waking up though felt the pulse of this interesting place despite being in a serious fog fest…

old_mint_santiago_de_chile

First off, it has the second most smog in all of the Americas after Mexico City. It’s in a valley and in the morning, you can’t even see the mountains which is pretty mental for someone who doesn’t have to show up anywhere to do his thing, yes? If you want killer photos try and get there after a heavy rain as supposedly it’s the best time; moving on…

streets_santiago_chile

I stayed in Plaza de Armas which is the very downtown core and wow, what a place. It was the very start of the city and when it was just getting going people would rush here to grab arms when the city got attacked. As a result, the more important you were to the colony, the closer or even in Plaza de Armas you lived. In other words if they wanted you around, you lived where all the weapons were.

cathedral_plaza_de_armas

Today, the place is really eclectic and you’ll find people from all walks of life and all segments of society in this busy square. It’s so busy, at times you can think that all of the 6,000,000 people living in Santiago are out and about. On the topic of numbers, there are 450,000 stray dogs in Santiago and they all pretty well kept which is crazy, the parks even have dog houses but I digress…

santiago_busy_streets

I went for a stroll with my friend from Slovenia and we took some random shots. Later we went on a free walking tour which was cool and I learned quite a bit more about the place. I’d go on with more history but if you are really interested, I suggest you read up on it right here. These are all photos from the two nights I spent and most of them the one day I went on a crazy photo tear.

reggae_juice_bar

It was interesting spending Xmas Eve there which was quite interesting as everything was closed. All we found was some random street vendor so I ended up eating a kilo of asparagus, countless avocado and tomato for dinner. This was the strangest Xmas Eve dinner of my life but guess what? I loved it and the next morning I woke up feeling like I could take on the world; go figure. Oh, it cost $1.60US each…

old_congress_santiago_de_chile

We stayed in the square at Plaza de Armas Hostel which was in the square itself. It had a patio to die for and you could see all the action from your nest so to speak. It’s a stunning square and even cooler from the tallest building around. Even if only for a night, go there, do a BBQ and have a few while watching the madness of Santiago stir on the old cobblestone streets in the historic square. Also find some grimy local watering hole like the one below… I only booked it because it was near a subway station!

drinking_spot_santiago

You may love Santiago but for me, it was just somewhere that I saw and had no desire to ever settle. The smog is insane and it’s the second smoggiest city in central and South America after Mexico City. It also has lots of crime as I’ve never seen so many police; we even asked what was up and they said they do this everyday. Some of the police seriously looked like military men combined with robo cop.

drinking_small_tavern_santiago

That said, the place was a solid stop with a good vibe / cool architecture and I’m glad I got a chance to check it out. I do recommend you visit it if you’re touring South America and who knows; you may love it? I would have spent a bit more time but I got an email which is taking me to a strange far away land on the 20th of January so I gotta move if I wanna see this part of the world…

shabl_santiago

Oh yeah, some quick facts for you on the area. Supposedly 54% of the economy is from copper and supposedly 6% or somewhere in that range of the population control 90% of all commerce. Minimum wage is $350US a month and an average salary is around $650. When you hear this you realize why they have so many police as Chile is a rather stable economy and I’ll be the first to tell you, it’s not cheap.

The rich live in the hills and the downtown core becomes haunted ghost town at night.

buildings_santiago_chile

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door_santiago_chile

downtown_santiago_chile

lounges_drinks_santiago

pablo_nerda_casa_santiago

plaza_de_armas_square_church

statue_park_santiago

street_singers_santiago_de_chile

walls_santiago

Tips hat,

P.S:  Jumping on a 24 hour bus north in about 5 hours because you’ll never know unless you go…

2 Comments

  1. Stef

    December 27, 2013 at 1:06 am

    I totally agree with what you said in the beginning. You really notice the smog so much in the city, that I really enjoyed my day trip to Valparaiso. And the city centre is incredibly full with people. I always tried to avoid the centre and explored other neighbourhoods instead.

  2. Sheila

    December 27, 2013 at 5:57 am

    Best wishes for the holidays, have a great 2014. Your travels are amazing, I love to see where you are and where you are going next.

    Sheila

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