Category: Things To Do

Wine Tasting in the Casablanca Valley From Valparaíso or Viña del Mar

August 26, 2015

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If you’re planning a trip to Santiago, you likely know that you can easily get to some of the country’s best-known wineries from the capital city of Chile. The city is well-located for access to the Maipo, Colchagua, Casablanca and Aconcagua valleys, and often serves as a base for wine lovers who like to spend their days in the vineyards and their nights in the big city. But one of those valleys, Casablanca, lays right along the fertile fringes of national Route 68, the road that connects Santiago with coastal Valparaíso and Viña del Mar — which makes those two cities great jumping-off points for visiting wineries as well, as they’re essentially equidistant from Santiago and the coast.

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Puna Pau, An Overlooked Archaeological Site on Easter Island

August 5, 2015

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Eyes of the moais were made of a different kind of stone, as were the topknots, which some people mistakenly refer to as “hats.” This red scoria, of which the topknots were made, was quarried at Puna Pau, a seldom-visited archaeological site close to Ahu Akivi, which is where the standing moai are farthest inland are located. It’s thought that the eyes and topknots were placed on moai only once they were erected, which explains why the moai at the Rano Raraku quarry are lacking in both details; since they were never transported to their final ahus (ceremonial platforms), they were not completed.

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How to Choose a Winery Day Tour From Santiago

June 3, 2015

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Santiago, Chile, is uniquely located between the mountains and the ocean and, as such, has access to several important wine-making valleys, including Colchagua, Santa Cruz, Alto Maipo, the Central and Aconcagua valleys. And while Chile is perhaps best known for its red wines, particularly the “rediscovered” variety of Carmenere — which represented an unknown reserve for the French grape after it was decimated by Phylloxera in France — it is also becoming more popular for white wines, particularly Sauvignon blanc as it is grown at lower altitudes and even toward the coast.

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What to See at Rano Raraku, the Moai Quarry on Easter Island

May 6, 2015

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Perhaps one of the most surreal experiences when visiting Chile’s Easter Island is taking a trip to Rano Raraku Quarry – the “birth place” of many of the island’s “Moai,” the famous monolithic human figures built by natives between 1250 and 1500 CE. At the quarry, they were carved out of the volcanic tuff (compacted volcanic ash) and then transported around the island. Many theories exist about how the Moai were moved into position, but regardless of which you support, it is an impressive feat of engineering to think that they all started on the lower slopes of an extinct volcano, and were transported to their resting places in the various sites around the island. Here are some of the best things to explore at the quarry:

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Traditional Nightlife in Santiago

April 22, 2015

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Santiago is now known for its upscale hotels, restaurants and famous wine bars, serving some of the country’s finest wines by the taste, glass or bottle, paired with local cheeses, meats and other delicacies. And that’s a great way to get to know Chile, and a fine first step after landing from wherever you came from. But if you really want to dig deeper, go back in time and place and get to know a different Chile, the down home version, get some local color and flavor, there’s nothing like losing yourself a bit in some of the more homegrown nightlife, such as three options listed below.

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Off the Beaten Path in Santiago

April 15, 2015

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When visiting Santiago, most visitors find themselves staying in either Providencia, the well-connected upper middle class neighborhood with much of the city’s nightlife, as well as very good lodging options, or Las Condes, which is slightly further east, slightly wealthier, and a bit more upper crust. Both are good options, with hotels at a variety of price points, easy access in and out, and many restaurants to choose from. From there, most visitors will venture down to Santiago centro, as well as Bellavista. But what of the other nearby neighborhoods in Santiago, that have a bit more of a locals-only vibe, even while being easy to get to, and quite traveler-friendly? Here are three neighborhood worth exploring to see a slightly different side of Santiago, with areas for strolling, museums and parks to check out, and shopping for an unusual keepsake to take back home.

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