Ted’s Travels Barrio Bellavista: Santiago’s best art scene
Love art? What’s better than an outdoor museum?
Chile’s capital, Santiago, has been named one of the best street art destinations in the world. Its neighbourhoods are filled with murals and graffiti made by local and renowned artists and little pocket-plazas that are sure to please.
If you are staying at one of our recommended hotels in Lastarria neighbourhood, you can easily reach the heart of the art scene by walking along the river Mapocho to Parque Forestal. Cross over at Pio Nono bridge and keep walking past the University until you find Bella Vista street. One more block, and you’ll be in the middle of Santiago’s artsiest neighbourhood: Bellavista.
Barrio Bellavista is the city’s bohemian quarter. Local artists and intellectuals have lived and worked here for many years (including the famous poet Pablo Neruda, whose house you can visit). This has made the neighbourhood the perfect home to a seemingly endless number of street murals. Dazzle at the vibrancy of artwork made by both, amateurs and professional artists as you wander along the beautiful streets of this old neighbourhood. On top of colourful old houses and magnificent art, restaurants, boutique shops, and craft markets await travellers that decide to discover its streets on foot. You’ll probably need about two to three hours for a good walking tour, and don’t forget to have a look at the shops in Patio Bellavista mall before you leave.
To end your day, head for the bottom of Cerro San Cristobal and find the Estación Funicular to catch a ride to the top of the hill. You’ll get great views of the city with the snow-capped Andes at your back.
Ted Dziadkiewicz is Director and Founder of Contours Travel, Australia’s longest running tour operator to Latin America. He has been more than 100 times to Latin America over the past 40 years and visited over 20 countries. If you want to know more visit www.contourstravel.com.au