Puelche is not bad at all but we feel slightly neutral towards it. It is a good hotel for what it offers but feels like something is missing compared to the nearby Cumbres Patagonicas. There is little to fault this property so no doubt anyone staying here will be perfectly happy during their stay.
Without doubt one of the most popular wineries in the valleys that stretch out from Santiago, the Vina Santa Rita has become famous for its history and dining, in the form of the Dona Paula restaurant. What it should, but thankfully isn’t, so famous for is the grandiose and regal Casa Real.
Definitely our choice of the hotels in the Valparaiso region, the Casa Higueras is a wonderful property that commands outstanding views out across the port. Located on Cerro Alegre, in one of the best parts of the city, the Casa Higueras is a cleverly designed and beautifully decorated place to spend a few nights.
Arguably knocked off the top spot of the hotels in town by Dreams, the Cabo de Hornos is still worthy of consideration. Located right on the main square of the town, it harks back to the time when Punta Arenas was the capital of the "white gold" rush. A converted, Parisian-styled house, the hotel and rooms have a relatively grand feel to them.
Once the only option in and around the Torres del Paine, the Explora has long led the way in this area as far as views, service, food, accommodation, activities, guiding, facilities…etc, etc goes! Today, however, with the arrival of the Tierra and Awasi properties, the crown has been wobbling a little!
Featured in The Lonely planet and one of a favourites in a certain accommodation review websites, Kalfu is certainly a decent choice for those with a limited budget in mind who don’t want to compromise on character or hospitality. These points make this property stand out in our opinion.
At around a 2 hour drive from Santiago, Valparaiso is a quirky and chaotic port that has come to be one of the real highlights for any visit to Chile. The main reason that most head here is for the colourful hills ("Cerros") that overlook the port and, with Valparaiso's nomadic and ever changing population of sailors, prostitutes and dock hands, there is an air of anarchy that reigns in abundance. It is one of those places that oozes character and charm!
Torres del Paine
Arguably the most famous park in all of South America, the Torres del Paine National Park is a true mecca for those looking to experience the rugged nature of Chile’s Patagonia and to discover some of the continent’s best hiking. Reached through the “frontier” town of Punta Arenas, the national park lies right on the border between Chile and Argentina and features, as its centerpiece, a colossal granite outcrop of epic proportions! We tend to recommend at least 3 nights to explore the area, although many of the longer walks are up to a week.
The Wine Valleys
Heading out to the east, west and south of Santiago takes you through the stunning and fertile wine valleys of Chile. This gently rolling countryside, now covered in ancient vines, represents the heart of Chilean wine production and is often a must see for many that visit the country. From the Maipo valley to the Colchagua Valley further south, the standard of accommodation and the level of the restaurants has advanced in leaps and bounds over the last few years and this is a region that is definitely worth a few nights.
With over a third of Chile's 16 million inhabitants, Santiago is, both metaphorically and geographically, at the heart of Chile. For most it is the starting or ending point for a trip out to see some of Chile's stunning natural beauty, but, as a burgeoning city Santiago has plenty to offer those that are looking to experience what it is to be in Chile on a more day to day basis. In an era post Pinochet, Santiago, with its great dining, nightlife and simple beauty, is very much a window into modern Chile.