Follow in the footsteps of Pablo Neruda
Speaking of which, fans of the beloved Nobel Prize-winning poet (who was also the most famous communist in post-WWII Chile) will want to tour La Chascona (www.fundacionneruda.org/es), the house where Pablo Neruda once resided with his mistress, Matilde Urrutia. Then take the funicular up to the top of Cerro San Cristobal for breathtaking views of the Chilean capital.
In the mood for an expertly made Pisco Sour (Chile claims to have invented this divine cocktail which sees Pisco mixed with sugar and fresh lemon juice)? Make a beeline for a bar in Bellas Artes or Bellavista - two postcard perfect barrios, packed with buzzy bars serving potent Pisco Sours.
Check into CasAltura
Naysayers will no doubt tell you that hostels are synonymous with uncomfortable, germ-ridden bunk beds, shared bathrooms and sleepless nights (caused by the fear that someone might steal your suitcase). The naysayers haven’t stayed at CasAltura (www.casaltura.com) - a gorgeous 100 year-old building that's more flashpacker than backpacker thanks, in no small part, to its stunning rooftop terrace. CasAltura’s location can’t be bettered either: the ‘boutique’ hostel is within easy walking distance of most of Santiago’s main sights.
BA launched flights to Santiago from London Heathrow on 3 January 2017
Words and pictures: Kaye Holland