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Santiago is a compact city, small enough that you can visit all the must-see sights in a few days. Consider the weather when planning your itinerary—on the first clear day your destination should be Parque Metropolitano, where you'll be treated to exquisite views from Cerro San Cristóbal. After a morning gazing at the Andes, head back down the hill and spend the afternoon wandering the bohemian streets of Bellavista, with a visit to Nobel laureate Pablo Neruda's Santiago residence, La Chascona. Check out one of the neighborhood's colorful eateries.
The next day, head to Parque Forestal, a leafy park that runs along the Río Mapocho. Be sure to visit the lovely old train station, the Estación Mapocho. After lunch at the Mercado Central, uncover the city's colonial past in Santiago Centro. Requisite sights include the Plaza de Armas, around which you'll find the Casa Colorada and the Museo Chileno de Arte Precolombino. Stop for tea in Plaza Mulato Gil de Castro. On the third day explore the sights along La Alameda, especially the presidential palace of La Moneda and the landmark church, Iglesia San Francisco. For a last look at the city, climb Cerro Santa Lucía. That night put on your chicest outfit for dinner in the trendy neighborhood of Las Condes.
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