Cultural And History Tour Of Santiago, Chile

  • Chile - Culture and History

  • Trip ID: 1571

3 Day Trip
Per Day Price Level $$$$
Per Day Budget $ 439
Per Day USD ranges:
$$$$ < $250
$$$$ $250-500
$$$$ $500-750
$$$$ $750+
  • Explore Chile’s central valley and understand its culture and history.
  • Enjoy delicious Chilean cuisine and the best regional wines over the course of your stay.
  • Discover Santiago's vibrant markets and its famous 19th century wrought-iron building, designed by architect Gustav Eiffel.
  • Wander around the Metropolitan Cathedral and the National Historical Museum, the Fine Arts Museum and Bellavista.
  • Visit the village of Los Dominicos and be inspired by the delicate and beautiful handicrafts produced by the locals.
  • Travel to the Casablanca Valley where wines that rival those of Napa and Sonoma valleys in California are produced.
  • Meet the popular self-taught artist, Gonzalo Ilabaca, and learn all about his art inspired by Van Gogh and Edvard Munch.

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  • Itinerary Summary

    Day 01 : Santiago

    Today upon arrival at Santiago’s airport, a driver & guide will meet you and take you to your hotel.
     

    The Lastarria Hotel includes a swimming pool enclosed in a walled garden, spa services and beauty treatments can be enjoyed at this beautifully renovated 1927 mansion set in Santiago’s chic Lastarria district. With a marble staircase and elegant wall moldings, this boutique hotel boasts details of 5-star décor. The rooms are styled with cream-colored walls, warm hues and parquet floors with lush rugs.
     

    Some rooms include antique fireplaces, ample balconies with wrought-iron garden chairs and baths with decorated ceramic tile-work. A full buffet breakfast is offered with home-made treats. The restaurant serves chef-designed specialties. Additionally, there are wine tasting sessions with a charcuterie selection.
     

    After checking-in and freshening up, your driver and guide will take you to the Bocanariz Restaurant in the Lastarria district. Bocanariz is a wine bar as well as an innovative restaurant where the cuisine has been designed to promote pairing with their extensive selection of wines. Served by its owners and a trained team of sommeliers, the ambiance is warm and casual, where the magic of an old restored house and the technology necessary to provide excellent service are united. Here you will have the opportunity to enjoy a tasting of some of Chile’s excellent wines.
     

    After lunch we will start our tour of Santiago at the central market, a colorful conglomeration of fish and seafood, fruits, vegetables, and flowers housed in an exquisite 19th century wrought-iron building designed by the famous French architect, Gustav Eiffel. We will later continue down the main avenues of the civic center and the seat of government, the neoclassical La Moneda Palace, built during the 18th century. Then we'll visit the Plaza de Armas, Santiago’s main square, a picturesque plaza surrounded by the 18th century Metropolitan Cathedral, the National Historical Museum, and the Central Post Office.  Leaving downtown, we will head towards the Forestal Park, leading to the Fine Arts Museum and Bellavista, the bohemian artsy center of Santiago.
     

    You will then visit the handicraft village of Los Dominicos.  Here you will find an impressive variety of handicrafts including works by various indigenous groups from across the country.  The beautiful Colonial-style architecture of the center and its picturesque Andean backdrop make this visit unique.  You will also have an opportunity to watch the craftsmen as they work with pottery, copper, stone, wood, wool and glass products.
     

    After this tour, your driver will take you back to your hotel, where you will have the rest of the evening at leisure.
     

    Accommodation: The Lastarria Hotel

    Meals: Breakfast

    Day 02 : Valparaiso

    This morning after breakfast, your driver and guide will pick you up and take you 1 hour west of Santiago, to the Casablanca Valley.
     

    The Casablanca Valley is located between the coastal mountain range and the Pacific Ocean. Vineyards have grown here since 1875, but only since the 1980’s was the true potential of this valley discovered, when it was determined that the soil and the conditions were in many ways similar to the Napa and Sonoma valleys in California.  This valley is located in a temperate semi-arid climate zone, characterized by alternating short, relatively rainy winters and long, continually dry summers.  The valley is oriented in such a way that daily ocean breezes cool the grapes on the vines and result in intensely fruity wines. Additionally, very favorable sunlight conditions influence the grape ripening process, creating unique conditions that provide its wines with unique features.
     

    Once here, we will visit Quintay Winery. Quintay has a newly completed state-of-art winery, which officially opened in March 2009.
     

    Upon arrival in Valparaiso, we will take a tour of the city. Our tour starts off at Errazuriz street where examples of early 20th century British influenced architecture can be seen.  We will visit the 21 of May view point with its excellent vistas of the colorful hillside houses, the port and across the whole bay. Then we will take the Artilleria elevator (funicular) and descend to take a trolley that will lead us towards Concepción Hill.  Our vehicle will be waiting to takes us up a few blocks.  We will then walk through a couple of alleyways and descend the Concepción Hill through the Los Perales funicular that will lead us towards the Sotomayor Plaza, where we will find a monument dedicated to a few Chilean heroes.
     

    Next, we will have lunch at La Concepcion Restaurant. The 8 tables at this sleek new restaurant sit in one of the prettiest gardens in the city. The eclectic menu is slanted toward seafood, with excellent ceviche and sashimi on order, along with large green salads dressed with hunks of goat cheese, olives, and pearly shrimp.
     

    Today we will have a very special, private vist with a famous Chilean artist, Gonzalo Ilabaca, who will share his work with us in his home in Valparaiso.
     

    Gonzalo Ilabaca is a self-taught artist who was born in Concepcion, Chile in 1959. He studied medicine at the Catholic University of Chile, and left during his fourth year to entirely devote himself to painting. He became somewhat of a nomad, traveling throughout Europe & Asia and being inspired by the culture, and learning by studying the works of Van Gogh and Edvard Munch.
     

    He has participated in collective shows in Chile, Peru, Ecuador, Mexico, Canada, Spain, England, India and Japan.
     

    After this visit, you will check-in to your hotel.
     

    Located in the heart of Cerro Alegre and facing an impressive view of the bay of Valparaíso, Casa Higueras is the first boutique, design hotel to open in this port town.  After careful restoration work in this stately 1920’s mansion, Casa Higueras offers a combination of modern comfort and warmth from the past, a reminiscent sense that reflects the city’s own rhythm and atmosphere.
     

    Accommodation: Casa Higueras

    Meals: Breakfast

    Day 03 : Santiago

    This morning after checking out of your hotel, your driver and guide will take you to Santiago’s airport for your flight.
     

    Meals: Breakfast

  • Duration
    3 days
    Difficulty
    Easy
    Primary Activities
    Culture and History
    No. of travellers
    Min. 2
    Other Activities
    None
    Children Allowed
    No
  • Comfort
    Learn more
    Super luxury

    Our highest-end category of accommodation, Super Luxury is defined by top quality customer service and premium amenities. Hotels in this exclusive category include the Aman resorts, Oberoi Vilas hotels, and certain independent purveyors.

    Luxury

    Luxury Hotels meet the standards of most well-known 5-star hotel brands around the world, and include premium accommodations and amenities. In some cases our Luxury category overlaps with the "boutique" hotels, many of which are equally luxurious and accommodating.

    Boutique

    Boutique hotels are typically smaller, or independently owned hotels that offer top-end service and amenities equivalent to luxury providers. Boutique hotels often differentiate themselves from bigger hotel brands through their unique character, location, or history.

    Glamping

    Glamping (short for “glamorous camping”) and lodges denotes outdoor-focused accommodations that combine the best of nature with a designer / comfort angle in mind, so customers can get the best of both worlds.

    Camping

    Camping refers to a wide range of tented accommodation, which will most likely apply to outdoor / adventure trips like trekking, hiking, etc.

    Others

  • Price Details (per person)

    High Season Jan to Dec $ 1,317 $ 439 per day

    * All Prices are per person based on double occupancy. Some savings may be available for larger groups.

Cost Includes
  • Bilingual guide plus driver
  • All program transfers in a spacious fully equipped private van
  • Breakfast
  • Entrance fees for wineries and museums
  • Wine tasting at Bocanariz
Cost Excludes
  • Lodging and transfers prior to or after program
  • Visa fees
  • Personal items such as: telephone, laundry, room service
  • Alcoholic beverages not mentioned in the itinerary
  • Gratuities
  • Airfare
  • Sauna & SPA services are not included in some hotel rates
Day 01 : Santiago

Today upon arrival at Santiago’s airport, a driver & guide will meet you and take you to your hotel.
 

The Lastarria Hotel includes a swimming pool enclosed in a walled garden, spa services and beauty treatments can be enjoyed at this beautifully renovated 1927 mansion set in Santiago’s chic Lastarria district. With a marble staircase and elegant wall moldings, this boutique hotel boasts details of 5-star décor. The rooms are styled with cream-colored walls, warm hues and parquet floors with lush rugs.
 

Some rooms include antique fireplaces, ample balconies with wrought-iron garden chairs and baths with decorated ceramic tile-work. A full buffet breakfast is offered with home-made treats. The restaurant serves chef-designed specialties. Additionally, there are wine tasting sessions with a charcuterie selection.
 

After checking-in and freshening up, your driver and guide will take you to the Bocanariz Restaurant in the Lastarria district. Bocanariz is a wine bar as well as an innovative restaurant where the cuisine has been designed to promote pairing with their extensive selection of wines. Served by its owners and a trained team of sommeliers, the ambiance is warm and casual, where the magic of an old restored house and the technology necessary to provide excellent service are united. Here you will have the opportunity to enjoy a tasting of some of Chile’s excellent wines.
 

After lunch we will start our tour of Santiago at the central market, a colorful conglomeration of fish and seafood, fruits, vegetables, and flowers housed in an exquisite 19th century wrought-iron building designed by the famous French architect, Gustav Eiffel. We will later continue down the main avenues of the civic center and the seat of government, the neoclassical La Moneda Palace, built during the 18th century. Then we'll visit the Plaza de Armas, Santiago’s main square, a picturesque plaza surrounded by the 18th century Metropolitan Cathedral, the National Historical Museum, and the Central Post Office.  Leaving downtown, we will head towards the Forestal Park, leading to the Fine Arts Museum and Bellavista, the bohemian artsy center of Santiago.
 

You will then visit the handicraft village of Los Dominicos.  Here you will find an impressive variety of handicrafts including works by various indigenous groups from across the country.  The beautiful Colonial-style architecture of the center and its picturesque Andean backdrop make this visit unique.  You will also have an opportunity to watch the craftsmen as they work with pottery, copper, stone, wood, wool and glass products.
 

After this tour, your driver will take you back to your hotel, where you will have the rest of the evening at leisure.
 

Accommodation: The Lastarria Hotel

Meals included: Breakfast

Day 02 : Valparaiso

This morning after breakfast, your driver and guide will pick you up and take you 1 hour west of Santiago, to the Casablanca Valley.
 

The Casablanca Valley is located between the coastal mountain range and the Pacific Ocean. Vineyards have grown here since 1875, but only since the 1980’s was the true potential of this valley discovered, when it was determined that the soil and the conditions were in many ways similar to the Napa and Sonoma valleys in California.  This valley is located in a temperate semi-arid climate zone, characterized by alternating short, relatively rainy winters and long, continually dry summers.  The valley is oriented in such a way that daily ocean breezes cool the grapes on the vines and result in intensely fruity wines. Additionally, very favorable sunlight conditions influence the grape ripening process, creating unique conditions that provide its wines with unique features.
 

Once here, we will visit Quintay Winery. Quintay has a newly completed state-of-art winery, which officially opened in March 2009.
 

Upon arrival in Valparaiso, we will take a tour of the city. Our tour starts off at Errazuriz street where examples of early 20th century British influenced architecture can be seen.  We will visit the 21 of May view point with its excellent vistas of the colorful hillside houses, the port and across the whole bay. Then we will take the Artilleria elevator (funicular) and descend to take a trolley that will lead us towards Concepción Hill.  Our vehicle will be waiting to takes us up a few blocks.  We will then walk through a couple of alleyways and descend the Concepción Hill through the Los Perales funicular that will lead us towards the Sotomayor Plaza, where we will find a monument dedicated to a few Chilean heroes.
 

Next, we will have lunch at La Concepcion Restaurant. The 8 tables at this sleek new restaurant sit in one of the prettiest gardens in the city. The eclectic menu is slanted toward seafood, with excellent ceviche and sashimi on order, along with large green salads dressed with hunks of goat cheese, olives, and pearly shrimp.
 

Today we will have a very special, private vist with a famous Chilean artist, Gonzalo Ilabaca, who will share his work with us in his home in Valparaiso.
 

Gonzalo Ilabaca is a self-taught artist who was born in Concepcion, Chile in 1959. He studied medicine at the Catholic University of Chile, and left during his fourth year to entirely devote himself to painting. He became somewhat of a nomad, traveling throughout Europe & Asia and being inspired by the culture, and learning by studying the works of Van Gogh and Edvard Munch.
 

He has participated in collective shows in Chile, Peru, Ecuador, Mexico, Canada, Spain, England, India and Japan.
 

After this visit, you will check-in to your hotel.
 

Located in the heart of Cerro Alegre and facing an impressive view of the bay of Valparaíso, Casa Higueras is the first boutique, design hotel to open in this port town.  After careful restoration work in this stately 1920’s mansion, Casa Higueras offers a combination of modern comfort and warmth from the past, a reminiscent sense that reflects the city’s own rhythm and atmosphere.
 

Accommodation: Casa Higueras

Meals included: Breakfast

Day 03 : Santiago

This morning after checking out of your hotel, your driver and guide will take you to Santiago’s airport for your flight.
 

Meals included: Breakfast

Cost of the entire itinerary

High Season Jan to Dec $ 1,317 $ 439 per day
Cost Includes
  • Bilingual guide plus driver
  • All program transfers in a spacious fully equipped private van
  • Breakfast
  • Entrance fees for wineries and museums
  • Wine tasting at Bocanariz
Cost Excludes
  • Lodging and transfers prior to or after program
  • Visa fees
  • Personal items such as: telephone, laundry, room service
  • Alcoholic beverages not mentioned in the itinerary
  • Gratuities
  • Airfare
  • Sauna & SPA services are not included in some hotel rates
Climate

The valleys have a very dry and warm climate with rainy summers and winters (annually rainfall of 595 mm). During the summer, south and southwesterly winds cause low nighttime temperatures with great daily thermal oscillation. The thermal condition is sub-humid with an average annual temperature of 14.9 ºC (57ºF).

Visas, Travel Documents and Special Permits

VISA

A reciprocity fee is required upon arrival to Chile for citizens of the following countries:

  • Albania
  • Australia
  • Canada
  • Mexico

This fee must be paid in cash in US dollars and is valid for the life of your passport.   

Immunizations / Medical Requirements

No special vaccinations are required but an up-to-date tetanus shot will be helpful if you’re visiting a ranch. Please carry personal medications, if any.

Recommended Packing List
  • Fleece and windbreaker or parka
  • Short- and long-sleeved cotton shirts
  • Trekking pants (preferably ones that can be unzipped into shorts)
  • Comfortable hiking boots with anti-slip rubber soles and sturdy ankle support to avoid possible sprains
  • Sneakers or sports shoes
  • Swimsuit
  • Flip-flops for use at the hot springs or at lakes
  • Sunglasses
  • Hat to protect yourself from the sun
  • Hat or headband to protect your ears from the wind or the cold when at the geysers
  • Sunscreen and lip protection
  • Backpack to carry sunscreen, camera, water, etc.
Meals provided

  • Buffet breakfast at most hotels.
  • Other meals (if provided) vary according to the hotel/restaurant

Other useful tips

Currency and Exchange
 

The currency in Chile is the peso, and don’t be confused in Chile when you see it associated with the dollar ($) sign, as that is the symbol they use. 
 

ATMs are available in most towns and are what you should be prepared to use for cash needs. Most machines are easy to use and will have directions for use in both Spanish and English. Most ATMs charge a 3000 pesos foreign transaction fee, in addition to your own banks fees.
 

Tip: Instead of withdrawing $100 and receiving a $100 bill (which will come out of the ATM machine), we suggest withdrawing $90 in order to receive smaller bills, which are preferred by most merchants.

 

You may exchange dollars at most hotels, though the rate is not great. Exchange houses, or “casas de cambio” are found on the main avenues in the cities and are the best places to exchange money.

 

Credit Cards

 

Credit cards, including Visa, MasterCard and American Express, are readily accepted in the larger cities, but not necessarily in rural areas. When using an American Express card, be prepared to pay a 2% surcharge. When paying for a meal with a credit card, you must add the gratuity to the itemized check that is presented to you. The server will then add the tip amount to the check amount and your credit card charge will reflect the total.

 

Time Zones

 

From September to April, Chile is on Chilean Summer Time (UTC -3).

From April to September, Chile is on Chilean Standard Time (UTC -4).

 

Connecting via Telephone

 

Calling from the US to Chile:

 

How to dial to a landline:

  • 011 - US exit code; must be dialed first for all international calls made from the USA or Canada
  • 56 - country code for Chile
  • area code (1 - 2 digit codes)
  • phone number (6 - 7 digit numbers)
     

 Area Codes

  • Antofagasta 55
  • La Serena 51
  • Rancagua 72
  • Arica 58
  • Linares 73
  • San Antonio 35
  • Chillan 42
  • Los Andes 34
  • Santiago 2
  • Cohyaique 67
  • Los Angeles 43
  • Talca 71
  • Concepcion 41
  • Osorno 64
  • Temuco 45
  • Copiapo 52
  • Ovalle 53
  • Quillota 33
  • Curico 75
  • Puerto Montt 65
  • Valdivia 63
  • Iquique 57
  • Punta Arenas 61
  • Valparaiso 32

 

How to dial to cellular phone:

 

For calls to a cell phone dial: 011 + 569 (then +9 or +8, or +7 or +6) - XXX-XXXX

 

Calling from Chile to the US:

 

There are, of course, several ways of placing international calls from Chile to the United States. Please bear in mind that all long-distance phone calls in Chile are routed through private telecommunications companies whose prefixes you have to use when you place the call. Following is a list of the most often used long-distance companies/prefixes:

 

Globus 120

Manquehue 122

Entel 123

Movistar 181

 

Carrier 155 (AT&T) 155 Prefix + country code + area code + telephone number

 

So, if, for example you were placing a call to the United States using Movistar, you would dial 181+ 01 + Area Code + Telephone Number.

 

Calling through Entel, you would have to dial 123+01+Are Code+Telephone Number.

 

If you are using a long-distance provider’s calling card, the dialing instructions are usually available on the calling card.

 

Calling within Chile: Calls made within Chile require the city code and local number.

Calling Codes Chile Country Code: 56

Santiago City Code: 2

Local Call: 2 + phone number Long Distance Call (within Chile): Carrier + area code + 2 + phone number

Mobile to Land line (within Chile): 0 + area code + 2 + phone number

 

Telephone Service in South America:

 

Long distance phone calls can be made from hotels in cities, phone centers in cities and small towns, or phone booths. Calling from hotels is the most expensive option. Phone booths require either coins or a phone card. International phone cards are the least expensive option and are available at news kiosks. Phone Centers are the least expensive option. “Telefonica”, and blue phones with a CTC sign in Chile are storefront telephone centers with a number of phone booths. An attendant assigns you a booth, and your call is metered. You then pay the attendant after you’ve made your call. Cell phones are a little more complicated, and you should check with your service provider about your phone and your specific phone service. If you do choose to use your cell phone, there is service available in most of the developed areas of both countries.

 

Water

 

Although tap water is treated in the hotels and restaurants, it is probably better not to drink it. It is customary in restaurants to order bottled mineral water. Most South Americans drink “agua mineral con gas” (mineral water with gas), but you can order “agua mineral sin gas” if you prefer no carbonation. You can also purchase bottled water to take with you in small stores and supermarkets. Drinking fountains are rare in Chile.

 

Electricity

 

Chile uses 220 volts instead of 110 volts. For small appliances, such as a curling irons, hair dryers or electric razors, you will need both adapter plugs to fit the outlets and a converter to convert the electricity from 220 to 100 voltage, which prevents you from overheating the appliance. The dual watt automatic converter/adapter set by Travel Smart works very well for both needs.

 

Shopping

 

Store hours in Chile are typically 9 a.m. until 7 or 8 p.m. In smaller towns, some shops may close for a “siesta” in the early afternoon. Hours are not consistent so you may find that your favorite shop is closed when you want to buy something at the last minute. Chile uses the 24-hour clock, so 16:30=4:30 p.m.

 

Both countries have many specialty stores, such as the “perfumeria,” which sells cosmetics, the “farmacia,” which sells drugs, and the “panaderia,” which sells bread and cookies.

“Supermercados” sell a variety of goods, but you may need to find a specialty store for certain items. Note: It is difficult and expensive to buy over-the-counter drugs such as Advil, Tylenol or Sudafed. We suggest you bring a supply with you and, of course, bring a full supply of your prescription drugs.

 

You will find kiosks all over town that sell magazines, newspapers, gum, candy, and soft drinks.

 

Internet Access

 

Internet access is available at many hotels, some which charge a fee, and at internet cafes, which are numerous in most cities and towns. Internet cafes are easy to access and often offer a friendly gathering place for travelers.

 

Hotel Breakfast

 

Most hotels include a buffet-style breakfast. You will be presented with a check and asked for your room number, but the charge will not show up on your room bill. It is customary to leave a USD $1-$2 per person cash gratuity.

 

Gratuities

 

As in the US, it is customary in South America to provide small gratuities for various services. Gratuities are expressed as an appreciation for the expertise and insight that you’re well-trained, experienced guide shares with you, and are based on how pleased you are by the service provided.

 

The preferred currency for gratuities is pesos, but US dollars are generally accepted as well. Following are more specific guidelines for various types of scenarios that would warrant tipping. All amounts are provided in Chilean Pesos (note: the comma in the US is expressed as a period in Chile, so 1,000 pesos is expressed as 1.000 in Chile).

 

Dining at a Restaurant: 10% is the customary minimum.

 

Maid Service: $2.000 per day

 

Concierge Service: $10.000-$20.000 for the entire stay.

 

Bellboys: $1.000 per bag

 

Taxi from airport to a hotel: In general, taxis do not expect a tip for trips within the city. Normally, locals round the fare up, so if the cost is 5.200 pesos, you pay 6.000. If you need help with luggage from the taxi driver, it is customary to tip 500 pesos.

 

Half-day tour with Private Guide: $5.000 per person or $40.000-$50.000 total for a large group.

 

Full-day tour with a Private Guide: $10.000 per person ($20.000 minimum for the day, even if just one person) and $50.000 minimum total for a large group.

 

Activities: For guided activities such as river rafting or a glacier trek, that are a little more standard and less personal, gratuities are not expected and are up to your own discretion.

 

Full-service Lodge with Activities: Maid service recommendation is $2.000 per day, Concierge Service recommendation is $10.000-$20.000 per stay, and Bellboy recommendation is $1.000 per bag. If you go out on half or full-day excursions, the recommendation for a half-day is $5.000 per person or $40.000-$50.000 total for a large group, and for a full day the recommendation is $10.000 per person with a $20.000 minimum, and $50.000 minimum total for a large group. When staying at small lodges, be prepared to pay for incidentals and gratuities in cash using the local currency.

Operator ID

6458

Operator Profile

Demystifying a strange, exotic country is what these owner-operated bespoke Chile travel wizards have specialized in, since 2007 . This multi-cultural Santiago team has always succeeded in providing personalised vacations of top quality, value, and service. The endless and awe-inspiring Patagonian landscape or the finest dining in Santiago? Want the best wine-tasting experience? Wish to hang out with a famous artist and clink a glass of pisco sour with him? Wondering which of the countless streets and warrens to browse and shop? Just ask and you shall receive.

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Cultural And History Tour Of Santiago, Chile