Santiago

South America’s most modern capital: such is the reputation of Santiago de Chile. When you visit, you’ll find just how apt this moniker is.

You’ll find it in the city’s rooftop bars, which look out on snow-speckled Andean peaks to the east. You’ll find it in gleaming downtown museums, dedicated to pre-Colombian art and the country’s tragic bout with dictatorship. But most of all, you’ll find it in the city’s world-class shopping, restaurants, and nightlife, located in upscale barrios like Las Condes and Lastarria, or hipper bohemian zones like Bellavista.

Santiago is a surprisingly green city, with lush public parks unfolding among the steel-and-glass skyscrapers. Cerro San Cristobal, in the leafy Parque Metropolitano, offers landscaped terraces and stone walkways that overlook the downtown skyline, while in Parque Bicentenario in upscale Vitacura, bikers and strollers snatch moments of serenity beside a still pond.

The Chilean capital is also home to a vibrant arts scene. From the quirky décor of poet Pablo Neruda’s home of La Chascona in Bellavista, with its African statues and giant shoes, to the campy fun of the Museo de la Moda, with its retrospective of over 100 years of fashion, the city teems with creative energy. After visiting, you can catch a play at the Centro Gabriela Mistral, or sample Chilean vintages at the city’s many tony wine bars.

Dynamic, ever-changing, Chile’s great metropolis is currently undergoing a renaissance. The only limit to what you’ll find there is your own imagination.

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