Santiago City Guide
OVERVIEW: The capital and largest city in Chile. A modern city, and the financial, political and economic centre of the country. Located just a few hours from the ocean and snow-capped mountains, Santiago is a perfect base for exploring the varied and unique geography of Chile.
WEATHER: Mediterranean climate (10-30 °C). Rainy season is May-September.
SAFETY: One of the safest metropolises in South America. There are a few dangerous neighbourhoods, but you're unlikely to wander into them by mistake. Police here are trustworthy.
MUST DO: Parque Metropolitano. Offers a great vista of the city and the walk only takes about an hour. If walking isn't your thing, you can also take a tram to the summit.
RENT AN APARTMENT IN SANTIAGO DE CHILE: $600.00 will do the trick for something basic.
HOSTEL DORM BED/NIGHT $8-14. A ton of options.
NIGHTLIFE IN SANTIAGO DE CHILE: 7/10
Has everything that'd you'd expect a city of its size to have in regards to nightlife, but not as easy to find the popular places as it is in other cities. Las Condes and Vitacura neighbourhoods probably have the best options.
I recommend: Las Urracas. A barrel of fun to be had here. They have both a lounge and a disco, so if you tire of the loud music or want to have a chat with someone, you need only go upstairs.
BOTTLE OF BEER: $2.00
CHANCE OF HOOKING-UP IN SANTIAGO DE CHILE: 6.5/10
Not the hardest place in the Americas to pull something, but not the easiest either. Much like Panama, many of the girls here couldn't care less about your foreigner/gringo status, especially in Vitacura. Aggressive pick-up tactics don't really work here. I'd say you have to be patient and courteous and watch for indicators of interest. If you don't know Spanish, things will be considerably harder for you.
***ONLINE DATING: Latin American Cupid allows you to talk with girls and set up dates before you arrive in the country. For this reason, I recommend it.
ARE GIRLS HOT IN SANTIAGO DE CHILE?: 6.75/10.
Chile gets a bad wrap for not having attractive women. This is somewhat true, but often exaggerated. It is true that, on average, Chileans girls can't hold a candle to Argentinean, Colombian, Brazilian or even Mexican girls. But this isn't to say that they aren't any lookers. In the neighbourhoods of Bellavista, Brasil, Las Condes and Vitacura, as well as by the University of Chile, there are some pretty ladies.
If you want to make the most of your time in Chile, you will need to speak some Spanish. Synergy Spanish is the best resource for learning Spanish quickly and easily.
GROCERIES: Milk (1L)= $1.25 Loaf of Bread= $1.00 Eggs= $2.75 Water (1.5L)= $1.25 Cigarettes= $4.50
JOB OPPORTUNITIES: Most foreigners working here are teaching English unless they're qualified for a job in the financial industry.
NOTES: A typical large city. Feels a bit soulless, unfortunately. It also isn't cheap; prices are getting close to what you'd pay in the United States. The people are reserved, but friendly once given a chance. I'd recommend Santiago for a long-term stay because it is safe, modern and orderly. Also, once you get in with a social group of young Chileans, things will start opening up for you.
OVERALL RATING: 6.75/10
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