Santiago (Valparaíso), Chile
Explore Chile’s flourishing capital city and bask in an intricate mixture of the past and present during a visit to Santiago. This lively and cosmopolitan city is home to around 40% of Chile’s residents, as well as impressive architecture, museums, fancy restaurants, leafy hillside parks and stunning landscapes. You’ll be in awe as you look up to see the surrounding peaks of the Andes, and you’ll truly experience this city’s culture as you join the bustle of its sprawling streets.
Santiago has something for everyone, with sightseeing, shopping, eating delicious cuisine, wine tasting and exploring art culture in the Bellas Artes neighbourhood only a few of the top picks for tourists stopping here. Popular cruise lines that visit this stunning city include Royal Caribbean International, Princess Cruises and Cunard Line.
Cruise ships dock in a coastal city called Valparaíso, which is located 90 minutes away from Santiago.
There are a few port facilities located in Valparaíso, including restaurants, shops, cafés and transport. As the town has been home to artists and is a World Heritage Site, many tourists even find it fascinating to explore areas here before heading to Santiago.
Facilities nearby include:
Tourist information office
How to Get Around
Buses depart from Valparaíso’s port to take passengers into Santiago. This trip take around 90 minutes, and it is recommended to organise this through your cruise line. Once in Santiago, you can cover a lot of ground on foot. As you’ll want to explore as much of this city as possible, it is recommended to try out another mode of transport as well. The Metro subway system is a reliable choice, and taxis generally line the streets.
Travel times from Valparaíso’s Port:
It is a 90 minute journey to reach Santiago from the port. Other travel times to Santiago’s attractions are as follows:
Travel times from the centre of Santiago:
It is an 8 minute journey to Bellas Artes
It is a 19 minute journey to Castillo Hidalgo
It is a 7 minute journey to Plaza de Armas.
It is an 18 minute journey to Cerro San Cristóbal
It is a 5 minute journey to Bellas Artes
It is a 5 minute journey to Castillo Hidalgo
It is a 3 minute journey to Plaza de Armas.
Currency – The local currency in Santiago is the peso ($). Coins are issued in denominations of 5, 10, 20, and 50 centavos, and larger peso coins come in 1, 5, 10 and 20 pesos. Banknotes are found in denominations of $20, $50, $100, $200, $500 and $1,000.
Time Zone – Santiago falls under Chile Standard Time (CLT), putting it 3 hours behind Coordinated Universal Time (UTC). Daylight Savings Time is observed from September to April.
Weather – Santiago is characterised by Mediterranean climates, with dry summers and mild winters. January is its hottest month of the year, with temperatures averaging 21 degrees Celsius. The coldest month of the year is June and July is the wettest month, averaging 80mm of rain.
Cerro San Cristobal – Take in unbeatable views of Santiago and its surrounding mountains by visiting Cerro San Cristobal. Stretching over 722 hectares, this park is one of the largest in the city, with funicular trains travelling between its many landscaped stops. There is a great variety of attractions at Cerro San Cristobal, including the National Zoo, botanical gardens, public swimming pools and the gorgeous Japanese Garden (Jardin Japones). Santiago’s 14-metre-high statue of the Virgin of the Immaculate Conception is another iconic feature and a popular place to take some fantastic photos.
Bellas Artes – Observe Santiago’s growing art scene by visiting the city’s artistic neighbourhood, Bellas Artes. Situated between Parque Forestal and Alameda and near the foot of Santa Lucia Hill, Bellas Artes is home to writers, artists, galleries and an 18th century church. The district is home to several impressive museums, including the Museum of Visuals Arts, which exhibits around 300 local artists.
Plaza de Armas – Located in the social hub of Santiago is the palm-framed Plaza de Armas. This square is surrounded by neoclassical buildings, including the Metropolitan Cathedral, City Hall and the old post office. Those wanting to purchase memorable souvenirs can stroll through the two pedestrian malls to check out local handicrafts. Be entertained by musicians and recharge at one of the many cafés before heading out to some of Santiago’s significant landmarks nearby. Plaza de Armas is a popular spot for locals and tourists alike. It’s the perfect place to experience the bustle of the city, watch the sun turn the area golden and raise a glass of wine to an unforgettable adventure through Santiago.