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Cities In Chile
Santiago - Homestudy

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Activities & Excursions - Santiago, Chile  


Special Activities

Excursions & Cultural Activities Santiago has much to offer the inquisitive traveler. In a city that holds a third of the country's population you are bound to find many interesting places to visit and things to see. For those students interested in knowing more about Santiago, excursions are offered two afternoons a week. These outings usually last about three hours and are guided by one of the school's Spanish teachers. This is an excellent opportunity for students to practice their Spanish and to learn more about Santiago and Chile. Although excursions are provided as a courtesy, students are expected to pay for their own transportation and entrance fee to museums.

Occasionally a day trip is arranged that will replace classes (upon student request only). The costs of these trips are not included in the course and will vary depending upon the outing.

Central Market, Parque Forestal & Museo de Bellas Artes One of the more popular excursions introduces students to two very different perspectives of the Chilean culture. The excursion starts at the Central Market, which is an experience of all five senses. The Central Market actually consists of many markets, including a fish market, meat market, vegetable market, flower market and hundreds of individual booths where any number of things can be purchased. There is also an entire section devoted to many small restaurants where you can find some of the best seafood at prices unavailable elsewhere in the city.

After visiting the Central Market students walk through Parque Forestal, which is one of the most popular parks in Santiago, to the Museo Bellas Artes. This is the most famous art museum in the city as it offers both international and Chilean art in many different mediums.

This excursion ends at Cerro Santa Lucia, which is a tree-covered hill near the center of Santiago. This is where, in 1541, Pedro de Valdivia founded the city of Santiago. The area was turned into a public park in 1872, and has numerous paths that wander up the hill. A stone tower at the top offers an excellent view of Santiago. The park also includes many monuments, terraces and scenic lookouts.

Cerro San Cristóbal The excursion that offers the best views of Santiago is the trip to the Metropolitan Park and Cerro San Cristóbal. San Cristóbal is the 860-meter hill that Santiago wraps itself around. Students walk to the base of the hill where they take the Teleférico (gondola) to the mid-way point where they can visit the wine museum at the Enoteca Restaurant, or walk among the palm trees and lawns while experiencing excellent views of the Andes. The Teleférico is then taken the rest of the way to the top of the hill where Santiago can be seen stretching out between the Andes and the coastal Cordillera. From the top students take the funicular down to the bohemian barrio of Bellavista famous for its nightclubs and many restaurants. Here students usually stop at a street café for a cold beer or soft drink before returning to the school.
Pomaire * A day trip to the small town of Pomaire, which is famous for its handicraft, especially pottery. It is also famous for its giant empanadas and delicious Pastel de Choclo (traditional Chilean fare) that the students have the opportunity to try at several excellent, but inexpensive restaurants.
Viña Concha y Toro Another very popular excursion is a trip to the winery Concha y Toro, where students are given a guided tour of the winery, in Spanish. There are of course many fine wines to be tasted and bottles of wine are sold at much lower prices than can be found outside the winery.
Isla Negra This trip takes us to the coastal town of Isla Negra, and a tour of the beach house of Pablo Neruda. Pablo Neruda was a famous Chilean poet and winner of the 1970 Nobel Prize in Literature. As depicted in the Oscar winning film "Il Postino" he was a world traveler who loved the sea, which is reflected in his many collections. His house is in itself fascinating, and its location beautiful. His art collections are marvelous and well worth seeing. Students usually spend a couple of hours touring his home and wandering on the beach before having lunch at a local restaurant and then heading back to Santiago.

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