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Santiago or San Antonio, Chile?


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I have a cruise booked out of Santiago (San Antonio) Chile for March 2022.  Just starting some preliminary research and wondering if it is better to stay in Santiago, Chile or in San Antonio, Chile pre-cruise.  I'll (probably) have 2 days pre-cruise, and not sure what to see, so not sure which city to stay in.  Any specific locations you recommend staying in at either of these cities.  Also, if you have any hotel recommendations to include, I'd appreciate it.  I'm traveling solo, so safety is a big concern as well.  This will be my first time in South America (and I don't speak Spanish at all), so definitely looking for advice.

 

 

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Since no one has responded, I will reply even though it has been two years since we did a similar cruise.

 

I would recommend that you stay in Santiago. It is a charming city with a lot of history and much to see. We stayed at the Hotel Plaza San Francisco which was within walking distance of the Plaza de Armas and the old part of the city. A nice hotel at a reasonable price. The staff there spoke English and were very helpful.

 

Besides just exploring the area on our own, we also did a Hop-On-Hop-Off bus tour, a walking tour of the public markets, watched the changing of the guard at the governmental building and enjoyed many different local foods.

 

You will have to arrange a way to get from Santiago to San Antonio on the day your cruise begins. This could be through the cruise line (although you would most likely have to go back to the airport for pick up), a private transfer or as we did, take a public bus.  

 

I have detailed daily posts from our trip on my blog if you want to get more information. The blog also has links to some YouTube videos that I have done. Click on this link: South America Cruise Posts (My Souvenir Memories Blog).  You can just click "newer post" at the bottom of each page to advance to the next day.

 

If you have any other questions, do not hesitate to email me through my link in the blog. Good luck in your planning and hopefully your cruise will be able to operate!

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  • 2 weeks later...

As Arymay pointed out, it would be best to stay in Santiago.  There is much more to see and do there.  We also stayed at the Hotel San Francisco - a wonderful hotel and convenient for sightseeing.  We used Carola Neubauer for tours and she can be reached at Carola.neubauer@gmail.com.  Noteworthy - we were in Santiago last year from March 5th - 7th and although we enjoyed the sights we did see, there was a lot of civil unrest in the city and as such, there were demonstrations each day and night, armed guards everywhere and we were told not to leave our hotel in the evenings.  There was no subway running at that time as the stops had all been vandalized or torched and so many more people were above ground waiting trying to get around by bus or car.  This made for tremendous traffic jams and it sometimes took an hour to go from one block to another, just due to congestion.  Many attractions were either inaccessible or boarded up and there weren't any buildings that didn't have graffiti on them.  It was a bit disappointing to see the city in that state and I'm not sure what conditions are like there now.  One tour which we took outside of the city and was fabulous was a full day trip to the Andes Mountains.  We used IloveChili Tours and did the Andes Panoramic Route.  Our guides were a husband and wife team who gave us and another couple the most spectacular day and we would definitely recommend them.  Their names are Sebastien and Francisca.  You can reach them at contact@ilovechilitours.com.  Another thing to mention is how dry the air is in Santiago.  I always had bottled water with me to help with the dryness.

 

Barb

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  • 4 weeks later...
Posted (edited)
On 2/5/2021 at 9:02 AM, AryMay said:

Since no one has responded, I will reply even though it has been two years since we did a similar cruise.

 

I would recommend that you stay in Santiago. It is a charming city with a lot of history and much to see. We stayed at the Hotel Plaza San Francisco which was within walking distance of the Plaza de Armas and the old part of the city. A nice hotel at a reasonable price. The staff there spoke English and were very helpful.

 

Besides just exploring the area on our own, we also did a Hop-On-Hop-Off bus tour, a walking tour of the public markets, watched the changing of the guard at the governmental building and enjoyed many different local foods.

 

You will have to arrange a way to get from Santiago to San Antonio on the day your cruise begins. This could be through the cruise line (although you would most likely have to go back to the airport for pick up), a private transfer or as we did, take a public bus.  

 

I have detailed daily posts from our trip on my blog if you want to get more information. The blog also has links to some YouTube videos that I have done. Click on this link: South America Cruise Posts (My Souvenir Memories Blog).  You can just click "newer post" at the bottom of each page to advance to the next day.

 

If you have any other questions, do not hesitate to email me through my link in the blog. Good luck in your planning and hopefully your cruise will be able to operate!

Thank you for the information on the hotel and the link to your Blog.  I only looked at your first day and already know I'll be going back through it since there is so much helpful information!  Thanks so much!!

 

Edited by BassettMom
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On 2/18/2021 at 10:44 AM, matamanoa said:

As Arymay pointed out, it would be best to stay in Santiago.  There is much more to see and do there.  We also stayed at the Hotel San Francisco - a wonderful hotel and convenient for sightseeing.  We used Carola Neubauer for tours and she can be reached at Carola.neubauer@gmail.com.  Noteworthy - we were in Santiago last year from March 5th - 7th and although we enjoyed the sights we did see, there was a lot of civil unrest in the city and as such, there were demonstrations each day and night, armed guards everywhere and we were told not to leave our hotel in the evenings.  There was no subway running at that time as the stops had all been vandalized or torched and so many more people were above ground waiting trying to get around by bus or car.  This made for tremendous traffic jams and it sometimes took an hour to go from one block to another, just due to congestion.  Many attractions were either inaccessible or boarded up and there weren't any buildings that didn't have graffiti on them.  It was a bit disappointing to see the city in that state and I'm not sure what conditions are like there now.  One tour which we took outside of the city and was fabulous was a full day trip to the Andes Mountains.  We used IloveChili Tours and did the Andes Panoramic Route.  Our guides were a husband and wife team who gave us and another couple the most spectacular day and we would definitely recommend them.  Their names are Sebastien and Francisca.  You can reach them at contact@ilovechilitours.com.  Another thing to mention is how dry the air is in Santiago.  I always had bottled water with me to help with the dryness.

 

Barb

Thanks for the second vote for the hotel--looks like a good place to stay.  Thanks too for the information on the tours you used--that will come in handy as I start researching in earnest.  As for the dry air, I live in Las Vegas, Nevada, so I'm used to the dry air, and yes, I always have water with me here too.  😀

 

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  • 3 weeks later...
Posted (edited)
On 1/29/2021 at 11:42 AM, BassettMom said:

I have a cruise booked out of Santiago (San Antonio) Chile for March 2022.  Just starting some preliminary research and wondering if it is better to stay in Santiago, Chile or in San Antonio, Chile pre-cruise.  I'll (probably) have 2 days pre-cruise, and not sure what to see, so not sure which city to stay in.  Any specific locations you recommend staying in at either of these cities.  Also, if you have any hotel recommendations to include, I'd appreciate it.  I'm traveling solo, so safety is a big concern as well.  This will be my first time in South America (and I don't speak Spanish at all), so definitely looking for advice.

 

 

I echo everyone else, I was on a cruise in Feb/March of 2020, right in the middle of the pandemic. The staff at the Plaza were brilliant and I wrote about the cruise on my blog

butarewethereyet.blogspot.com   and the references to the hotel and the surrounding areas are on this particular page, 

https://butarewethereyet.blogspot.com/2020/02/planes-trains-bubbles-and-riots-26.html  and 

http://butarewethereyet.blogspot.com/2020/02/the-mighty-andes-santiago-day-2.html

and a really good free walking tour that you must do

http://butarewethereyet.blogspot.com/2020/02/strawberry-walking-tour-day-3.html

 

The pages after deal with our trip up the coast and  the ports the panama canal  and back to England in the middle of the pandemic.

 

Its a terrific city and I fear if you stay in San Antonio you will get the wrong impression about Chile which is a fabulous country.  Have a great trip,

 

 

 

 

Edited by roscoe39
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12 hours ago, roscoe39 said:

I echo everyone else, I was on a cruise in Feb/March of 2020, right in the middle of the pandemic. The staff at the Plaza were brilliant and I wrote about the cruise on my blog

butarewethereyet.blogspot.com   and the references to the hotel and the surrounding areas are on this particular page, 

https://butarewethereyet.blogspot.com/2020/02/planes-trains-bubbles-and-riots-26.html  and 

http://butarewethereyet.blogspot.com/2020/02/the-mighty-andes-santiago-day-2.html

and a really good free walking tour that you must do

http://butarewethereyet.blogspot.com/2020/02/strawberry-walking-tour-day-3.html

 

The pages after deal with our trip up the coast and  the ports the panama canal  and back to England in the middle of the pandemic.

 

Its a terrific city and I fear if you stay in San Antonio you will get the wrong impression about Chile which is a fabulous country.  Have a great trip,

 

Thanks!  Appreciate the info!  I love your block, and the pictures really help!

Donna 

 

 

 

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Thank you everyone for your recommendations.  After talking with my SIL, we are going to stay in Santiago and will book the Plaza San Francisco Hotel. 

Thanks again!

Donna

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