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3 or 4 nights in Santiago - no car - best location?

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Canberra, Australia
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3 or 4 nights in Santiago - no car - best location?

(See summary of questions at end if short on time:)

We are planning a trip to Sth America - flying into Santiago. We won't have a car but we will organise a guide (maybe in a small group) to help with city familiarisation & perhaps a day trip with a local guide as well. So we would like to stay in a central location - preferably walking distance to significant historic sites, museums, cafes, gardens? etc. We assume Santiago has "neighbourhoods" similar to other large cities so even if we do stay in a central location as described, are there any neighbourhoods that are interesting to visit using public transport??...interesting places with good food (maybe lunch) away from tourist crowds?? A third question - if we spent another 4 or so nights in Chile is there a "must see" destination 5 hours Max from Santiago?...preferably visited by coach, car (with a driver), or train, depending on cost etc. We would then fly out of Chile to another destination in Sth America. So in summary our questions are:

1) Best location in Santiago?? 2) Recommendations for a short day trip to a nearby city neighbourhood-good local food?? 3) Suggestions for a 3 or 4 night excursion (maybe by bus or car) 2-5 hrs from Santiago?

Thank you for taking the time to consider & hopefully answer our questions:)

Santiago, Chile
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1. Re: 3 or 4 nights in Santiago - no car - best location?

It would be important to know your dates.

Stanley, Falkland...
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2. Re: 3 or 4 nights in Santiago - no car - best location?

1 - My recommendation based on a few visits is Providencia. But the city is huge, and it has a great metro system, so you can get about very easily..

2 - Valparaiso. 90 minutes. Or the Andes. The city is a UNESCO World Heritage Site, (or parts of it are).. Yes - eat good local food and wine. Plenty of places. Not many train trips. Use comfortable buses.

3 - there are many good destinations in Chile. But it is a long thin country. You may have to fly for your excursion. The Atacama, Lake District and Patagonia are some of the regions that are worth seeing.

But you really ought to come up with things YOU want to see, rather than take the advice of someone who may have very different tastes from you.

Santiago, Chile
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3. Re: 3 or 4 nights in Santiago - no car - best location?

The best location without a car is Lastarria-Bellas Artes close. To the centre. This avoids using the metro (subway) at rush hour. As you can walk to restaurants and many of the sites. Valparaiso is a must. I would add the Elqui Valley to the list of destinations and it is closer to Santiago.

Canberra, Australia
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4. Re: 3 or 4 nights in Santiago - no car - best location?

Thanks so much for those recommendations - it's great to be able to narrow our research down...it was a bit overwhelming to start. Unlike other parts of the world we have travelled to, we aren't so familiar with Sth America. Once again many thanks!

5. Re: 3 or 4 nights in Santiago - no car - best location?

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