There are a few different paths you can take into Patagonia, and we chose to fly into Santiago, Chile. We wanted a few days in the warm weather on both the front end and back end before we flew in Patagonia, plus time to rest after 24 hours of travel. We booked the same Air B and B on both ends, and man, did we luck out. Our host was fantastic and took us to same really amazing places.
After flying into the airport, we took the Centropuerto bus into town. It’s much cheaper than the taxis, plus we had time to kill before check in. We were dropped off in Bella Vista, then walked a few blocks to our place. We immediately showered, then headed off for some much needed lunch. We started in Plaza de Armas which reminded me of Spain or Italy. The plaza was packed with people enjoying art, shopping, and relaxing.
We made our way to the local markets after lunch. The Central Market and Vega were filled with fresh produce as well as fish. We bought a large piece of salmon to cook for dinner at only $5. It was delicious.
The next morning, we hiked to San Cristobal Hill. From our apartment, it was a five hour round trip. It took about an hour to get to the hill, then we hiked up for another. At the top, there was the giant statue of the Virgin Mary as well as a beautiful chapel. We walked around to admire the views of the city. It was by far my favorite activity in Santiago’s central area.
On our return to Santiago, we spent our first day back exploring. We walked around town, explored new parts of the city, and also made our way to a fantastic dinner. We wanted to learn more about the city, but unfortunately, it was a Monday, so we couldn’t explore the museums.
The next day, our host took us on an incredible adventure to the Colchagua Valley for a day of wine tasting! We were leaving Santiago that evening, and our host, Dom, was kind enough to not only take us wine tasting, but offer to drop us off at the airport when we were finished. If you are headed to Santiago, I highly recommend taking a day trip with Dom. You can find him here- he is super awesome, and I will never forget our final day in Chile!
We started our tour at Montgras. It was small, quant, and they treated us like family! We were the only ones on the tour, and our tour guide educated us about the grapes. We tried the grapes straight from the vine, it was excellent! We ended up buying a bottle to stuff back into our bags, the Amaral Sauvignon Blanc. Best wine I have had in a long time!
Next up was the Lapostolle Winery. It’s modern, new, and owned by the people who created Gran Marnier. We tried the Clos Apalta which has consistently high points (High 90s) even reaching a perfect 100 by jamessucking.com. As we learned, this wine is a real big deal, and it retails for $150 bottle.
Our final stop was at the Montes Winery for a dreamy lunch at Fuegos de Apalta restaurant. This is run by Argentine chef Francis Mallmann. He cooks with using fire, and he has a special on Chef’s Table – check it out on Netflix. This was the most romantic lunch of my life. Our table was set in the middle of one of their vineyards, it was the perfect way to end our time in Santiago.
I’ve been blogging about our Patagonia adventure the last month. You can see more of our travels to the glaciers and mountains below!