The City of Santiago is one of most modern and safest metropolis in Latin America.
In the civic center of Santiago, there is the Nation’s great historical, architectural and cultural heritage. We saw distinguished museums, buildings, ancient churches, squares and parks. Among them, there are the metropolitan cathedral, the Precolumbian Art Museum, the Plaza de Armas (main square), the Palacio de la Moneda (the Mint Palace), the Stock Exchange, the Court House, the Forest Park, the ENTEL Tower, the Casa Colorada Museum and the Club Hipico (Riding Club).
We’ll also visit Santa Lucía hill, San Francisco church, Plaza de Armas, Plaza de la Constitución and the Central Market, where you can buy the most delicious fish, seafood, and other traditional local products.
Then we went to the Bohemian Bellavista neighborhood. This vast area combines the most varied costumes and handicraft trade with restaurants, art galleries, theaters and jewelry stores. Here, cultural and night life is very busy. In the Metropolitan Park we’ll go up Cerro San Cristóbal on a cable car to get gorgeous views of this 5.5 million-people city. The place was chosen by poet Pablo Neruda to build one of his homes, today a museum.
Its peculiar shape indicated that it was not an ordinary household. Its over-elaborated architecture invited us to learn more about it and at that moment we understood that we were in front of “La Chascona”, the house that Pablo Neruda built for his lover and then third wife, doña Matilde Urrutia. We were glad to hear that there were guided tours inside and without delay we walked into this interesting construction.
The name “La Chascona” was given by Neruda in reference to the hair of his then secret love until 1955. “Chascona” is used as a synonym for the word “unkempt” in this country. The truth is that this is far from being a place where hairdos matter, the house shows the unique world where the remarkable Nobel Prize of Literature recipient used to live.