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SANTIAGO CHILE…leaving with mixed feelings

Apparently, there were massive riots + protests in Santiago + surrounding cities from 2019 – 2022.

We decided to explore as much of Chile as possible, on our way to Antarctica. So, I planned a road trip from Santiago Chile down to Puerto Montt [~½ way down this crazy long + slender country]. In this week’s video, check out our wanderings around Chile’s capital, Santiago. 

If I’m honest, it wasn’t quite what I was expecting. Don’t get me wrong, there were amazing parts, but there were also quite a few not so awesome parts. That’s why we left with mixed feelings. We’re glad we visited, but I don’t think we’ll be back nor will we recommend it as a top destination to go and visit. 

The one thing we noticed immediately…was the GRAFFITI EVERYWHERE! So…we got to Googling. Apparently, there were massive riots + protests in Santiago + surrounding cities from 2019 – 2022. These demonstrations included defaming the majority of their buildings, infrastructure, + public statues. Fortunately, they elected a new president in 2021, who should bring about positive change for Santiago Chile + the country as a whole.

From Wikipedia…The protests are known in Chile as the Estallido Social (lit. social outburst) are a series of massive demonstrations and severe riots that originated in Santiago and spread to all regions of Chile, from Oct 2019 – Mar 2020. Civil protests took place throughout Chile in response to a raise in the Santiago Metro’s subway fare, a probity crisis, cost of living, university graduate unemployment, privatization, and inequality prevalent in the country.

Visiting right after they reopened [the VID + dealing with that fiasco], + seeing the majority of the city tagged with graffiti didn’t help with first impressions, but I’m open to hearing your others’ opinions.

Santiago Chile highlights |
✨ Amazing street art
✨ Yummy food + cute cafes
✨ Exploring Las Condes
✨ Enjoying performance artists in the park
✨ Getting our booties kicked at Beatness Studio
✨ Practicing my Spanish
✨ Witnessing progress + change led by the people

Santiago Chile lowlights |
✨ Experiencing the MOST BRUTAL COVID entry requirements EVER! Huge HASSLE!
✨ Our Mobility Passes not working, so having to track down the Ministry of Health
✨ The grimiest + worst Centro Historico I’ve ever witnessed
✨ Getting yelled at for filming guys running a scam [I didn’t do it knowingly]
✨ Seeing people resale already used items
✨ A guy selling unsanitary chickens out of a trash bag without refrigeration
✨ The river water running downtown is completely brown
✨ The graffiti + remnants of vandalism everywhere [shadow side of progress]

I recommend staying in or near Las Condes, as it’s the nicer part of town. We didn’t stay here, and I wish we had. If you want something more rugged + rustic, there isn’t a lack of options. I don’t recommend staying right in the middle of Centro Historico though.

Enjoy this week’s video!

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Question time!
Have you been to Santiago Chile?
If so, when did you go, what did you think, + would you go back?
Or, have you been in a country during a time of civil unrest?
Comment your answers, I’ll be reading!

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