We have returned from three days and a couple of nights exploring part of Santiago. We left most of our belongings at our friend’s house in El Ajail. An Airbnb apartment was our home for two nights in Barrio Bellavista. It seems like we keep finding the bohemian areas of cities south of the equator. Do you remember our stay in the Barranco district in Lima, Peru?
The Bellavista neighborhood is known as Santiago’s bohemian quarter. The area has popular locations; the most noteworthy are Cerro San Cristóbal (St. Christopher’s Hill) and La Chascona. Cerro San Cristóbal is a metropolitan park built around a hill that rises 300 meters above the city. A 22-meter statue of the Virgin Mary is on the summit. Thousands of pilgrims visit it each year by hiking up the winding pathway. Since we weren’t on a pilgrimage we took the funicular. La Chascona was one of Pablo Neruda‘s homes in Chile. I’ll admit I didn’t know who Pablo Neruda was before our visit to Santiago. After visiting his home, I want to read some of his works. In addition to his poetry, he was diplomat for Chile for many years and won a Nobel Prize in Literature. He had quite a life!
The area is also host to many great restaurants, galleries, and mansions. We visited Cerro San Cristóbal and La Chascona and enjoyed a couple of meals in the neighborhood. I’ve already started a more detailed blog about our visit to the city, which I should finish soon.