Valparaíso is backpacker central. Chile’s most colourful city is also a magnet for rich tourists, artists and pretty much anyone who lands in Santiago—it’s next door to the capital, only two hours by bus.
It took me a couple of days to realize that “my” neighbourhood, around Universidad de Chile, is basically Little Caracas. If the food isn’t from Venezuela, the vendors are.
Santiago packed most of the pubs and nightclubs in one neighbourhood, Barrio Bellavista.
“Let’s see… how much money do I need today?”I laughed at my own question. Considering the plans for the afternoon, whatever I have in my wallet never be enough.
“Tengo sed,” it said on the Cross.“I’m thirsty too, Jesus. I’ve just hiked to the top of Cerro San Cristóbal—and by the way, I have no idea how to go down. What’s your story, already?”
Concepción is worth a stop but you probably can’t appreciate it until you truly immerse yourself in campus life or academia.
“Did you have a good day?”“Well… No.”I can be bluntly honest with Feng, who knows exactly how fast travelling can go from “awesome” to “let’s get the hell out of here.”
In New York, you may have the pleasant surprise to discover that most of the…
The first thing I did in Concepción was to leave Concepción.
Initially, it was accidental.
I had a coffee, inexplicably served with a fork. Then I had another coffee, which also came with a fork—either it’s a Terminal Sur tradition, either the kiosco employees had worked the night shift and were as sleepy as I was.
“You’re such a good husband, always volunteering to pick up my prescriptions at the pharmacy!” a few Chilean women must have said.
I think I found out why.
Art nouveau, neo-Gothic, Haussman and neoclassical-Spanish buildings are falling apart, but they do it with style and the result is a fascinating barrio full of colours, churches, plazas and stunning murals.
If you like cats, giant fruits and veggies and chatting with locals, spend some time in La Vega Central.
Santiago’s creepiest house is a mansion located in an otherwise tiny, lovely neighbourhood, barrio París-Londres.
The Coup, The Struggle for Democracy and a New Beginning – Santiago’s Museo De La Memoria Y Los Derechos Humanos
Forty-five years ago, I wouldn’t have been able to roam around freely in Latin America—unless the other me had had a taste for military dictatorship tourism, and I don’t think she would have.
The fleeting thought bugged me for a few seconds, then the light turned green and I crossed La Alameda. Wait. Could there be… another way to cross the avenue?
Don’t tell me about the winter storm that swept across America and Canada. Trust me, I know.
“It’s easy, really. Climb the hill with cactus all the way to the top. Then you’ll reach the Panamericana.”
At the other end of the 11-kilometre-long beach, on top of a hill, there’s another city with another giant structure—Coquimbo and the Cruz del Tercer Milenio.
La Serena isn’t some pueblito in the Atacama Desert—Chile’s second-oldest city is the capital of the Coquimbo Region and it has a population of nearly 200,000 (400,000 for the Greater La Serena).
Yet, it feels like a small town.
I’m glad I took a chance on La Serena—it paid off.
You never know, with coastal cities. Sometimes, the beach locals rave about is small and dirty, sometimes you end up in a tiny, overpriced town along with hordes of tourists, sometimes port cities are run down and dodgy.
If you see people waiting in line in La Serena, join the queue—chances are you’ll be soon eating the best churrascas you’ve ever had. What, you’ve never had a churrasca?
It’s pitch dark outside, which is a sure sign it’s way too early to be up, packing.
I hope I’ll be able to find a taxi.
I hope I won’t get lost in the maze of the San Borja bus terminal.