Four days in Santiago. A motley crew of travelers.
March 30, 2010 3:08 PM   Subscribe

Looking for hostel/hotel and activity recommendations in Santiago, Chile in May.

I'm traveling to Santiago for a conference in May. Several of the attendees -- including my boyfriend and up to a dozen other journalists, techies, bloggers and free speech activists from as many countries -- want to stick around and explore the city. We're looking for a few things:

1. A hostel or cheap hotel that doesn't mind check-ins at odd hours. My boyfriend and I will be arriving at 2am and want to make the airport-to-sleep transfer as pain-free as possible. We only need to stay at this place for one night, and then we'll be switching to the conference hotel.

2. A hostel or cheap hotel to stay in after the conference (can be the same as the first, or different). Our group will include both couples and individuals, so a place that offers a mix of dorm beds and private rooms plus a big common area would be perfect. Kitchen is a huge bonus. We'll be traveling with our luggage from the Universidad de Chile stop on the red metro line.

3. Activities for a motley group of international travelers who range in age from 20 to 50 and are interested in everything under the sun -- no idea is too crazy or too obscure. Some of us speak Spanish, so that's not a concern. Day trips are okay, but we only have 4-5 days total, so flights and long bus trips are probably out. Particular interests are wine, Pablo Neruda, shopping, llamas and penguins.

Looking forward to your tips!
posted by rebekah to Travel & Transportation around Santiago, Chile (1 answer total)
Even if you'd never heard of Neruda I'd order you to go visit his home, La Chascona (sorry, am typing this on my phone and can't link to it, but must be Googleable). It's a crazy, amazing, beautiful little place, which I loved, even knowing nothing about him. Unfortunately you have to take a tour, you can't just wander round on your own, but it's still worth it. It's well-hidden, tucked away in a quiet corner of Bellavista, so you can combine it with a trip up the funicular, which is close by.

The fish market is fun to visit for lots of colour (and fish, obviously). There are restaurants inside and lots of people watching to be done.

Valparaiso is very visitable in a day, and there's another of Neruda's houses there, supposedly even lovelier than the one in Santiago. Unfortunately it teemed with rain when I went to Valpo so I didn't really get the best of the views, atmosphere, etc. but people rave about it.

Back in Santiago, eat a meal at Liguria, near Manuel Montt metro station - go inside to the patio, where there's live music and enormous high walls covered in paintings and stuff.

Lucky you - enjoy!
posted by penguin pie at 4:12 PM on March 30, 2010

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