Following Easter Island, we made our way back to Santiago the capital of Chile. Its a large city of about 6 million people and is located in the centre of Chile. We spent a few days wandering around shopping in artisan markets and seeing the colonial downtown with all the beautiful cathedrals and plazas.
The city also has many many exquisite (and free!) gardens which you could easily spend hours enjoying. In particular, the Jardin Japones in Cerro Santa Lucia was amazing. The fountains, statues, lush gardens make a great picnic spot and an escape from the hustle and bustle of the city.
Santiago also has a great Pre-Colombian history museum (Museo Chileno de Arte Precolombino) which houses some of the most incredible ancient artefacts I’ve ever seen. The displays were in Spanish and English (which is a nice surprise) and covered everything from Mayans, Aztecs, Incas and many other civilizations from Central and South America.
Santiago was a little less exciting than some of the other South American cities we visited, but there were some nice sites. We finished our time in the capital with a ride up the Funicular, which is just as fun as it sounds! It’s a tramcar which climbs up the mountain to a gondola where you get breathtaking views of the city nestled in the valley surrounded by the Andes mountains. Very stunning.