Home to almost half of the country’s population, it’s a bustling metropolis that has seen some charismatic boutique hotels and restaurants spring up in recent years. Santiago is also a great base to the visit what was known by sailors as the Jewel of the Pacific, Valparaíso. It’s a colourful coastal city with a strong European heritage. The city that inspired legendary poet Pablo Neruda, the maze of cerros (hills) that make up this charming city are lined with some of the most impressive street art on the continent, and is nowadays a hive of artistic expression.
September is springtime in Santiago, and daytime temperatures should often be at a comfortable 20°C. It does get quite busy from December, and that’s usually the time of year Chileans head for the Pacific beaches. New Year’s Eve is a major celebration in Valparaíso, with impressive firework displays over the coast.
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