Just Chile Out with Our Cool Travel Guide
With 3,000 miles of coastline, you might think that Chile is all about the beach. In fact, this narrow country located
on South America's west coast also boasts deserts, islands and farmlands, not to mention some of the highest peaks in the
world (thanks to its share of the Andes). So, read on--and check out what those giant Easter Island heads have been
scoping out for so long.
Capital Venturing: Santiago, Chile's capital, is a sprawling city of about 5.5
million people. We found most of those people to be super-friendly--but, really, why wouldn't they be? Their clubs and restaurants
are bubbling with European flair. And the outdoor adventure types can find just about anything to tickle their fancy--we recommend
hooking up with our friends at Sportstour Chile to fill those needs.
Plaza de Armas in Santiago is the main square for artists. Those with an eye for handmade items can find some pretty
nice crafts and paintings there.
|X-treme Measures: Our travel group
gets ready for some fun in the sun.|
Not to be missed in Santiago is San Cristobal Hill. It's a tremendous spot that overlooks the entire city, and it's
a launching spot for bike paths and hiking. Also, make sure to take an evening and eat at Enoteca restaurant. It has
an amazing wine selection.
Everything to the Extreme: You might have a bumpy landing when getting to nearby Pucón--mainly
because the runway is a gravel road. But this simple setting hides the fact that Pucón is the area's adventure hub.
In or near Pucón, you can do all kinds of Wild stuff like skydiving, hiking, waterskiing and river rafting.
Turismo Trancura took Cindy rafting down the Trancura River, which was pretty amazing. Different grades of rapids are available, and
when the scenery includes snow-capped volcanoes, how can you go wrong? Turismo can also set you up with other activities
made for adrenaline junkies, including mountain biking and volcano climbs.
Add Bubbles, Mix, Soak: Pucón also has a significant nightlife scene, and any good nightlife
worth its salt has a foam party. Check! It's here at Morena. The hot springs are also a great attraction.
Or, if you so desire, get lost in the Blair Witch Project-type woodsy area, where the parties just pop up.
Where Is Everybody? Over on the coast, the beaches of Viña del Mar are just gorgeous.
January and February--summertime in the Southern Hemisphere--are the big vacation months there. You should also select your
beach-going hours carefully. If you show up at 10 or 11 a.m., you'll be out there alone. With all the late-night and early
morning clubbing, not even families with kids hit the sand until after noon.
Hot, Hot, Hot (and Naughty): All over Chile, the clubs are a blast. And one of the hottest is
Inferno, a fire-themed disco in Santiago where we saw some bondage plays, plus two girls and a fire-spittin', leather-wearin'
guy onstage, showering together. Ahhh...all in a day's work. For more sweaty clubbin' excitement, get yourself into Boomerang, a three-story Santiago hotspot.
|Coffee Grinding: Grab a cup of Joe--a
peep show--at Santiago's Baron Rojo. |
Is This What They Mean by Grinding the Coffee? The coffee bars are other popular entertainment
venues that are guaranteed to get you going, because if the caffeine doesn't get your heart pumping, the scantily clad servers
will. At Santiago's Baron Rojo, known as the "café with legs," the women serve coffee in not much more than their thongs.
We'll take a double shot, thank you very much.