International appeal

Chile’s capital: ‘A city so charming many visitors never leave’

The New York Times reports that Santiago’s livability and housing market are driving many foreigners to settle down for good in the Andean nation.

Tuesday, April 30, 2013  
Enjoying Santiago’s trendy Lastarria neighborhood. Enjoying Santiago’s trendy Lastarria neighborhood.

 

Many foreigners head to Santiago for short-term work or a temporary project, but, upon getting to know the city better, can’t help but unpack their bags and settle down for good. That’s the phenomena the New York Times is reporting on in its recent article,  “A City So Charming That Many Visitors Never Leave”.

Check out the four reasons behind this growing trend according to the New York Times below, in addition to This is Chile’s favorite aspects of living life as a foreigner in Santiago.

1. Safe and livable neighborhoods

According to author Nicolas Gill, Santiago offers the safety and efficiency that many foreigners seek.

“Chile, especially its capital, Santiago, can be appealing to anyone who values clean streets, efficient public transportation and honorable law enforcement,” author Gill wrote.

This is Chile also loves Santiago’s great network of bike lanes, which makes it easy to quickly and safely commute around town.

2. A perfect location

It’s hard to beat living an hour’s drive from both beautiful beaches and the thrilling ski slopes of the Andes mountain range. Santiago’s environmental allure is powerful, according to Gill.

This is Chile also loves the fact that Santiago is an unparalleled starting point for some of the world’s premier travel destinations, including Parque Nacional Torres del Paine, Easter Island, the Atacama Desert, and Chiloé.

3. Economic opportunity

Many foreigners are settling in Santiago because of Chile’s solid economy, according to Gill. Kristina Schreck, for example, was born in California but came to Chile on a four-month sabbatical in 1998 and never left.

“I stayed in Chile because at the time I saw a lot of opportunity here,” she said. “I still see a lot of opportunity.”

This is Chile also loves the growing number of English-language job opportunities available in Santiago. Start-Up Chile, for example, has an online job bank with dozens of job offerings from new start-ups looking for employees. 

4. A strong housing market

Gill also describes Santiago’s housing market as a major factor driving foreigners to settle in Chile. Prices are rising quickly at 10 to 20 percent each year, according to Matt Ridgway, who owns Chile Investments.

Foreigners do not need to be full-time resident to buy property in Chile, but you will need a tax identification number and a lawyer for the transaction.

Gill sites the suburban Las Condes and Vitacura neighborhoods as popular with foreigners, as well as hipper sectors Bellavista and Providencia.

This is Chile also loves the historic buildings - and more affordable rent - of neighborhoods Barrio Brazil and Barrio Yungay. These neighborhoods have fun cafes, unique bars, and beautiful parks to enjoy.

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