Rio de Janeiro, Buenos Aires, Valparaíso; the list of great cities in South America goes on, but for a long time Chile’s capital was overlooked by travellers in a hurry to get to the staggering peaks of Patagonia, the lush forests of the lake region or the arid and spectacular Atacama Desert.
Thanks to its booming arts, culinary and music scenes, however, Santiago has been establishing itself as one of the top destination cities in the continent in its own right. Forbes magazine is the latest of numerous publications to highlight the Chilean capital’s status as a hot new destination city.
According to the recent Forbes article, Santiago’s appeal lies in, amongst other things, blossoming redeveloped neighbourhoods that have become a hotbed for culture.
“Principal among them is the lively Lastarria neighborhood, which my guide compared to Paris’s Montmarte. Art galleries, cinemas, bars, and ambitious restaurants have been sprouting like wildflowers in the past few years, as well as the city’s first boutique hotel (with more on the way),” reads the article.
Aside from new attractions, long-standing draws are also praised, such as the city’s historic Mercado Central with its plethora of seafood restaurants and the funicular ride up San Cristobal Hill that offers spectacular views of the adjacent Andes mountains while overlooking the modern metropolis.
Recent years have seen a string of well-known publications highlight the potential of the Andean nation’s biggest city. In 2011 The New York Times named Santiago as the number one place to go that year. Soon after Lonely Planet recognized the city as a top ten destination for 2012, and CNN Travel included the capital in its list of world’s top ten most loved cities.