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The quickest way to travel to Chile is on Lan Airlines. A direct overnight flight of 12 hours.

I have never flown Lan Airlines before and was very impressed with the food and also the leg room in economy class. A great option if you are thinking of flying to Spain or Southern Europe, also a great stopover option if you have been everywhere else.

I had 3 days in Santiago doing some great sightseeing and also checking out some very good hotels. Had to do some work!

First impressions flying in at 11.30am is that I could not see the Andes as Santiago is surrounded by the mighty mountains. They were shrouded in a heat haze that did not lift until mid afternoon when they looked magnificent with their snow caps. The other thing I noticed was once again the stunning old buildings built in the 1500’s that were still looking stunning this many years later. It was the detail and passion that impressed and then  on the other hand the magnificent modern buildings in the commercial area of the city. Santiago has the most efficient metro system that I managed to use several times. Great what you can do with sign language when you only know 5 words of Spanish.

On my last day I took a trip to Valparaiso a stunning city 90 minutes from Santiago on the coast. To get there we travelled through the very fertile farming area of Chile mainly grape growing countryside. Nothing like sampling a good Chilean Sauvignon Blanc at 10am in the morning at a very impressive winery.

The coast line of Chile is very narrow so Valparaiso is spread over the hill side with a stunning picture of all the colours of the rainbow and as it was spring over there the bougainvillea made the colours even more vibrant. We zig zagged up the hill via some very narrow cobbled stoned streets to the top where we left the van and made our way down the hill on foot via narrow laneways,

lots of steps and at each corner the views over the city and the harbour were breath taking. I inspected 2 very appealing boutique hotels that I could see myself enjoying for a couple of days on the way to other parts of South America or even Europe on my next travels.

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