Experience the best of Santiago and its scenic surroundings during a combination of two terrific tours. After hotel pickup, visit all of Santiago’s significant sites accompanied by an experienced guide as you circumvent the city in a comfortable, air-conditioned minivan. Appreciate the imperial majesty of the Moneda Palace; admire panoramic city vistas from the summit of San Cristobal hill; and experience the bohemian beauty of Bellavista, a neighborhood famed for its resident artists and poets.
Then, venture to the lush beauty of the Maipo Valley to explore the sprawling vineyards of the Concha y Toro winery. Gain insight into the captivating history of the Casillero del Diablo winery, learning about the winery’s eccentric former owner before sampling signature wines grown in the region. Browse the shop for special souvenirs before returning to your Santiago hotel in your comfortable vehicle.
See the itinerary below for detailed breakdowns of each tour.
Santiago City Tour (3 hours):
After hotel pickup, drive with your guide by the gleaming skyscrapers of ‘Sanhattan,’ the city’s high-end finance center and then head to the civic center. In the neighborhood of Republica, learn about the district formerly home to the 20th century elite and check out Club Hipíco, a thoroughbred racecourse founded in 1869, reconstructed after a fire to resemble Longchamp in France. Then pass by the presidential offices of neoclassical La Moneda Palace and learn its history, including the 1973 overthrow of President Allende that took place here. Walk over to the festive main square of Plaza de Armas, punctuated with palm trees, and gaze upon more gorgeous examples of neoclassical architecture, the Metropolitan Cathedral and Correo Central, the old post office.
Back in the vehicle, travel to the top of Cerro San Cristóbal in Metropolitan Park, the city’s largest urban green space, and capture sweeping panoramas of Santiago with the Andes mountains in the background. Next, admire bohemian Bellavista, its colorful tree-lined streets popping with trendy boutiques, eateries and avant-garde galleries housed in lofts and stately mansions, a barrio partly made famous because Pablo Neruda had lived in this hilly neighborhood. End the tour at Mercado Central, a wrought-iron fish market named by National Geographic as one of the top 10 food markets in the world, and watch dizzying displays of chopping, filleting, weighing and wrapping of all kinds of fish.
Enjoy a variety of options to conclude your city tour: choose to stay at Mercado Central longer and make your own way back to your hotel, ask to be dropped off at a mall where you can shop for those one-of-a-kind souvenirs or simply take immediate transport back to your hotel.
Concha y Toro Winery Tour (4 hours):
After hotel pickup, take a 30-minute drive south of the city to Concha y Toro winery, located in the Maipo Valley winemaking region. Inside the beautifully landscaped grounds of the 1883 winery, meet your winery guide next to the former summer home of the Concha y Toro family and stroll into the old Pirque vineyards to learn about the winery’s techniques for cultivating the vines. From the terrace, take in wonderful vistas of the valley and perhaps catch the master vineyard keepers, responsible for watching the vines all year long, roaming the grounds.
Next, taste Casillero del Diablo (the Devil’s Cellar), one of the world’s best-known Chilean wines produced from carmenere, a grape originally from Bordeaux but now Chile’s trademark varietal. Then descend into the winery’s cellar, also called Casillero del Diablo and listen to the entertaining tale of how founder Don Melchor de Santiago Concha y Toro proclaimed in the late 1800s that the devil lived in the cellar. This legend he spurred on to life succeeded in keeping the public away from his private collection of wine. Conclude your tour at the wine bar and taste more wine from the Casillero del Diablo series and other premier labels. Before being transported back to your hotel, meander through the wine shop for books, souvenirs and, of course, bottles of wine to take home.