Wednesday, December 7, 2016

Santiago, Valparaíso, & Viña Del Mar - A Recap

What a great start to what will be a whirlwind tour. Santiago is a charming city that comes to life during the week and really rests on the weekends and after 7PM during the week. Most places you will not find open after dark. And it seems like that's a better way to live. Work hard in the daylight, and enjoy your evenings and weekends. Relative to where we came from, Santiago is a small city. You can walk to almost all the sights. Taking the metro makes traversing distances even quicker. Speaking Spanish has certainly been challenging, but we've managed to order food and find our way around just fine.

Academy of Fine Arts

Statue of Virgin Mary atop Cerro San Cristobal

View from Cerro San Cristobal

La Vega Market

Fresh Fruits & Vegetables in La Vega

Fresh Fish in Mercado Central

Fresh Squeezed Juice in La Vega Chica

Pastel de Choclo (corn pie filled with meat and quail eggs)

Chorrillana - a typical Chilean dish of sliced beef with french fries, fried eggs, and fried onions.
Pippin - a dense white fish

Grilled Octopus

Valparaíso and Viña Del Mar are seaside cities along the coast of Chile. The former is a port city with plenty of history, character, and charm. You can see it in the architecture and street art all around. The cerros (or hills) and the steps which lead you up to the tops are breathtaking in both view and physical demand. 

Viña Del Mar is a speedy bus ride up the coast that only costs the equivalent of $0.90 USD. It's a great getaway from the city life so you can enjoy the beach and views of Valparaíso. The water was quite cold considering it is summer here, but that does not stop many of the locals from taking a dip. 

View of one of the cerros of Valparaíso


Love mosaic

Mural on a local establishment

Colorful Escalera


Viña del Mar pier

As I write this post, we've already flown out of Santiago to a town called Calama. From there, we took a 90 minute bus ride to the town of San Pedro de Atacama. And for the next 4 days, we will explore the Atacama Desert! It is the driest desert in the world and one of the most picturesque. 

Stay tuned. More to come in the next few days... Hasta luego!

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