Destination focus • January 2017
As British Airways launches the only direct flight service between London and the Chilean capital, The Club meets Maria Marcela Alasino, airport manager for Buenos Aires, Lima and Santiago, to find out why it’s more than just a stopover city for travellers en route to Patagonia and the Atacama Desert
Santiago is set against the dramatic backdrop of the Andes, so you won’t be short of photo opportunities. Costanera Center’s observation deck has the best views, but to get even higher, climb the Cerro San Cristobal, a hill at the north of the city in Parque Metropolitano, Santiago’s largest green space.
Hotels such as Cumbres Vitacura and Atton in the upscale neighbourhoods of Vitacura and Providencia offer easy access to the whole city, but the Ritz-Carlton Santiago is the choice for travellers with a bigger budget. Enjoy a dip in the indoor pool – its arched windows provide superb skyline panoramas.
The fertile plains at the foot of the Andes are ideal for growing wine grapes, and you’ll find emerald-hued vineyards within driving distance of the city in Maipo Valley. Head to Concha y Toro, one of the country’s oldest wineries, to sample its renowned Cabernet Sauvignon. The Casablanca region between Santiago and Valparaiso is also worth a visit to discover up-and-coming wineries such as Veramonte.
Sit down to a food-and-wine extravaganza at Bocanariz. Themed tastings help you get to grips with Chile’s wine trends, and the food receives rave reviews: order ceviche, wagyu beef and passion-fruit cheesecake, and judge for yourself.
For authentic handicrafts visit Pueblito Los Dominicos, for everything from musical instruments to handmade jewellery. The leafy Bellas Artes district in downtown Santiago is also becoming a hub of creativity. Don’t miss the cutting-edge jewellery at Aji, or alpaca scarves and ponchos at Ona.
British Airways will fly non-stop from London Heathrow to Santiago from 3 January 2017. To find out more and to book, visit ba.com