SANTIAGO, CHILE: One of the great things about Santiago is that it isn’t necessary to go far from the city to find some great walking and hiking spots. There are three hills; Santa Lucia, San Cristóbal and Manquehuito Hill – located in the North-East of Santiago in Vitacura and is the highest peak in the city rising 1078m above the surrounding area. Our guide Gloria Apara made it to the top by sunset to watch the lights of Santiago.
My City: Santiago, Chile
Name: Gloria Apara
Profession: Writer and Photographer at Nomadic Chica and Physical Therapist
Where do you live? Santiago, the capital of Chile
Here I grew up: Santiago, Chile
My early memory: Going to San Cristobal Hill for a view to the entire city and the amazing Andes Mountains.
My favorite place to eat: I can’t recommend just one, but for food my favourite area is the city centre.
What do you eat there? I love to visit the Central Market to eat seafood and the Biggest Vegetables Market to have traditional Chilean food. Also great Peruvian food and few good Thai restaurants are my favourites.
Meet the locals: A nice area is Bellavista and Lastarria. Locals and travellers usually go there to have drinks, to eat and for party. Here are also many cultural activities and green areas.
My favorite bar: When visiting the city centre I never miss ‘La Piojera’, a very traditional bar where they serve a drink called ‘Earthquake’ (Terremoto). It’s normally crowded here but funny to visit.
Best place for first date? I’m going to talk personally: I would go to eat and dance some Salsa or Bachata. All this can be done in Bellavista/Lastarria area. Very important skills to figure out on a first date, and the experience can be very good or a total disaster.
My secret place: A really cool spot right in the city is the Manquehuito Hill, natural spot to do some trekking and great views of the city. After living there for so many years I just discovered this area on my last visit to Santiago.
My best advice: Don’t be afraid of street dogs, they are everywhere and are super friendly as everybody feeds and take care of them.
My favourit shop: I love to go to Patronato, it’s a neighborhood were I can find almost anything I want, from clothes and earrings to Asian Food. Really close to it is the biggest vegetables market: La Vega were I normally try to buy my food, absolutely worth a visit.
Taxi or other local transport: Local transport is easy to use, there’s a ticket system for buses and metro, all works with a card called Bip! For taxis be aware on the taximeter and payment, because it’s been some bad experiences between travelers and taxi drivers.
Keep away of: Rush hour can be bad, try to avoid it! Take care of your personal stuff while in the city centre. In general it’s very safe but just pick pocketing is not so rare and don’t leave your mobile/camera on the table in a bar or restaurant.
CLICK LARGE PHOTOS SANTIAGO