Visit Santiago Chile in 2 days sounds a bit challenging huh? Well if I gave you the facts of the city you probably think it definitely is impossible to so see the best of Santiago in 2 days. Santiago is the largest city in Chile and obviously also the capital city of Chile. This heavily populated capital city is also one of the largest city in America. The native language of Chile is Spanish. However, it is easy to find people in the city speaking English.
There are many unique things to do in Santiago Chile, like taking the hop on hop of bus, walking tours, wine tours, etc depending on your interest. Santiago is not only a financial centre of Chile but also a political and cultural centre. This city is home to all the big multinational operations. So you can imagine it is pretty commercialized and these large cities traffic can be really crazy.
I was on a working visit to this capital. That gave me 2 days in Santiago. Unlike other tourists, I did not have the leverage of time. And considering these facts about Santiago De Chile, I honestly did not want to get into the city and see more buildings and traffic.
I am from the UAE and I get to see enough of those. Even back home, I travel to unknown or the unexplored hidden wonders of Dubai. I do not know, What does Santiago De Chile mean to you? But to me, it meant spending 48 hours in the continent of South America. Santiago is surrounded by the Andes mountains and they can be seen from most points of the city. Based on the above facts I decided on how I would spend 2 days in Santiago. I decided to go about a few miles outside the city and soak in its natural wonder.
Car Rental In Santiago:
Since my colleagues and I were time-bound, we chose to rent a car. Car rentals are quite affordable and there are plenty of car rentals at the airport or in the city. We booked ours from the hotel as the hotel guest had discounts on car rentals. We booked A Hyundai Accent for USD 95 a day which included the insurance and unlimited mileage. Well if you compare the price of the organised tours they are obviously more expensive and less leverage.
- SANTIAGO to Viña Indõmita in Casablanca – 75km/55min and
- Casablanca to Valparaíso – 50km/36mins.
When I came to know about my travel to Santiago I was very clear about what to see in Santiago Chile. Considering Chile is the wine country, I definitely wanted to go wine tasting. While I was sitting in the plane planning my trip in Santiago, a gentleman sitting next to me noticed me with the map spread out on my tray table. He made the decision for me. He guided me to Casablanca since Valparaíso was on my list already. More on Valparaíso and its details below. I inquired with him “What to see in Casablanca”? and his answer thoroughly excited me. He said, “you can go on a wine tour or wine tasting in Casablanca for one day.” As if he read my mind;)
Casablanca: And why I chose Casablanca?
Casablanca is a city located in between 2 major cities that I was visiting. Considering that my stay was in Santiago City and Valparíso was on my list to visit, I thought why not listen to the local sitting next to me and make things convenient. Look at the google maps image below to understand better on what we are going to cover in Day 1.
Casablanca is on the same route, Route 68 like mentioned earlier between Santiago and Valparíso. 55 minutes or 75 kilometres drive to the northwest from Santiago is Casablanca. why I chose Casablanca is, when I saw the map of Casablanca and enquired with the hotel Concierge about the vineyards in Casablanca she listed no less than 10-12 of them in a row.
The hotel concierge suggested, VIÑA INDOMITA as it is the producer for local Chilean wines and the view from the vineyard is stunning as it is on a certain height.
1st stop Day 1 VIÑA INDOMITA Casablanca:
After breakfast at the hotel, our car was waiting for us. We headed straight to Viña Indomita in Casablanca. The drive was around an hour. Viña Indomita was located at a height. The exit to Viña Indomita is clearly marked, it is hard to miss it. The view from Viña Indomita was stunning. As we arrived there we were given 2 options:
- Wine Tour: Which was 15000 Chilean Pesos USD 22 Tour takes an hour.
- Wine Tasting: You can taste any of their wines and then order them as per your choice. A Glass of wine was for 1500 pesos USD 2.30
We all agreed on Wine tasting as we thought this would be the Best place to drink in Santiago and even more the view, the local wine and the weather were just adding to the perfect ambience. We couldn’t ask for anything more. We spent an hour there relishing the wine and clicking some pictures.
After having a couple of wines we started our drive to our next stop. P.S. – We had a colleague who did not drink and she drove us there.
2nd Stop Day 1: Viña Del Mar and Valparaíso.
The Drive was only 36 min that is 55km from Viña Indomita Casablanca to Viña Del Mar. We didn’t particularly stop at Viña Del Mar, we just drove through the coast and enjoyed the beautiful drive, passed the flower clock (apparently there are only 10 in the world and one of it is in Viña Del Mar. There was nothing fancy about the clock, but if you haven’t seen one definitely worth a click. That’s a drive-through shot;)
Our next stop was Valparaíso.
Valparaíso is another metropolitan city in Chile. This city is 120 kilometres northwest of Santiago and 50 kilometres from Casablanca. Viña Del Mar to Valparaíso was about 10 mins. Valparaíso is an important seaport and is also declared as the World Heritage UNESCO site. If you are an art lover you are going to love this city. This Historic Quarter of the Seaport City of Valparaío has lots of Colour and life. Just walk around the city and get lost in those streets and mysterious artwork.
Before we entered the city we decided to stop for lunch and park the car so we could wander around. There is a public underground car park, which is quite reasonable and very close to the restaurant BOTE SALVAVID. We paid around 2800 pesos (5USD) for the full day parking. If your using google maps as we did, just look for this restaurant BOTE SALVAVID and the car park is just ahead of it.
The restaurant Bote Salvavid was actually quite beautiful. We had a good view of the Seaport. The food was very delicious and quite reasonable for the place. The restaurant had great meal choices to choose from.
The total I paid including the tip was $22 or 5000 pesos
Getting into Valparaíso city can be very interesting and probably different for many. To get into the city you have to use Funiculars. Funiculars look like cable cars, but they are not. They are vertical elevators called the FUNICULARS. (EL Peral Lift. Picture below.) The ticket for this was 50 cents or 100 Chilean pesos. These Funiculars would take you to the heart of the city.
The best way to see Valparaíso is to actually get lost in the art the street offers. The walk into those small alleys will surprise you with the colours and the well-known art graffiti. There are plenty of picture opportunities for photographers who like to play with natural colour or light. One can also plan to stop her for the night as I did observe loads of B&B’s in the area. The city felt safe to walk around even though we were warned about being mugged.
After getting lost in this city we made our way back to the car and drove back to the hotel. We reached back around 09:00 pm which was a Decent time to sleep and wakeup for Day 2. VALLE DEL YESO.
DAY 2: Valle Del Yeso: 2 hours 44mins Drive 119 kilometres.
Valle Del Yeso is a reservoir located in the Andes. This place does not need any introduction. Your camera would not do justice to what you actually experience. But I do want to leave you with some Dos and Dont’s.
- There is not much Internet or Mobile Network after a certain point. If you are using GPS which I highly recommend, do Download an offline map.
- Once you have entered the windy roads you know you are getting closer it will be a good idea to stop for a quick loo break or grab a quick bite or fuel up if you haven’t already yet.
- There are a few Fire pits as you drive further into Del Yeso. You could carry a picnic or plan a bonfire.
- Wear Sunblock.
- Do not wear anything white especially shoes. The roads are unpaved and filled with potholes.
- Do not get Distracted while driving as the roads are really narrow and it is two-way traffic.
- Do not over speed and please drive slow and prepare to stop as there will be cars coming from the other side and either one has to reverse to make way.
- There are loads of pedestrians in the area as people who prefer taking the tour, walk around, as these buses actually stop at the beginning, where the view begins, the roads are too narrow to accommodate huge vehicles. There are Portable toilets around at the beginning point, which are clean and chargeable (5 pesos).
This is the last chance to use the toilets if you haven’t had the chance earlier. You will see small food stalls which is your indication that the roads are going to get further narrow, windy and unpaved. This food stalls will have basic nibbles like chips, biscuits water and even empanadas.
I am going to leave you with the pictures as my descriptions are not going to do any justice. Hope you have enjoyed reading. These 2 places were my best places to visit in Santiago, There are many other activities to choose from and you can make your own itinerary. We personally thought it was best to add these Places in Santiago, on our short trip. Have fun drive safe and do share your pictures and follow us on any of our social media below. Would love to be a part of your experience through pictures. Safe Travels.
Day 1 Santiago to Casablanca to Valparíso
Day 2 Valle del Yeso
Car/Day: 95$ We Rented a Hyundai Accent 5 seater USD – 20/person.
Valparaíso – Food, Parking, Funiculars, Wine, Fuel – USD37/person.
Valle Del Yeso – Fuel for the day and food – USD30/perperson.
Total Price: For 2 Days is USD 87/person which includes all of the above.