We were definitely living the high life in Santiago at the Grand Hyatt! Arriving to luxury, and welcomed with a mountain view king suite. The bi-level hotel room was beautiful but the best part was the view. The juxtaposition of the booming city of Santiago with the snow capped mountains in the background was just stunning.
Using points for our accommodations really paid off. Since the standard room and mountain view rooms were the same cost in points we upgraded to the mountain view, and along with that came a complimentary breakfast buffet. (Typically the buffet would not be included for points users, but luckily for us the receptionist messed up in our favor so we benefited)
Arriving late at night, we quickly checked in, took the glass sided elevator up to the 9th floor and passed out for the evening. The following morning we woke up to rain, unfortunately… We took our time at the buffet, including scones, fresh fruit, made to order omelettes, mini pancakes, coffee and juice!! It was great to finally have a big filling breakfast since it’t our favorite meal!
Once we filled up and got ready, the sun started peaking out and the clouds were disappearing so we decided to venture into the city. A 15 minute walk got us to the metro line and for $1 we boarded the metro and went 8 stops to the city center. Here we walked around, exploring the shops and sites of the center. Following a pedestrian walkway we ended up in the Plaza de Armas, a beautiful park surrounded by even more beautiful buildings. Stopping for a cup of coffee and enjoying a brief people watching session we decided to walk to the nearby zoo.
Unfortunately the zoo was closed on Mondays 😦 but the park – San Cristobal, provided a funicular (cable car) ride up to the top of the mountain where we enjoyed beautiful 360 degree views of the city. Up at the top there was a cathedral with small foot paths surrounding to explore the mountain sides. We decided to explore, taking a foot path to the very peak and enjoying a small snack and the view. But on the way back down we took a wrong turn and ended up on a nearly un-trekkable path! Covered in mud, the path was slippery and steep. After sliding around and continuing to make wrong turns we finally made it back to the main path covered in mud! We figured it was time to go back down the funicular and take the metro back to the hotel.
There was a large outdoor/indoor mall near the hotel so we decided to check it out. Complete with an ice rink, the mall was huge. All the American stores found back in the states along with new ones- we window shopped for a bit and grabbed some food at the food court before turning in early for our much anticipated snowboarding trip 🙂
To my surprise, Santiago was HUGE! Seeing he whole city from San Cristobal showed me just how spread out the city is. Although we only had a half day of good weather; the city was great and I feel we got to see the parts that appealed to us- although I do wish the zoo was open!!
Upcoming – Valle Navado – Premier Ski Resort