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Santiago ranked 3rd in CNN’s ‘World’s 10 most loved cities’

Santiago has gained the number 3 spot in CNN’s list of the world’s most loved cities. The list of cities ‘you never say no to’ include destinations as diverse as Barcelona (no.10), San Francisco (no.4) and Tokyo (no.1). The list presents the captivating traits of each urban haven and praises Santiago for its economics, mountain backdrop and ability to rival all of North America’s east coast cities from LA up to Vancouver. The accolade comes hot on the heels of Santiago’s Central Market being ranked at number 5 in National Geographic’s top ten food markets and in the wake of the New York Times ranking Santiago at number 1 last year in their list of 41 places to go in 2011.  

CNN makes light of Santiago’s valley smog in the face of its incredible snow-capped mountain views and applauds Santiago’s recovery post 8.8 earthquake in 2010. The article describes Santiago as ‘South America’s version of every fine North American left coast city - except with nicer weather (than Vancouver), happier music (than Seattle), sexier cafés (than Portland), better bar hours and caipirinha prices (than L.A.) and cooler-looking people in gray suits and shades (than San Francisco)’. 

To experience Santiago’s music, cafés, caipirinhas and cool people you should check out bohemian neighbourhoods Bellavista, Bellas artes and Barrio Brasil. On a Santiago City Tour you visit Lastarria, a café and restaurant lined bohemian street nestled between Bellavista and Bellas artes. If you’re only planning to be in Santiago for one night then it’s a good idea to do a Santiago City Stopover (including airport transfers, hotel and City Tour), leaving you with free time at night to wander around one of the bohemian neighbourhoods in search of local cuisine and atmosphere. 

The average tourist, however, spends not just one night but an average of 7.8 days in the capital and its surroundings, based on research of Santiago’s 1,400,000 visitors in 2011 (figures disclosed by the Tourism undersecretary). Santiago’s nearby surroundings include coastal gem Valparaiso, the country’s central wine valleys and the snowy Andes mountain range.      

No trip to Santiago in winter is complete without a trip to one of the ski resorts in the Andes mountains. CNN share their tip about heli skiing in Valle Nevado but if you’re after something slightly lower key then go for a day’s skiing or snowboarding at this world famous ski resort with its powdery slopes and panoramic view of Santiago (hopefully it’ll be a clear day!).