Santiago de Chile
The tour begins with us being picked-up from the hotel in the morning and taken downtown to Mercado Central. This well-renowned market, popular with locals and tourists alike, supplies many Santiago homes and business with fresh fish all year round. Next to the market is Plaza de Armas, Santiago’s main square and kilometer zero, the point from which all distances in the country are measured. Famous architecture in the square includes the Metropolitan Cathedral and the central post office, originally built as a house for Spanish conqueror Pedro de Valdivia. Close by stands the Justice Tribunal, in a neo-classical building housing the Supreme Court, ex-Congress and beautiful gardens.
From here we walk towards the Alameda, the main street of the city center, via busy pedestrian walkway Paseo Ahumada. This walkway is famous for its crowds, shops, and diversity of people. Once we reach the Alameda we walk a couple of blocks west to the Presidential palace, La Moneda. The palace, a model of 18th-century colonial architecture, is one of Santiago’s most recognizable landmarks and a symbol of Chile’s political past and its famously turbulent history.
Next, we climb Cerro Santa Lucía, where Santiago was founded in 1541 by Pedro Valdivia. From the top of the hill, there is a great 360 panoramic view of Santiago. Our tour finishes by visiting the bohemian Lastarria neighborhood, lined with cafés, restaurants, small theaters, bookstores and boutique shops. Afterward, we will be driven to our hotel.