"Welcome to Chile and welcome to Santiago" Patricio said when I met him at my hostel, where he stopped by to pick me up. And I did feel welcome by the Santiaguinos. Santiago is a modern city, some say it lacks the charismatic charm and worldly style which other cities in South America, e.g. Buenos Aires, have, but everyone has to decide that for themselves. I felt perfectly entertained by the relaxed and friendly way of the people, the clean streets, the working public transportation system, the vast variety of museums and culture available, the nice public parks and the nightlife. If I would have to name one drawback/negative point, it would certainly be the ever present smog in the city which was quite annoying.
More than six million people call Santiago Metropolis there home, turning it into the largest urban area of the country. The city is located in the central valley of Chile and is the capital of the proud Andean state. From here you can reach the pacific as well as the mountains in about one hour (both less than 200 kilometers away). Mendoza in Argentina is too only about 400 kilometers away. The city itself lacks the chaotic Latin American vibe and is much more organized and structured. Comparable to a European city, e.g. Madrid. A lot of the economic power in Chile resides here and this made the city grow in recent years. It thus possesses the most extensive subway system in South America, a big financial district, lots of culture, and so on and so forth.
Patricio gave me a nice insider tour through Santiago, so let's take a walk by using some of the pictures I took.