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    Photo: Soren Egeberg Photography / Shutterstock

Plan Your Side Trips from Santiago Vacation

For more than a few travelers, Santiago's main attraction is its proximity to the continent's best skiing. The snowcapped mountains to the east of Santiago have the largest number of runs, not just in Chile or South America, but in the entire Southern Hemisphere. The other attraction is that the season lasts from June to September and, in some places, October, so savvy skiers can take to the slopes in Chile when people back home are hitting the beach. It’s no wonder that skiing aficionados and pros from around the world head to Chile.

The wineries around Santiago make for interesting day- or multiday trips. These winemakers provide the majority of the country's excellent exports, and you might find the source of your favorite Chilean wine back home just a short jaunt from the capital. The Casablanca Valley, west of Santiago, on the road to Valparaíso, is where some of the country’s best white wines are produced.

The Cajón del Maipo in the Andes makes for a relaxing trip to soak in hot springs, take a hike, or wander through the crafts village of Pomaire, 70 km (43 miles) west of Santiago.

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