Dan In Argentina: …and Chile


This weekend, I went to Chile with a bunch of Richmond friends! We stayed in Santiago, skied in the Andes and lunched in Valparaíso. Bergen, Lauren, Sam, Jackie, Ben and I did a lot of planning and had a lot of luck to result in an amazing trip. Despite an unintentional hour of cross-country skiing across the mountain and a delayed flight, everything seemed to fall right into place.



Santiago was an incredible city. Compared to Buenos Aires, it has a lot more nature. They have sky scrapping palm trees, large patches of green grass and a wall of massive mountains surrounding the city. The view from our (*clears throat*) “penthouse” apartment perfectly displayed the city’s landscape with the amazing Andes backdrop. Here, in Plaza de Armas, the historic (1748-1800) architecture of the Metropolitan Cathedral of Santiago contrasts lovely with a modern office building.



Valpara√≠so, Chile is one of the country’s largest port towns, receiving more than 10 million tons of goods annually. The city is known for its large hills filled with vibrantly-colored houses and funicular railways. The quaint town was relaxed on a Sunday afternoon and was filled with street vendors, artisans and boutique shops. This artwork gives you a sense of the masterfully-painted and historic city.



When traveling on a budget, sometimes direct flights aren’t the best option. Four of us had a 10 hour layover in Mendoza, Argentina. Seems horrible, right? Not exactly. We traveled an hour from the airport to Potrerillos, a small town at the base of the Argentine Andes. If you ask me, this beautiful lake and the breathtaking views of snow-capped peaks was a pretty incredible solution to our layover situation. Shout-out to our taxi driver, Daniel (no relation), for making it all possible.



El Mercado Central in Santiago was expansive beyond belief. It was the same size as a Costco, and with the amount of vendors as a major state fair. The fresh fish and fruit were displayed gorgeously. As the shopkeepers run around to sell their produce, customers enjoy the smells, taste-tests and people watching. Of course, when in Chile, I made many “it’s chilly in Chile” jokes and was excited when I saw chili peppers.

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