Chile Journals

Chilling in Chile

A travel journal to Chile by TwoIdiots

Colorful Window Photo, Valparaiso, Chile More Photos
Quote: After hiking in Patagonia, we took it easy going back up north, spending time in Puerto Natales, Punta Arenas, Santiago, Valparaiso and Easter Island before coming home to the States. The following is a brief account of some of the thinhgs we liked about each of these places.
El Living Photo, Puerto Natales, Chile
Quote:
After trekking in Torres del Paine, we took the bus to Puerto Natales to return our rental gears and refill our stomachs with king crabs. We booked ahead of time at Hotel Laguna Azul which is at the edge of downtown nearby the bus stop. Fortunately, Puerto Natales is a town small enough to practically walk everywhere. By the way, there were plenty of vacancies in the center of town in late January. We enjoyed walking along the waterfront with its peaceful view of sunset, mountains and swans. We supposed that tourism was winding down in late January, the gift shops were empty but interesting enough to keep us entertained for a day or two. And the locals had this fabulous idea of turning tr...Read More
Breakfast at Hostal Oro Fueguino Photo, Chile, South America
Quote:
Punta Arenas was where we connect our flight to Santiago. We spent a couple of nights here at the very colorful Hostal Oro Fueguino nearby Cruz Hill. Punta Arenas is much bigger than Puerto Natales, we get around by Taxi and walking. We followed certain guide book’s recommendation and went to Mt. Fenton in Reserve Forestal Magallanes for a panoramic view. They charged us US$15 to go up the hill regardless of whether we hiked or took the chairlift. It was a clear windy day, the view was so so, the wind was strong, and the walk downhill was muddy. On the contrary, the Cruz Hill Lookout (Mirador La Cruz) was free and much more interesting with its colorful neighborhood. The view up here sure ...Read More
Colorful Window Photo, Valparaiso, Chile
Quote:
Valparaiso is just a two hour bus ride west of Santiago. This colorful seaside town offered a variety of interesting places to sleep, from very comfortable bed and breakfast inn with ocean view to our minimalist ‘green’ room at Hostel Pilcomayo. Many artists live in Valparaiso. Murals and carefully painted windows and entry ways were everywhere, so do handicraft vendors.

There were lots of restaurants with hanging terraces or outdoor patios for us to relax, enjoy the view and sip afternoon tea. When we got tired of the lazy, breezy atmosphere, we took a short trolley ride south to Vina del Mar for the lively bar scene.

Trendy Santiago

Best Of IgoUgo

Story/Tip

Barrio Paris Londres Photo, Santiago, Chile
Quote:
The Central Market in Santiago was fun. The taxi driver dropped us off at the touristy end of the market; we then crossed the bridge and went to the section for locals. The place seemed to be a pick pockets’ haven since we were warned by both our inn keeper and the police patrolling the market. There were blocks after blocks of vendors, the deeper we went, the cheaper the price, and more serious the shoppers. We bought several kilos (they only sell by kilo) worth of strawberries, peaches, apples, cherries, banana, oranges... That’s what we ate for lunch, dinner, and breakfast.Museo Chileno de Arts Precolombino is a world class museum. The collections were well organized and presented even ...Read More

Tapati Rapa Nui Festival of Easter Island

Attraction | "Easter Island - The Big Stone Heads"

Tapati Rapa Nui Festival of Easter Island Photo, Easter Island, Chile
Quote:
Our last stop in Chile was Easter Island. Of course, we went there to see the maoi, and our favorite site was the quarry, Rano Raraku. There, at the wide open quarry, without a single tree, we got up close and personal with hundreds of maoi lying around in different stages of completion.Our February visit to Easter Island was coincided with the local annual festival, Tapati Rapa Nui, a two week long celebration of local culture and traditions. Everyday there were events, competitions, or performances took place at different locations on the island. Our favorite was the group singing competition. There were two groups: one dressed in yellow, one dressed in white, with a lot of beautiful Pol...Read More

Tapati Rapa Nui Festival of Easter Island

Easter Island

El Living

Restaurant | "Funky Vegetarian"

El Living Photo, Puerto Natales, Chile
Quote:
El Living is located on the eastside of Plaza de Armas. The décor is colorful with equally colorful cuisine. The atmosphere is casual and relax. It’s like a cross between a restaurant and a café. One can lounge around here all day.

On our visit, we ordered bread and soup (see photo). The orange one was pumpkin soup and the red one was beet soup. Perfect for a windy day.

Member Rating 5 out of 5 on September 20, 2009

El Living
En la plaza del correo
Puerto Natales, Chile

La Ultima Esperanza

Restaurant | "Best Seafood in Town"

Quote:
We heard about La Ultima Esperanza in a guide book raving about its seafood and formal dining. Nonetheless, we showed up in our hiking clothes. The location of the restaurant was nothing special but it was down the street from where we sent our laundry. The price was above average but the freshness of the food was well worth it. Make sure to order their soup. It's divine! In our opinion, it is the best seafood restaurant in town.

Member Rating 5 out of 5 on September 20, 2009

La Ultima Esperanza
Eberhard 354
Puerto Natales, Chile
411-391

Hotel Laguna Azul

Hotel | "Quality Varied from Room to Room"

Quote:
We booked and pre-paid Hotel Laguna Azul before we arrived. On their web site, they claimed to be located in downtown Puerto Natales. Well, that is debatable. It was nearby the bus stop and there were money exchange, markets and travel agents right outside the hotel. However, it was not anywhere near the Plaza. Fortunately, Puerto Natales is a town small enough to practically walk everywhere. By the way, there were plenty of vacancies in the center of town in late January.We stayed here twice for our transit to and from Torres del Paine. The quality of the room varied greatly even though we paid the same price. Breakfast was complimentary and decent. It was sure convenient to have before t...Read More

Member Rating 2 out of 5 on September 20, 2009

Hotel Laguna Azul
Baquedano 380
Puerto Natales, Chile
56-61-411207

Chez Maria Goretti

Best Of IgoUgo

Hotel | "Watch Out for the Bait and Switch"

Chez Maria Goretti Photo, Easter Island, Chile
Quote:
We arrived on Easter Island in Feb. after a couple of long flights from Punta Arenas. It was raining when we got off the plane, and Maria swiftly took us and another European couple over to where we thought was our hotel. We were given welcome drinks and hurried into our rooms. We felt a little funny because the place did not resemble the photos on the web site but we were too tired.We slept on the dusty bed sheets for an hour or so, and decided to take a shower. That’s when the real horror show began. There were dead bugs on the towels. When we opened the shower curtain, cockroaches went running in all directions. The water coming out from the faucet was rusty and cold – no hot water. Fru...Read More

Member Rating 1 out of 5 on March 27, 2008

Chez Maria Goretti
Near Ahu Tahai
Hanga Roa, Easter Island
32-100-459