I’m really excited to interview Steph Dyson of Worldly Adventurer about Santiago, Chile. Steph’s tips for the best things to do in Santiago are awesome because she visited for a weekend and ended up staying for three years. She fell in love with the city and now shares her insider knowledge of Chile in her book, Moon Chile: With Rapa Nui (Easter Island). Steph highly recommends Santiago, even though the city is underappreciated by many tourists and travel writers.
Santiago is the capital and largest city in Chile. It is known as the safest city in Latin America (The Economist). Spanish is the official language of Chile, although you may hear other languages and dialects. The city’s diversity can be experienced while meandering through its many contrasting neighborhoods, including lively Latino nightlife in Bellavista. Don’t forget to explore the hills that surround the city for incredible views of the city and the Andes mountains in the background.
The city has a Mediterranean climate, which means mild winters and very hot summers. Most locals escape the city in January and February when temperatures peak around 95* F, so this is a great time to visit when the city is at its quietest. Remember, that Santiago is in the Southern Hemisphere, so summer is December through March. Visitors will find numerous festivals throughout the year, including the a Mil International Theater Festival, Tirana Festival, Fiesta Patria (Independence Day), and Festival Coreógrafos (classical dance and music).
We share a lot of resources and local suggestions in today’s podcast, but you should also check out Chile Travel, the country’s convention & visitor’s bureau. They are a wealth of information and can help you plan an itinerary based on your time, budget, and interests.
If you’d like to learn how to travel for free using airline miles and hotel points, check out my free 7-day email course.
Getting around Santiago
The local airport is Arturo Merino Benitez International Airport (SCL), which is about a 15-minute drive to the city center. Steph recommends renting a van from the airport to the city. A few of her favorite tour and transfer vans are Miles and Smiles, TransVIP, and Delfos. She estimates a shared van ride is $10 per person.
Steph strongly suggests that you don’t rent a car while in Santiago. Traffic is awful and the unpredictability of local drivers can take some getting used to. Instead, Steph suggests using the local metro to get around or getting a taxi. The metro is fast, efficient, and very cheap at around $0.50 per ride.
Places we talked about on the podcast
Here is a map of all of the places we talked about on the podcast episode with Steph Dyson about Santiago, Chile. You can zoom into the map and click on each dot to explore the city.
- Red dots = best places to eat in Santiago, Chile
- Green dots = best things to do in Santiago, Chile
- Yellow dots = best places to stay in Santiago, Chile
Who is Steph Dyson?
Steph Dyson is an SEO copywriter & strategist, travel journalist & blogger with expertise in South America. She’s originally from Britain and moved Santiago for three years after falling in love with the city during a weekend trip. You can find her travel articles on her site Worldly Adventurer and freelance articles around the internet.
You can find her in-depth knowledge of Chile in her book, Moon Chile: With Rapa Nui (Easter Island).
Here are a few articles that she’s written:
- The Ultimate Chile Itinerary for Ten Days or Two Weeks
- Where to Stay in Santiago: The City’s Best Hotels and Hostels
- Is It Safe to Travel to South America? 7 Things You Should Consider in the COVID-19 Age
Big thanks to today’s podcast partner – Acorns
This episode is brought to you, in part, by Acorns. With Acorns, you can invest spare change automatically on every purchase that you make. Plus, you can earn Found Money by shopping at participating retailers. This is a great way to easily build up your travel fund.
For a limited time, when you sign up at wetravelthere.com/acorns, we’ll both earn $5.
Stay tuned for our next episode
Listen to the next episode when Tom Libelt of Smart Brand Marketing shares the best things to do in Chiang Mai, Thailand. Tom and I talk about flying lanterns at the Yi Peng Festival, visiting elephant sanctuaries, and gorgeous temples filled with history and reverence. We hope you’ll join us when We Travel There.
To learn more about destinations in Central and South America, listen to our other episodes: