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Follow Me (And My Mom) On Our Mother’s Day Trip To Chile!

by on April 30, 2013 · 23 comments

in Trip Reports

Back in February, I bought my mom (and myself) a Mother’s Day present of $900 roundtrip business class tickets from New York to Santiago, Chile, when there was an amazing fare deal on LAN.

Checking in with mom for our trip to Chile!

Checking in with mom for our trip to Chile!

We just started our trip and we’re on our way to Santiago, so I wanted to reach out to readers for suggestions on what to do in the city. We have two full days there total and are looking for fun, interesting stuff to see and some restaurant recommendations.
I imagine our first day we’ll be pretty tired – we get in around 6:00 in the morning and are taking advantage of my SPG Platinum YOUR24 benefit (which came through for once!) to check in upon arrival, so we’ll probably just want to walk around and have a leisurely lunch – maybe seafood at Donde Augusto at the Mercado Central, but other than that, we don’t have any plans yet.

I called out for Easter Island suggestions a couple weeks ago, so we’re all set for what to do there thanks to all the great reader comments that came in and PhilaTravelGirl’s suggestions, so I was hoping that I’d get some ideas from all of you about our time in the big city.

We’re actually thinking about taking a bike tour through wine country about 45 minutes outside the city if anyone has suggestions or an opinion on that, but would also like to explore Santiago as much as possible, so send in your thoughts.

Meanwhile, I love interacting with readers through social media and getting up-to-the-minute updates and suggestions on where to go and what to do, so I’ll be posting about all the things we see, eat and do on Facebook along with posting pictures on Twitter and my Instagram feed, so be sure to follow me and help me make the most of my time in Chile!

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  • Sarah

    My favorite thing in Santiago proper is the Mercado Central. I could spend hours there getting lost in all the veggies, fruit and random goods. You could also do Valparaiso/Vina for a day trip. It’s a short and cheap bus ride. The fresh seafood is delicious and it is perfect for walking around and admiring the colors and funky architecture.

  • Clay

    Get ready to pay that $140.00 reciprocity fee. Hopefully you still have a long period of validity on your passport so you can use it again in the future, since it expires with your passport. Also do not forget to get rid of any fruit(like apples) before you go thru customs. They catch many Americans this way, especially those who grabbed an apple in the Admiral’s Club and later forgot in your backpack. Most likely receive a fine around $400. Not a fun way to start a vacation.

  • thepointsguy

    Do they really fine vs. just asking to throw out? That would suck.

    And yes, I’m unfortunately prepared for the recip fee!

  • thepointsguy

    Awesome- will try to check it out

  • Claire

    Too bad you only have 2 days; not enough time for Patagonia. Looking forward to your Easter Island trip report.

  • Clay

    Yep everyone I saw received a fine. There was a line of 10 tired people waiting to talk to the inspector. Not fun.

  • Skwok

    There are many day tours available. Two separate tours that i am very interested in doing next time is wine tasting and also seeing the Andes Mountain ranges. They have full day tours but they may also have half-day tours as both are not far from Santiago.

    Also, taking the regular Aeropuerto is so much more convenient and cheaper than the private buses.

  • Cindy Shoo

    You can avoid the reciprocity fee with any non-US passport. If you are American but have two passports, don’t let them see the US passport or you just lost at least a few nice bottles of Malbec.

  • David Kelly

    Brian, If you are looking for an upscale, amazing dining experience, check out Borago. We had a fantastic experience there. The tasting menu was a tour of Chile and its natural ingredients through many deconstructed dishes – very whimsical – reminded us of Barton G in Miami!

  • Kevin O’Doherty

    Brian, in Santiago you should definitely check out the Barrio Lastarria. It is a historic neighbourhood full of shops and restaurants. I would suggest a stop at Bocanariz – they offer wine ‘flights’ and great food to go with.

  • Shalling

    TPG, just read this post before boarding then saw you at the gate @ MIA (!!). We are heading straight to the Easter Island. Our first impulsive “grab the deal while it lasts” trip and very look foward to it. Thanks for sharing the great deals. Hope you and your Mom have a wonderful time here.

  • http://twitter.com/jamucsb Jamison

    Bar The Clinic is across the street from the Bellas Artes Metro Station and a 3 minute walk to the Lastarria neighborhood which is a must

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  • welovekimberly

    You are a good son! Have a wonderful trip:)

  • chris

    Bar the Clinic looks interesting (history + bar itself) -thanks! I’m supposed to leave for SCL tomorrow night. I had found a few blog posts talking about la piojera http://www.lapiojera.cl (near the Mercado Central, mentioned above). The signature drink (the terremoto) is supposedly a combination of sweet wine, fernet and pineapple ice cream….

  • Kaitlin

    While in the Santiago area, I recommend visiting Valparaiso and Viña del Mar, two scenic coastal communities. You can take the tram in Valparaiso, and also see the house of Pablo Neruda, called Isla Negra. There’s also a great Osaka restaurant inside the W Hotel that fuses Latin and Japanese cuisine. Enjoy!

  • neurotic

    I might be late to the game, but take the free walking tour – http://freetoursantiago.cl/portada.html You’ll see all the cool neighborhoods, get great exercise and get an insider’s guide to Chilean politics. I never go on tours, but I go to Santiago frequently for work, and this was a great activity. Also recommend Neruda’s houses in Santiago and Valparaiso.

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