Before I get started – YES, we understand that it is Fall below the Equator. But I still get a little bit of complain time over the fact that we have only had TWO days of partial sunshine for this entire trip. That’s a lot of rain and cloud cover.
Now that that’s done let me just add that Santiago, even in the rain, has really impressed us as a city and as a tourist destination. We were struck immediately by how modern the city felt, the subway was clean and efficient and despite the still numerous stray dogs – there was no dog poo! (Apparently this is going to be an earmark for the enjoyableness of a city. Ratio of steps to dog poo). And don’t get me started on the sheer natural beauty Santiago has – how can you beat being surrounded by the Andes and beautiful fall colored leaves all around? (hint: you can’t!)
Even though the rain was a real bummer, much to Adam’s delight I’m sure, there were no lack of museums and rainy day sights. The main excitement for us in visiting Santiago lay in the fact that this city is nestled directly amid the Andes – you can see their peaks, some covered in snow from almost any vantage point.*
*This will not be the case if you encounter rain. Which we did. But even then, early in the morning you could catch a glimpse of the gorgeous mountain range encircling Santiago.
So you can imagine that for a while we were worried when our list of things to do were all outdoor activities and the forecast for our entire stay was 70-90% chance of rain.
Thank goodness for museums.
Santiago is full of ’em. We visited three our first day here stopping at the National Museum of History, National Museum of Natural History and the National Museum of Belles Art. Luckily for us we happened to be visiting during an art promotion week and all of the museums were completely free!
In my opinion the best museum was the Museum of History as it had a great layout taking you from pre-colonial time in Chile through the empire stages right up to the present. Belles Art was cool too with a variety of exhibits ranging from sculpture, historical portraits and modern art.
The rest of our time the first day was spent wandering around the parks, dodging inside shops and restaurants when the rain became too intense. As much fun as it was, we couldn’t help going to sleep that night with our fingers crossed for a less rainy day…