Chile Trip, December 2012

After my summit bid on Aconcagua in Argentina, I met up with my wife Linna Wei in Santiago, Chile for another nine days. The weather was sunny and warm…near perfect for me; oppisite of what Seattle was getting, rain and cold. We stayed in Santiago for three days visiting the various neighborhoods and dinner spots before driving down south to Santa Cruz and northwest to Valparaiso.

Our first night out we hit a fabulous dinner spot in the Providencia neighborhood in Santiago, called Astrid & Gaston serving up delicious Peruvian entrees. We found ourselves heading back to the Providencia and the Bellavista areas for lunches and dinners during our stay in Santiago.

Everyone knows that Chile is filled with wineries and we chose the Colchagua Valley south of Santiago for a little wine tasting. We stayed in Santa Cruz, a couple of hours south of Santiago…the epic center of Chile’s winemaking. Between wine tasting, I totally recommend visiting the local museum in town, Museo Colchagua This museum is small in area, but is so equal in quality and history to any large museum.

A few minutes outside of Santa Cruz is Viu Manent winery known for their reds…Malbec’s, Cabernet’s and Carmenere’s. Don’t be surprised if you buy wine at the winery or somewhere in Chile and you find it selling cheaper in the states, this is because of taxes are higher in Chile.

We finished our trip in the colorful seaport town of Valparaiso. Like many others, we enjoyed Valparaiso more so than Santiago. We stayed in a lovely 1870 hotel mansion influenced by European architecture called Gervasoni, our room had a panoramic view of the gulf. Gervasoni is located in the concepcion area, filled with city’s best cafes and restaurants. Just a block away from our hotel is La Concepcion long regarded as one of the best restaurants in Valparaiso with superb service, views and great local cuisine.

Beware of dog shit through-out Santiago and Valparaiso…there are hundreds of stray dogs that clutter the streets and sidewalks; many of these dogs could be potentially roaming around with rabies.