Santiago Capital City of Chile
SANTIAGO: THE TOP TEN (AND MORE) OF CHILE’S CAPITAL Climbing San Cristóbal Hill San Cristóbal is the park of this city, and the best spot for taking in views of the Santiago skyline. Every weekend, thousands of locals take to the trails of San Cristóbal to jog, bike ride, or simply take a stroll with the family. San Cristóbal is part of the Metropolitan Park of Santiago, which is the world’s largest urban park, covering over 700 hectares, and features what every true traveler can appreciate: an urban experience in harmony with nature. Despite not being more than 300 meters (984 feet) from top to bottom, getting to the top is always a challenge; albeit one that rewards the adventurer with a prized view of Santiago and the majestic Andes as a backdrop. The summit can be accessed by foot or by gondola or “funicular” elevators (inclined cable cars). Two large swimming pools are open during the summer, and the Metropolitan Zoo stays open year round. The park also has 10 designated lookouts that provide views of the surrounding city and allow the visitor to see where he or she has come from and where he or she is going. If a visit to eat at the restaurant “Camino Real” is on tap, there is an interesting wine museum to see, and further down the hill, “El Divertimento” restaurant, which offers an up-‐to-‐date menu of Chilean cuisine as well as a respectable list of local craft beers. www.parquemet.cl CHILE – INSPRING INCENTIVES & CONFERENCE An Earthquake!?! Sure, try one! The “Terremoto,” or “Earthquake,” is an established classic amongst the typical alcoholic fare offered in this country. It’s normally comprised of a mix of “pipeño” (a locally artisan-‐
crafted wine) and pineapple ice cream, and is typically served with a creamy consistency, which, when well prepared, doesn’t lump together. After that, it’s often mixed with more liquor, but this is a matter of personal preference, since in the restaurant “El Hoyo,” for example, it only contains the first two ingredients listed above. “El Hoyo” itself is a culinary tradition in Santiago. Here one lives and breathes true Chilean culture. It’s been around for over 90 years and is located near “Estación Central,” one of Santiago’s main functioning train stations. Anthony Bourdain, the New York chef famous for his travel and culinary show “No Reservations,” stated that he experienced by far the best food in Chile at this particular restaurant, after having explored large swaths of Chile for a chapter in his TV program. A ham roll (“arrollado”) or pork shoulder sandwich, with avocado, tomatoes, and mayonnaise is just a sample of what can be served. Cheers! www.elhoyo.cl Walking Through Neighborhoods Walking is sometimes simply the best method for getting a sense of what a city’s streets are like. Regardless of the decentralized political structure (resulting in an abundance of legally separate municipalities) that make for many urban and suburban areas in Chile, Santiago has no lack of celebrated neighborhoods recognized for social interaction, many of which have provided a public space to give life to what’s more than a mere collection of homes, streets, and trees. Some of these particular neighborhoods, or “barrios,” possess amazingly valuable and beautiful architecture and have become Santiago city icons, and just passing through them can be like a walk through history. In “Barrio Italia,” as the older, traditional neighborhood in the municipality of Providencia is known, skyscrapers and tall buildings are noticeably absent, while many of the facades of the former houses date to the early 20th century and are now restaurants and even fashionable design shops. An old hat factory, for example, adorned itself with a more contemporary look and transformed itself into the restaurant “Mucca.” A few blocks down on Avenida Italia there are some twenty or so furniture refurbishers, who work right on the sidewalk thus CHILE – INSPRING INCENTIVES & CONFERENCE providing a special touch to the atmosphere of the area. The mixed culinary offerings stretch from more typical Italian or German fare to restaurants offering more exotic dishes from India or even Russia, plus small art galleries, bars, fresh-‐cut flower stands and upscale coffee shops. Between “Parque Forestal” (the park lining the Mapocho River) and the “Alameda” (the term locals use for Av. Libertador Bernardo O’Higgins, Santiago’s biggest and most transited road) is a little side street called José Victorino Lastarria, the heart of the “Barrio Lastarria” neighborhood, providing a small oasis of calm in the midst of the bustle of downtown. The recipe calls for the same magical ingredients: gastronomy and culture. One of this area’s biggest features is the Museum of Visual Arts, which includes a contemporary Chilean art collection dating from the 1960’s. Right next to the plaza “Mulato Gil” a must see is the mural from Chilean painter Roberto Matta. When you get close to a street called Merced, you’ll notice the neoclassical style of the buildings and an obligatory stop is “Emporio La Rosa,” a perfect place for trying the ice cream flavor that imitates the flower (“rosa,” or rose) which gave the necessary inspiration for the name of this locale. www.mavi.cl Turistik: Santiago’s double -‐decker bus tour Just like in New York or London, red double-‐decker buses weave their way around town daily while never missing Santiago’s primary tourist attractions. The best part of these bus tours is that you can get off or on them as much as you want during their operational hours, from 9:30AM to 6:00PM, all for the same price. The entire trip, assuming you stay on the bus during the entire program, lasts about 2 hours and the buses pass each of the route’s 12 programmed stops about every 30 minutes. The key to enjoy this tour is sitting on the bus’s second level, the best spot for obtaining gorgeous panoramic photos of all of the sights. There are generally never any vehicles of the same height to get in the way of taking that perfect shot. One of the main stops is the “Plaza de Armas,” the center point from which the city was constructed, the “Mercado Central” or main market, the Parque Arauco shopping mall, the Sheraton hotel, plus worthwhile places like the Metropolitan Cathedral, “La Moneda” CHILE – INSPRING INCENTIVES & CONFERENCE (today the presidential palace), the University of Chile, “Estación Mapocho,” Barrio Lastarria and Santa Lucía hill, amongst others. Turistik is available at the hotels, stores, and kiosks that surround each of the route’s stops as well as Turistik information points (similar to kiosks) found at the Parque Arauco Mall and “Patio Bellavista,” a courtyard offering all kinds of culinary and cultural delights in the middle of a bohemian neighborhood of the same name. www.turistik.cl The Titanium Tower and “Barrio El Bosque” Santiago recently hit a “growth spurt” and constructed the country’s tallest building (and 3rd tallest in South America). The Titanium Tower is 190 meters (about 623 feet) tall, with 52 floors and 2 helipads; construction started in 2006 and it was recently inaugurated. The necessary investment for this project was over 120 million US Dollars and is considered by many to be the emblematic symbol of the Chilean bicentennial, celebrated in 2010. So far it’s the biggest milestone for one of the districts with the highest commercial value in Santiago, known as Barrio El Bosque, centered on Isidora Goyenechea and El Bosque avenues. Five important five star hotels are located in the same district: the Radisson, Holiday Inn, the Intercontinental, the Ritz-‐Carlton, and the W, the last one being the only “W” in operation within South America. Along Avenida Isidora Goyenechea what you find is a world class culinary affair. It ranges from the very modern Whiskey Blue (the W’s bar, which features the widest selection of cocktails in the city), to Red2One, a restaurant in the same hotel (but on the rooftop) with unparalleled views of the Andes, to NoSo, a very French styled establishment, to even Osaka, a modern mix of sushi and Asian fusion with a very welcoming, Zen-‐like atmosphere. “Plaza Perú” is a brief rest stop on the way to El Golf Street, one of the entire city’s most elegant residential areas, which somehow manages to coexist in harmony with the incessant mix of business and nightlife. Here you’ll encounter two restaurants with their very own unique styles: “Oporto,” featuring a Mediterranean menu and architecture that’s somehow both modern and classic, and Nolita, an American-‐Italian fusion. What else can you find in what’s perhaps the most contemporary intersection in Santiago? How about Interdesign, a rising star in the field of interior design and decoration? It’s worth the effort to visit and be up to date on the latest trends. Another CHILE – INSPRING INCENTIVES & CONFERENCE gem is the “Feria Chilena del Libro” (Chilean Book Fair), it’s nearly impossible not to leave with a load of treasures under your arm. Opposite this bookstore is Tiramisú, a diamond in the rough when it comes to pizzas. Snatching an open table there during the weekend is nearly on par with winning the lottery. www.titaniumlaportada.cl www.santiagogourmet.com www.nolita.cl www.restaurantoporto.cl The Fine Arts Museum & Gabriela Mistral Center (GAM) Halfway through the length of “Parque Forestal” is where the Fine Arts Museum is found, the primary place for the spreading of visual arts in Chile. Having been founded in September of 1880, it’s the oldest in South America. Two blocks from the museum, you can head over to the “Opera/Cathedral,” an antique building from the old core of the city which was remodeled and transformed to make way for three different culinary creations under the banner of one project: “Restaurant Ópera,” “Ópera/Catedral” (with a bar and live music), and the “Café de la Ópera,” a sure bet for grabbing some grub at almost any time of the day. According to The New York Times, Chile’s capital city is in a state of revival. One of the biggest contributions to its cultural offerings is the Gabriela Mistral Center (GAM is the acronym in Spanish), with an area covering 22,000 square meters that has been reinvented, focusing on scenic and musical works of art. The building, with its defined architectural imprint, has a café, restaurant, and a notable program of plays, dance, and photographic exhibitions. www.mnba.cl www.operacatedral.cl www.gam.cl CHILE – INSPRING INCENTIVES & CONFERENCE Bellavista and “Bohemian” Santiago. Bellavista is like a required pilgrimage for anyone who desires to enjoy the feel of Santiago’s nightlife (and all the drinks that may imply). Since 1955, when the Chilean Nobel Laureate Pablo Neruda arrived at an old mill that would become “La Chascona” (his future house), this neighborhood has been attracting all types of artists and intellectuals. Today it’s colorful and variously styled streets and facades have witnessed a plethora of restaurants, bars, shops, and theaters springing up in the midst of a palpable bohemian atmosphere, with all of its cultural nuances. The newest arrival in Bellavista is centered on Constitución Street and is known as Patio Bellavista. They have practically everything here, from plays in small theaters, to live music, to bars, cafés, restaurants, stores, craft shops, and tourism operators. It’s the ideal compilation for both visitors and locals. The delicacies offered here are succulent and range from a simple gelato at Il Maestrale to French cuisine at Le Fournil Bistró, to traditional Peruvian or Italian fare at Barandarían and Vía Brera, respectively. Chef Joaquín Sabina ventured through these lands and founded La Mordida, specially designed to cure those Mexican cravings. Another of the latest hits where you can follow the crowd is between the restaurant Cienfuegos and the bar Constitución, nearly opposite the front of Patio Bellavista. This bar was founded with the rhythms of Chileans bands that play grunge rock and DJs that rock the crowds until the wee hours of the morning. Not to be missed. During the day, and for those who go at a slower pace, “La Chascona,” Pablo Neruda’s museum-‐like house is highly recommended-‐ it’s one of the three that he once owned, along with the other two in Isla Negra and Valparaíso that are now under the care of the foundation that bears his name. La Chascona is at the high point of the Márquez de La Plata Street and has 3 floors with a small network of stairways. Tours are available every 15 minutes. One of the most noticeable aspects of Neruda’s former home is the collection of knickknacks he accumulated from his travels, and a secret door that connects different parts of the house and the portrait of Matilde Urrutia made by Diego Rivera, amongst others. There is a literary café and a souvenir store on the premises. An event which undoubtedly raised the profile of the neighborhood was the construction of “The Aubrey,” the first designer boutique hotel in Santiago, which was created out of an antique house dating from 1927 that has been beautifully restored at the base of the San Cristóbal hill. There are 15 rooms, each one differently decorated, that aim to provide CHILE – INSPRING INCENTIVES & CONFERENCE a unique experience for the traveler during his stay in the capital. Next to this hotel the acclaimed restaurant “Pasta e Vino” was established, considered by many to be one of the high marks of Italian cuisine in Santiago. www.fundacionneruda.org www.barconstitucion.cl www.patiobellavista.cl www.theaubrey.com Fashion, Boutiques, and Luxury Purchases The intersection of Alonso de Córdova and Nueva Costanera avenues has gradually become, to put it one way, the go-‐to destination for luxury shopping. What used to be a completely residential zone only a few years back, has now been “invaded” by shops sporting brands like Vuitton, Armani, and Gucci, as well as small boutique stores with exclusive selections of purses, shoes, accessories, and various articles of clothing, mainly oriented to women. The transformation is so thorough that the first five star hotel is expected to open there at the end of the year, boasting an investment of nearly USD $25 million and featuring a spa, several restaurants and a conference center. In Alonso de Córdova alone there are no less than 168 locales. This phenomenon is centered on roughly six blocks, and it has become a true outdoor commercial mecca with a VIP clientele. In addition, two of the best restaurants in the city are found here, both of which were rated as “Number 1” by the “Círculo de Cronistas Gastronómicos” (Gastronomic Reviewers Circle): Puerto Fuy and Europeo. There’s also La Mar, managed by renowned Peruvian chef Gastón Acurio, with authentic flavors that no one can pass up and an architectural style heavy on glass windows that’s the place to see and be seen. With shopping bags in hand the next stop is two blocks away towards the riverbanks of the Mapocho, where there are 30 hectares of green space in Parque Bicentenario, an area with multiple levels of trails and bike paths for sports and artificial lakes with black-‐necked swans. www.puertofuy. www.europeo.cl The Green Bicycle: an ecological alternative CHILE – INSPRING INCENTIVES & CONFERENCE “La Bicicleta Verde” (the Green Bicycle) has been around for two years, and is a local enterprise that aims to offer foreign tourists who visit Santiago the chance to roam the city’s streets by bike as a more ecologically sustainable method of transportation. The morning city tour goes from 9:30 AM until about 12:30 PM, and passes through the emblematic neighborhoods of Santiago, such as “Barrio Patronato,” the “Mercado Central” (main market), “La Vega” (farmers’ market), Bellavista and the “Plaza de Armas.” The afternoon tour starts at 2:30 PM and focuses on the country’s recent political history, with visits to “Parque Forestal,” “Barrio Condell” (a neighborhood in the city of Providencia), “Parque Bustamante,” Lastarria, Santa Lucía (the hill), La Moneda (the presidential palace) and the París-‐Londres neighborhood (so named for the 2 streets that were in turn named for the two European cities). At night you can take a tour that begins in the municipality of Las Condes, and go through the parks along Avenida Américo Vespucio and Bicentenario, and from there slowly wind your way down past the gardens and tree-‐lined passages along the Mapocho River to end the evening enjoying a pisco sour in the “Bellas Artes” neighborhood. Bike & Wine is a similar concept, but for visiting three vineyards in “Alto Maipo.” Wine sampling is done straight from the barrels at the last of the three vineyards, which is also organic. This particular adventure package includes a ride to and from the valley, lunch, the mountain bikes themselves, a helmet, and of course, the wine tasting. A straight up ecological vibe. www.labicicletaverde.com The Fashion Museum Around a traditional house inspired by the famous architect Frank Lloyd Wright, located in the eastern section of Santiago, a museum dedicated to clothes and fashion has been installed. This museum has on display, along with other curiosities, an impressive collection of clothing and other accessories straight from the 1980’s, which has gradually become an unquestioned standard in pop culture. The mark of an entire generation is here, from magazine covers from the 80’s to clothing items worn by Madonna or Duran Duran. Other wonders include the dress used by Chilean celebrity Cecilia Bolocco when she was Miss Universe, the silver glove used by Michael Jackson and one of Joan Collins’ outfits used for the series “Dynasty.” CHILE – INSPRING INCENTIVES & CONFERENCE One of its latest acquisitions that will soon be on display is a black leather jacket and a glove used by Arnold Schwarzenegger for the 1984 film Terminator directed by James Cameron. Another jacket once owned by John Lennon, which uses gold designs that imitate old military symbols, is one of the other recently acquired finds at the “Museo de la Moda,” or Fashion Museum. It was purchased at the biggest auction ever conducted to sell former possessions of the ex Beatles singer at Julien’s Auctions in Beverly Hills. www.museodelamoda.cl ABOUT CONDOR TRAVEL:
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Founded in 1977, Condor Travel offers creative, professional support for conference and incentive travel reward planners through their dedicated DMC Divisions in Peru, Chile, Argentina, Brazil, Ecuador and Bolivia. Condor Travel’s dedication earned the highest levels of professional recognition including the prestigious “Crystal Award” for Most Outstanding Incentive Travel Program from Chicago-‐based Society of Incentive and Travel Executives (SITE). For program suggestions for incentive reward and group travel, please contact Nemonic Concepts, Condor Travel’s Australasian Representatives – www.nemonic.com.au | Ph: +61 2 9526 8519 or (0) 412 842 832 | [email protected] Visit Chile: www.chile.travel Condor Travel: www.condortravel.com CHILE – INSPRING INCENTIVES & CONFERENCE