Saturday, April 13, 2024
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Travel Blog: Santiago Chile 

I recently had to jump out of Brazil as I needed to reset my visa as my time as a student in this country was coming to an end (for now at least, I will most likely renew in September). As I had to cross a border by air to gain 3 more months in Brazil, I started to ponder what destination would be the best option for me. 

I jumped on Skyscanner and started narrowing down what I figured would be the best option for myself. I did it the usual way most travellers do that have an enforced visa run. Where is the cheapest place to fly to that I may find interesting, and also what city has accommodation that doesn’t break the bank? After pondering a few options I was left with a choice between Chile and Uruaguy, and as the title suggests I opted for the former and my adventure began. 

Where I Got My Head Down/Worked: Hostal Providencia

I was looking at hostels and scouring Airbnb for a place to rest my head, but I decided to do something that I had not done in quite some time, and I stayed at a Hostel. I decided as I was travelling solo it would make sense to pick a spot where I could meet other travellers so I would have some company for the four days I was spending in Santiago. 

I’m far too long in the tooth for dormitories these days so I opted for a private single room with a shared bathroom, and for around 100 dollars for my entire stay, it was good value for money, if not a little basic. The wifi however was fantastic and there were plenty of co-working spaces set up throughout the hostel so I was able to find a place to focus and get some work done. 

Hostal Providencia prides itself on offering the perfect combination of convenience, comfort, and affordability to ensure that every guest enjoys a pleasant and memorable stay. I would say they almost stick the landing with the mission statement, but if you have a room that backs onto the courtyard where they host the start of their nighty pub crawl it can get very loud if you don’t fancy partaking and want to get an early night. This however is a minor complaint and when staying at a hostel it is expected if anything and I am probably showing my age a bit here. 

Hostal Providencia does follow through with its commitment to providing a variety of accommodation options to suit every traveller’s needs. From shared dormitories, including newly upgraded ones with USB and personal light points, to private single, double, triple, and family rooms accommodating 4, 5, or 6 guests, the hostel offers a range of choices, all with the option of private or shared bathrooms. 

Location, Location, Location

The Hostel is in a cracking location, conveniently situated in the heart of Santiago, the hostel is just a short 5-minute walk from Plaza Italia, Parque Bustamante metro station, and the vibrant neighbourhood of Bellavista, known for its bustling nightlife and an array of pubs, bars, and restaurants. I went and had a burger and a glass of wine at Bellavista when I first arrived in the city at about 11.30 pm. The bars are open and they serve food late so it was a life safer for me when I first arrived as I was famished. 

I did go to the pub crawl one night, but again being 34 years old I only lasted until 2 am. The festivities started at 23:00 and after a few free beers and too much time with fellow British backpackers who were 6 years my junior (I was sick of them after about an hour) I decided to call it a night and crawled into bed with a hotdog. I met a wonderful group of Brazilian folk though, and I will be linking up with them in Rio at some point. 

Food For Thought

If you read a lot of my stuff, then you will be well aware the first thing I do when I book tickets to a new destination is jump on Google and do some intense research on the best places to eat. On this trip, the food was pretty much all I did, and I had a shedload of work to get done so I didn’t have that much time to see as much as I wanted to when it came to historical sights. 

I did however find some banging places to have a munch so let me wax lyrical about what I got my mouth around. 

Antigua Fuente

The first spot I hit up was a traditional sandwich shop. The offerings were phenomenal and the portions were great if not borderline excessive (this is not a complaint). I opted for the traditional Lima sandwich with all the added extras. This consisted of roast pork, sour kraut, salsa and cheese. It is neigh on impossible to eat this with your hands so knives and forks were provided. I washed this down with a light beer and just about managed to walk home without needing a nap on the way back.

All the food here is prepared in front of you a the bar surrounds the kitchen almost in a Japanese sushi restaurant style. The pace is packed with locals and for about £10 with a beer included it’s excellent value for money and damn tasty too. I visited more places of course, but the higher-end restaurants will be getting their dedicated reviews as there is a lot to cover and a lot of courses, so keep an eye out for those. 

All in all, Santiago is a place I will need to reacquaint myself with. There is a lot of history to explore here, fantastic vineyards to visit and some trendy and vibrant neighbourhoods to explore. It is a place I still have on my list, but I feel the information I’ve given in this article is pretty solid if you are looking for a spot to stay and a fantastic sandwich. For a quick visa run, it was a fun little getaway that left me with a desire to return in the future.