I love Santiago but like any city, it can get claustrophobic. So I love a day trip from Santiago just as much. Here is a round up of my favourite day trips from Santiago which are especially great for taking visitors from overseas. They’re all under two hours drive from the city.
With the exception from Valparaiso, which you could reach by a tour if you prefer, I’d strongly recommend hiring a car and visiting these day trips for yourself.
You’d be forgiven for thinking that Parque Tricao is just a park. In fact it’s a vast nature reserve. Enjoy a cruise along the lake, stop for a picnic in its secret gardens, let the kids run off steam in the playground or get close to nature in its huge aviary (the second largest in the world).
It’s just an hour and a half day trip from Santiago and perfect for all the family.
2. Lo Pirque
A traditional horse show to the tune of Chilean folk music, accompanied by delicious Chilean cuisine and washed down with vino sours and great wine: Lo Pirque is a treat for all the senses. Oh, and the surroundings are pretty damn spectacular too.
It’s just 45 minute day trip from Santiago.
3. Emiliana Vineyards
We came to Emiliana Organic Vineyards for the wine, but its nature is worthy of a visit alone. Enjoy a picnic under the dappled shade of the orchard, take a horse drawn tour of the vines, blend your own wine or just lie back with glass of its awarding winning wine. The restaurant is also really, really good – be sure to reserve lunch on the terrace.
Located in the Casablanca region, it’s a good 45 minutes drive from Santiago.
Bright graffiti clad alleys snake around this historic port side city famous for its hip, artistic vibe. Valparaiso makes a wonderful day trip from Santiago. Enjoy a leisurely lunch, wander around its colourful, narrow streets and breathe in the seaside air. Don’t go too far off the grid though – tourists have reported muggings when wandering among the more hidden side streets.
If you prefer to visit with an expert, Miles & Smiles offer tours and come highly recommended by my Expater friends. It takes about an hour and a half to get there, so a day trip is an easy option. Nevertheless there are some lovely little hotels that deserve a look in if you have time – Winebox and Hotel Verso are two great places.
Peace, quiet, sea and sand… Algarrobo is perhaps my favourite beach day trip from Santiago. With a family friendly, laid back ambiance, it’s under two hours drive from Santiago. The beaches can get very busy in the height of summer (November – February), but if you get there in the morning you can generally find a quiet spot.
We generally visit for the day, but we have also stayed in a lovely secluded, very family friendly lodge just a short drive from the beach.