Santiago isn't just the capital of Chile and the country's largest city, it's also one of the most alluringly beautiful metropolitan areas in South America. From gorgeous mountain views to 19th century neoclassical architecture, Santiago is a feast for the eyes. There's always something to see, do, eat or experience. Keep reading for five reasons why you should pack your bags and grab some cheap tickets to Santiago, Chile:
1. Skiing in the Valle Nevado
If you want to hit the slopes South American-style, there's no better place to do it than the Valle Nevado. Just a short drive outside of the city, this resort area is perfect for hillside experts and beginners alike. Skiers and snowboarders can carve out some fresh powder while newbies take a lesson from local veterans. And when you're done skiing for the day, you can head to the lodge and have some real Chilean hot cocoa.
2. The view from the Costanera Center
Santiago is home to the Costanera Center, the tallest building in Latin America. From the top of the building, you can get an incredible 360 degree view of the city and surrounding mountains. Plus, the building contains a six story shopping mall, fine dining restaurants and two high-end hotels. When you want to make your friends back home jealous of your trip, this is where you can snap that satisfying photo.
3. A stroll around the Cerro Santa Lucia
In the 19th century, the mayor of Santiago turned this rocky hill into one of the city's most beautiful and well-manicured parks. Here, you can stroll through green lawns, up cut-rock stairs and climb into the Torre Mirador, a small castle-like tower. And if that isn't enough park for you, the Parque Forestal lies just a few blocks north. There, you can relax on a quiet bench and take in a local art performance.
4. Exploring the city's museums
There are quite a few different museums in Santiago, each offering a unique few of Chilean culture, history and art. For example, there's the Museo Chileno de Arte Precolombino, which features artwork and artefacts from a time before Europeans had settled the region. For art from around the world, the Centro Cultural Palacio de La Moneda is a sprawling institution with pieces from across the globe. For modern art, consider checking out Estacion Mapocho or the Santiago Museum of Contemporary Art. And for history buffs, the Chilean National Museum of Natural History has many exhibits about Chilean culture and nature.
5. Watch an exciting horse race
There's no better way to get your adrenaline running than to head down to the race track and place a bet on your favorite horse. At the Club Hípico de Santiago, you'll find thoroughbred horses competing for the top prize. It's a great way to spend an afternoon in this enticing Latin American city.