I have been fortunate to travel to Santiago several times and to be able to learn about the Chilean culture, explore different places, and visit most of the wine regions near Santiago.
The Chilean people are very receptive and welcome and they always make time to help and provide recommendations.
As more people arrive, from other parts of the country to live in Santiago, the city has grown tremendously in the past years. Therefore, the night life has grown too, including great seafood restaurants, bars, and night clubs.
There are so many things to do in Santiago. You may visit the downtown area for the historical sites and the Market place. A quick tour of the city is to take the cable car to San Cristobal Hill for a view of the city or to stroll at the beautiful Santa Lucia Park; all these sites can be reached by subway.
The best hotels are located in Vitacura and Las Condes, both areas are mixed residential and commercial neighborhoods and are considered safe places. They are a little away from the city center but easy access from the Metro.
Santiago is surrounded by the Andes Mountains and the climate is ideal for the wine industry. Unless you are travelling to Chile in the winter for snow skiing, May to October is the ideal time to visit the wine region.
Even if you are spending only a few days in Santiago, it’s worth to visit at least one of the wineries:
Half Day tour to Maipo Valle. Some of the most popular wineries are only a 1 hour drive from the city: Santa Rita, Cousino Macul, and Concha Y Toro, to name a few. At each winery, you will tour the facility, have a wine tasting, and have time to enjoy the beautiful gardens.
Full Day tour - Tour one of the wineries at the Casablanca Valley and then drive to the coast to the famous port town of Valparaiso and Vina del Mar Resort.
2 days/1 night – Santa Cruz area is approximately 125 miles from Santiago, the region produces many red wines and provides a scenic landscape. After visiting one of the wineries, you should spend a night at Hotel Santa Cruz, a beautiful hotel with colonial style architecture. Next to the hotel there is a small paleontological museum displaying pre-Columbian artifacts.