Santiago is situated in the wide Central Valley at an altitude of 520 metres set against the magnificent backdrop of the Andes to the east. The city was founded in 1541 and is now the political, economic and financial capital of Chile with almost 40% of the country’s population living in and around the city. With a population of over seven million, Santiago is also the sixth largest city in South America.
Santiago is a mixture of the old and the new, with the grand architecture of the centre, the lively nightlife of the barrios of Brasil, Lastarria and Bellavista, and the gentility of high end neighbourhoods like Providencia and Las Condes.
A guided tour of Santiago might include La Moneda (Presidential Palace), a walk through the pedestrianised streets of Huerfanos and Ahumada, the Plaza de Armas, and Santa Lucia Hill where the Spanish founded Santiago in 1541. Following that you might pay a visit to the cultural and artistic neighbourhood of Bellavista, the 300-metre high San Cristobal Hill for views of the city from the top, and finally to elegant Providencia with its cafes and restaurants for dinner.