Tuesday, July 28, 2015

Best hikes in and around Santiago

One of the best things about living in Chile is that you are never far from the mountains, the ocean and good hiking trails. Santiago has some great hikes nearby, which offer you a refreshing escape from the smoggy crowded city. Below are some of my favorites:

El Morado

Difficulty: medium (16km, about 6-8 hours round trip)
Access: car or bus (bus is quite long and difficult, check the "more info" link for directions).

This is easily one of the best hikes that you can get to from Santiago.

Tuesday, July 21, 2015

Travels in the north: La Serena and Coquimbo

One part of Chile that I haven't been able to travel to very much is the north; unfortunately, the farthest north I've gone so far is La Serena, which is about a 5 hour bus ride from Santiago on the coast. I would love to go to the Atacama desert one day, but whenever vacation time comes around I always find myself heading south.

But we did make it as far as La Serena and it's neighboring city, Coquimbo, last year and it was a great trip. Near Santiago on the coast are two cities, one of which I've blogged about before: Valparaiso and Viña del Mar. While both are nice places to visit, people tend to prefer one or the other. Most tourists like Valparaiso better, because it's more interesting from a foreigner's perspective. It has colorful graffiti art everywhere, crooked staircases crawling up its numerous hills, and a lot of great food and nightlife. But many Chileans I've talked to seem to prefer Viña, mainly because it's cleaner and safer than Valpo (Valparaiso's nickname). And Viña also has good nightlife and food, plus it's got beaches as well.

The crooked, colorful streets of Valparaiso

Tuesday, July 14, 2015

Eating healthy: Shopping in the ferias

While Chile does have some interesting and delicious food, its not exactly known for its cuisine. Unfortunately there is an over-abundance of unhealthy food here, such as:

  • Empanadas: baked or fried pies filled with meat, cheese and the occasional vegetable. 
    I like empanadas as much as anyone, but they do leave you feeling like you just swallowed a brick sometimes.

Friday, July 10, 2015

Patagonia and Middle South Travel Photos

If you're interested in seeing more photos of my travels through the south this past year, check out some of the Picasa albums I've put together for them.

Tuesday, July 7, 2015

El Chalten Hiking: Mount Fitz Roy

Laguna de Los Tres, El Chalten
When people think of hiking in Patagonia, many people think of the Torres del Paine in Chile, but Argentina has just as much to offer in the little town of El Chalten. It's most famous peak is Mount Fitz Roy, which on clear days can be seen as you drive into town from the highway.