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Recommendations for our Trip

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Lorton, VA
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290 posts
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Recommendations for our Trip

My wife and I would like to Visit Santiago in January 2014. This would be our first Trip to South America and I am in the infancy of planning this trip. In years past, we have gone to Europe, Mexico and the Caribbean. Each time I have planned the trip myself without to using tour guides, but with those trips, wine was not involved.

Each time I plan my trip I go to tripadvisor for some assistance in helping me start my trip. I have always had the best luck with this so I hope my streak continues. So here is what I have thus far, it isn't much, but I look forward to your help.

First. I work for Marriott and during the holiday season, Marriott gives and unbelievable discount to all its employees. I may end up paying less than $60 dollars a night for a room. For a 5 night stay after tax should run me around $400.00. So I will not have to worry about this.

My wife and I have no problem using public transportation, based on everything I have read it should be easy to get around Chile this way. So what are some of the must sees and how days Should I spend in Santiago before I hit the wineries.

Wine tours. I did visit Santiago Wine tours.com and while they did have day tours from Santiago to wine country, starting at $275 per person was pretty steep. One day of that would cost more than my Hotel Stay. What are some of the recommendations. Would it be best to rent a car and drive myself etc..

Valparasio is this a must see if so, is this a day trip or an overnight trip, is there a Marriott there.

Thanks in advance for your assistance on this.


Santiago, Chile
Destination Expert
for Chile, Santiago
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14 reviews
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1. Re: Recommendations for our Trip

There is no Marrit in Valparaiso or Viña del Mar. It is a good day trip easily done by bus. Renting a car is a good option, just don't rent from Alamo, but drinking and driving rules are strict and enforced. An alternative would be to hire a car and driver.

There are many vineyards between Santiago and Valparaiso.

Denver, Colorado
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122 posts
55 reviews
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2. Re: Recommendations for our Trip

We found the mercado central to be very interesting (it's the local fish market, very bustling and good for pictures). Also loved Cerro Santa Lucia--beautiful architecture and views of the city from the top. The Bellavista neighborhood had nice restaurants and outdoor patios... I'd suggest wandering through there. We also took the subway to the artisan shops at Los Dominicos (lots of different art, handicrafts, clothing, sculptures, etc).

It's true that paying that much for a wine tour seems steep... my husband and I booked through Santiago Adventures and paid about $580 USD for the two of us, but it was worth it because we got private tours at all three of the wineries (some of them opened just for us--you couldn't just walk in and ask for a tour). So we got special access that normally people wouldn't get. Also, all three wineries that we visited gave us pretty heavy pours, so if we were to try to drive, it would have been very difficult. Plus, driving in Santiago is tough. Some streets are one way on this day, then the other way another day. It was much more hassle-free to take the tour. For us it was worth the money, even though in general we tend to avoid taking tours or spending too much money.

Santiago, Chile
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15 posts
19 reviews
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3. Re: Recommendations for our Trip

Congratulations for choosing Santiago! It's a great place to live and visit! My wife and I have been here a little over a year and love it! We aren't wine enthusiast (love to drink it just not interested in the wineries) so we haven’t made the tours; although my wife would love to someday. Like mentioned earlier, there isn’t a Marriot but there is a Ritz Carlton. If I remember they are connected somehow. It is located in Las Condes on one of the main streets and is in a very safe neighborhood. There is a lot of things to do within walking distance and if you have no problem with public transportation, you will like using the METRO. It is one of the best systems I have been around. All over Santiago there are things to do. Bella Vista, which would include the zoo (which is easily passed) and a trip on the Funicular up to the top of a hill that overlooks Santiago. I would say go to the bar at the top of the W Hotel located on Isidora Goyenechea and has a beautiful view, but kinda spendy. If you like Cuban Cigars, there is a cigar shop just below the W. There are many nice restaurants and I would definitely stop at Tiramasu for Pizza. If steak is your bag, there’s plenty of that as well. My wife and I eat at a nice local place called Confiteria Torres down the street from the W and we split a steak, mushroom cream sauce, grilled veggies, a bottle of vino and always finish up with Irish Coffee; I can taste it now! As mentioned, the Mercado Central is a fun place to visit. We take the metro to Universidad de Chile and walk to the Plaza del Armas and then on to the Central Market. You asked if Valparaiso was a MUST SEE. Well that would depend on what you’re looking for. Valparaiso is one (if not the) first places settled by the Spanish. It’s a major sea port for Chile and has deep roots. The places are nice and there are tours that will take you around the town and show you the old architecture, etc. I would suggest renting a car in Santiago and driving to Valparaiso as you drive through some of the Chilean Wine Country and you can see the wineries from the road; write down the names and Google them to see what you like. There are several tours that will take you to the wineries and on of the more popular (and spendy) tours is Santiago Adventures. I think a MUST SEE is Maintencillo and Zapallar. There is a beach trail located in Zapallar that leads to Penguin Island that is probably one of the most beautiful places I ever been.

I am willing to collect some information and send it to you as I’ll be in the USA in May. If interested, drop me a note and tell me what exactly you might be interested in doing. Best to all!


4. Re: Recommendations for our Trip

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Miami, Florida
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3 posts
10 reviews
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5. Re: Recommendations for our Trip

We just came this week from a 13 day trip to Chile, we went from San pedro de Atacama to Tierra del Fuego (Puerto Natales, Punta Arenas and the Torrs del paine park). It was an amazing trip. We were able to do the wineries together with the one day tour to Vina del Mar and Valparaiso, we had a private tour guide and she took us to two of the wineries on the way to Valparaiso, and we only had to pay extra what we drank. We booked our tour through Chile for Less, and we were able to customize the trip to what we wanted to do. If you need any more info. let me know./

Silicon Valley CA
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13 posts
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6. Re: Recommendations for our Trip

Do yourself a favor and spend New Year's eve in Vina or Valpo, they have an absolutely spectacular fireworks display that covers the entire bay from Valparaiso to Con Con. Book a room with a view in Valpo or in Vina. Start early though.

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7. Re: Recommendations for our Trip

Hello BillyAbroad,

Great information and concise delivery. My girlfriend and I are planning a trip to Santiago next spring, about a year from now. We're thinking Santiago for a few days, then Mendoza, then down to the Patagonia region. Is that too much in 10 days?

We love wineries, and we're medium athletic, so half-day hikes are fun. I live on Cape Cod and would love to help folks with "best finds" around here. I'm hoping you're the same for Santiago. Thanks!

8. Re: Recommendations for our Trip

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