New York Times: Santiago de Chile #1 place to visit in 2011

At the end of its rollercoaster year in 2010, Chile has been picked from a list of 41 highlighted destinations by one of America’s most-read newspapers as the best tourist destination for 2011.


From “the beaches of Mexico to the wilds of Kurdistan,” The New York Times chose Santiago over all else as the most gratifying tourist destination for the oncoming year.

The article – published in full on the newspaper’s website – frames Santiago as a city bouncing back faster than ever from the aftermath of the country’s February earthquake. Its sparkling cultural scene and an array of top-class restaurants and hotels such as the boutique Aubrey, or ‘W’, lead the editors of the newspaper to believe it carved itself out as best of all.

The declaration will undoubtedly send a flurry of open-minded tourists to Chile’s capital – The New York Times, whose readership averages 876,638 people daily, is one of the largest newspapers in the U.S.

The ranking puts Santiago’s upcoming culture scene as the top reason why tourists would want to visit. February’s earthquake, it says, only “briefly paused a cultural shift that had (already) begun to take hold in the city.”

Despite the devastating 8.8 magnitude earthquake and widespread disruption across the country, Chile has been on the fast-track to a full economic recovery, with the last seven consecutive months recording financial growth. Many cultural sites in Santiago – including the Museum of Fine Arts – were also heavily damaged. But the swift action on reconstruction has ultimately proved a bonus for the Chilean economy.

The Chilean government’s recent investment into the arts has seen resurgence of public spaces for art and contemporary art events. The article mentions the newly inaugurated Gabriela Mistral Center – a gigantic and atmospheric 200,000-square-foot building made of glass weathering steel.

Since its opening, the center has hosted a variety of open air music and art shows – to see more information about future events programs, visit the official website. Other upcoming cultural events around the neighborhood include the Providencia International Jazz Festival, which begins tomorrow, Jan. 11, and the ongoing, month-long Santiago a Mil festival.

For recommendations on the best places to eat in Santiago, visit This Is Chile´s series on the city’s burgeoning gourmet scene.