Oh my God, we arrived in a country where drivers stop at the “STOP” signs and pedestrians are not invisible anymore… it’s unbelievable…. Jokes aside, Chileans are very friendly and are the first ones we see in South America which seem to really respect the pedestrians and their colleagues in the traffic. In fact driving in Chile is considered very safe and corruption is almost inexistent in the cases of policemen. Chile belongs to the countries which have very good corruption perception indexes in the world being at the same level as the United Kingdom or the United States.
We felt really well in Chile starting in Santiago which is said to be the most modern city in South America. Its metro system is a lot nicer than ones that I’ve seen in some countries in Europe and Chileans have a big passion for big shopping malls .
After Santiago we went to Valparaiso which is one of the most colorful cities we’ve seen. I would compare it with Burano in Italy because just like there the houses have all the possible colors. Though nowadays it is the poorest city in Chile it was once the biggest port and wealthiest city in South America. But after the Panama Channel was build, there was little usage for this port and the economic decline began. But nowadays Valparaiso is trying to reinvent itself by putting the biggest value on tourism and on holidays and weekends you can find half of Santiago here.
In both Santiago and Valparaiso we found out about guided tours which are free and the guides work only for tips. We thought it’s a really great idea and went for the tour and the stories and the parts of the city that we discovered were really amazing. The tours show you some hidden secrets of the city as well as the well-known places. We also learned some things about the history of Chile with its past under the dictatorship of Augusto Pinochet which contrary to many of the dictators in that time decided to give up the power and organized democratically elections in 1990.
One amazing thing we’ve seen or done
Around Santiago we definitely wanted to visit some vineyards and we decided to go to the Concha y Toro vineyards which are world famous for the wine with the brand Casillero del Diablo. It was a great experience and we also did some wine tasting after which I can warmly recommend the Carmenere wine. Carmenere is a grape type that was thought to be extinct because of a big plague in Europe in the 19th century. But it was rediscovered in Chile in 1994. Chilean growers believed it was a clone of Merlot but now it is recognized as a different type of grape.
Santiago de Chile