- Drive to the Coastal City of Valparaíso.
An hour-and-a-half drive from Santiago, the city is renowned for its kaleidoscopic architecture, stunning coastline and free-spirited residents. Valparaíso has also been recognized as a UNESCO World Heritage Site.
- Browse a Public Art Museum.
Museo a Cielo Abierto, as it is known, is actually a row of about 40 enormous, color-drenched murals painted on the sides of buildings. The street art is the collaboration of a group of locals who wanted to revitalize the neighborhood of San Miguel.
- See Valparaíso from the Seat of the Ascensores.
Also called the elevators, these brightly painted funicular cars used to be the primary way of quickly connecting locals from one neighborhood to another in a city that is known for its winding streets and steep inclines. Only eight cars are still active today and offer the best view of Valparaíso there is.
- Wander the Elevated Neighborhood of Alegre.
Once you’ve ridden the elevators, you’ll land in a cobblestoned corner of town Alegre, which has family-run bakeries, colorful art galleries and bohemian boutiques.
- Dine on Local Meats with a View.
The couple who run La Concepcion do their best to use Chilean products whenever possible, including Chilean ostrich, which is crusted in walnuts. From their patio perched on a hill, you can watch cargo ships roll by while you enjoy your meal.
- Drive to an Outdoors Wonderland.
In less than two hours of driving through rich green fields and mountainous walls, you can be at Cajón del Maipo, a beautiful Andean canyon in central Chile that boasts many seasonal adventures and a celebrated vineyard.
- Hike Along Pristine Waters.
While Embalse del Yeso is a man-made, freshwater reservoir, created to curb the Yeso river, it’s still a stunning natural beauty. The glassy waters are bright turquoise and ideal for activities like windsurfing or fishing for rainbow trout. Bring a picnic or stop at one of the vendors along the way for empanadas.
- Bathe in a Thermal Pool.
Located in a tiny village at the confluence of the Volcán and Morales rivers, Baños Morales has steamy geothermal baths that are open year-round. Soak in the mineral-rich waters while staring at a backdrop of snowy mountains and trees.
- Take a Break for a Glass (or Two) of Wine.
Founded in 1883, Concha Y Toro is one of the most established and important vineyards in Chile. The vineyard runs two tours a day through its vines. Afterward, sample full-bodied cabernets with tons of character and elegant, creamy chardonnays.
- Dine at the Foot of the Mountains.
The perfect end to a day in the Andes, La Vaquita Echá serves traditional Chilean food in fresh mountain air. Enjoy simply prepared beef tenderloin, grilled salmon or pastel de choclo, a sweet, spicy, savory pie of corn, onions and olives.
- Follow the Aconcagua Valley’s Wine Trail.
Northeast of Santiago lies the sleepy Aconcagua Valley, home to many dreamy, high-quality vineyards of all sizes, which grow their grapes in a cool, dry climate with ocean breeze. The hour-and-a-half drive there passes through fragrant patches of apples and peaches.
- Begin with Pinots and a View.
The 345-acre Viña Errázuriz has been run by descendants of the same family since 1870. Their core belief: Great land equals great wine. The property’s soil doesn’t just grow exceptional pinot grapes. The grounds are covered in gardens and, in the distance, you can see ochre mountains.
- Sip Wine in the Country.
Started a couple of decades ago by a Swiss wine obsessive, Viña von Siebenthal now lays claims to several award-winning vintages. The location is quaint — quince trees bloom, and the building looks like a barn in the countryside. Don’t miss the impressively floral Carabantes.
- Experience a Small Vineyard Run by a Couple.
In 1993, Americans Jen Hoover and Ed Flaherty came to Chile to work a single harvest. They never went home, instead opening the independent winery Flaherty, where they harvest their grapes by hand. Their specialty: a silky, lavender-noted syrah blend that has been aged for 18 months.
- Pull Over for an Oceanside Seafood Feast.
In the small coastal town of Zapallar, Los Coirones serves scallops, razor clams and local bivalves that were still in the water a day before. Enjoy them raw, with a little lemon, and a glass of local sauvignon blanc.