Top 5 Reasons to Travel to Chile
Last month I was fortunate enough to ditch this California winter (I know that doesn’t sound bad but California's 2016-2017 winter was exceptionally cold!) and travel to one of my favorite countries, Chile! This was my second trip to the gorgeous region, and it reinforced all of the reasons why I fell in love when I visited 5 years ago. If you read my What I Wore in Warwick, NY blog post, you’ll know that I have a huge bite from the travel bug, but Chile holds a special place in my heart. Here are the top 5 reasons why I love Chile and why you should add the country to your travel bucket list.
People are often surprised when I describe Chile as an eclectic place, and to be fair it might not be an accurate description of the entire country. However, the beautiful jumble of artistry that is Valparaíso puts a distinct stamp on the country and makes the eclectic description appropriate ☺. First, the city is bursting with color. Every building is painted an incredible shade of pink, blue, purple etc. Now, picture the color palette I described floating atop an endless amount of rolling hills. That’s exactly what Valparaíso looks like. There’s street art on every corner (I even got a shot of a mural in the making!), and it’s not uncommon to see crowds made up of all ages and genders listening to the bohemian tunes of a local street artist.
Of course I couldn’t resist snapping a few photos ☺ On this day, I was wearing one of my fave tees which I like to call “Not Your Dad’s Hawaiian Shirt," comfy J-Brand jeans, and an older pair of black sandals which were both outfit and walking appropriate.
Just a few miles away from Valparaiso on Chile’s Pacific Coast is Viña del Mar. The two cities are complete opposites of each other, think Venice Beach and Santa Monica. What Valparaíso gives in hobo-chic, Viña del Mar matches in classy-boujee. The city is known as Chile’s most luxurious beach town and is home to the French style palace “Palacio Rioja," horse drawn carriages, and a giant flower clock overlooking the sea. But even though the city is so upscale, we still managed to find a street cart selling rellenos de crema and a pop up beach stand serving mojitos in plastic cups ☺
I wasn’t able to spend much time in Santiago last time I was in Chile, so I made sure to add the city to my itinerary this go-round. If you’re a person that doesn’t enjoy a good metro hustle and bustle then Santiago isn’t for you. But, if you’re like me and you like to pretend that you’re Carrie in Sex and the City circa 1999, Santiago is the place for you. I’m a sucker for any cosmopolitan city with trendy stores, a mix of modern and classic deco, and nicely dressed people, so Santiago did not disappoint!
In true blogger fashion, I spent a lot of the day pretending to be as chic as all the city dwellers. My off the shoulder top and pink high waisted shorts were the perfect outfit combo for the hot Chilean heat. I also love how the ruffles on my top and my casual converse sneakers (don’t go anywhere without them!) balance each other so I don’t appear to be trying too hard ☺ Except of course in the photo below where I’m clearly attempting to channel the beginning of the Beyonce “Hold Up” video!
Chile, like any place, has its fair share of museums, but the standout for me was Pablo Neruda’s house in Santiago, La Chascona Caso Museo. I won’t go into too much detail about who Pablo Neruda is, but all you really need to know is he was one of the greatest love poets of our time, and his stunning house is a grandiose reflection of his love for Chile and his wife Matilde. I’m obsessed with décor and design, which is why I found the elaborate and strangely quirky details of Neruda’s house mesmerizing. A must see for any trip to Santiago!
Last but certainly not least, the Chilean people are a great reason to visit this country. Coming from a non-Spanish speaking black girl visiting a (pseudo) non-English speaking country full of fairer skinned people, I felt nothing but love and good vibes from everyone I encountered. With all that’s going on in the world I don’t take the privilege of international travel lightly, and I’ll never forget the kindness that was shown to my sister and I ☺
I hope this post inspired you to travel to Chile! Feel free to shoot me an email if you have any Chile travel questions, and please drop a comment below and let me know what destination is next on your travel list!