Hostel: Forestal Hostel
Had good rooms, great location, free breakfast (including eggs), can store your bag for free as long as you want which was awesome because we left for 4 days to go to the beach and didn’t have to bring our huge packs with us.
The metro is really easy to use, so it’s worth it to get a BIP card (their metro card). You can talk to other travellers at the hostel because if they’re leaving, they might just give you their BIP card. Also, we borrowed one from the hostel. I think they’re 1500 pesos plus the fee to actually get on the metro and you can use one card for as many people as you want (we think, it works for 2 people really well).
Buses to the coast (to Viña del Mar and Valparaiso) are really inexpensive and run about every 15 minutes, so it’s easy to take day trips to the coast if you don’t want to stay over night, though it would be a 4 hour round trip (we did stay overnight and it was awesome).
Terremoto (it means Earthquake) is basically cheap wine with pineapple ice cream and grenadine. It’s a sugar high in a cup, but definitely worth a try!
Pisco sour is like a whisky sour but made with pisco which is a brandy. It’s also more sour than a whisky sour but pretty good. There is a great debate about whether Chile or Peru make the bett Pisco sour, we’re looking forward to judging when we enter Peru!
Ask your hostel, they will have a ton of recommendations! Lots of sandwich shops around that are really good. There’s tons of food here so if you’re craving something, you’ll be able to get it.
We went to a little empanada shop called Pizza Bella which was right around from our hostel, on a recommendation and it was delicious!
Things to Do:
Cerro Saint Lucia is a really cool little park in the middle of the city that’s free. You can take the stairs to the top of the hill and look out over the city which is cool! The smog is pretty thick so it’s hard to see the surrounding mountains but the smog lifts heading into the afternoon so that makes it easier to see things in the afternoon!
Cerro san Cristóbal is another giant hill in the middle of the city. We walked up it in the morning because it was a reasonable temperature, but again, you can see more in the afternoon. If you don’t want to walk up it, there is a funicular (an outdoor elevator) that can bring you to the top or you can take the bus up. At the top there’s a zoo and there are places to eat. It’s also a place that people go to church (there’s a huge outdoor ceremony space) so closer to the top it’s good to be quiet and respectful.
There are also lots of markets that are nice to explore. If you need to buy anything because something got stolen or you lost something, they have huge malls with everything from H&M to Sunglasses Hut. There are also more off the beaten track malls, however unless you’re ready to barter or know exactly what you’re looking for, they can be intimidating places.
There’s wifi everywhere that we use our own phones for, but we are also in the process of trying to get a phone plan on Kyle’s old phone just in case anything happens in the van. It’s a bit of a pain to get. We had the SIM card for a week before we figured out how to do it and I honestly don’t know how we did it. Took a lot of trips to the Entel store and pharmacy’s. Good luck if you’re getting one.