A Travellerspoint blog

Pucon to Santiago

The end of our journey

sunny 30 °C

January 17th
Once again we were on the road heading for Santa Cruz. We left Villarrica Volcano behind us and headed north. Today we were promised a stop at the Copec Pronto. It was a petrol stop with nice coffee and hot dogs. We headed along the Pan American Highway and were quite surprised when we hit a four lane highway heading towards Santiago. This is not what we were used to as down south it was a single dirt road.
We arrived around lunch time at the Salta del Laja waterfall. Unfortunately due to the hot weather there was not too much water coming over. I am sure it would be more spectacular when there is more water around.
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We sat and had a relaxing lunch not far from the falls. We then continued our journey to Santa Cruz. This is only about 2 hours drive from Santiago and is in the Colchagua Valley whch is a famous wine region of Chile.

January 18th
We had a relaxing start to the day so we enjoyed a sleep in. This morning we visited Colchagua Museum which stands a few metres away from the main square or Plaza de Armas. There are still buildings in disarray from the big 2010 earthquake.
We entered the museum where we were given a gadget that interpreted the museum in to English. This proved to be a big help.
We slowly walked our way through the museum immersed in artefacts to do with palaeontology, archaeology the history of the native South Americans including their conquest, colonization and independence. There were also rooms reflecting beautiful old carriages and cars along with an old train including the complete railway station. The final surprise was the newest exhibit to do with the Chilean mining disaster. This was very interesting and even had the capsule that bought the miners to the surface.
This museum is a private museum owned by a Chilean business man called Carlos Cardoen Cornejo. Santa Cruz is his home town.
We had a picnic lunch beside the river near the wine barrel cross.
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After lunch we went wine tasting at the Viu Manent Winery. We also had a look around the winery.
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We then headed to Santiago, our final destination for this trip. We had our final night farewell dinner at an Incan restaurant. The food was absolutely terrific. I had Chifa which is the Peruvian version of fried rice.

January 19th
This was our relaxation day. We needed to change hotels today. So we headed off from the Hotel Galerias to the Hotel Diego de Velasquez. we both had the start of upset stomachs.

January 20th
Today we were meant to go to Valparaiso but we didn't end up going anywhere, we stayed in bed.

January 21st
Our last day in Santiago, so feeling much better we headed out to see some of the sights of Santiago.
We went up the lookout but it was not a very good view. We were informed that it was foggy but it looked more like smoggy to me.
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They are currently building the tallest building in South America, which I find interesting as Santiago has quite a few earthquakes.
We then headed into the city and had a walk around the Plaza de Armas. There are lots of interesting buildings around this square.
The catholic cathedral has been rebuilt 5 times due to all of the earthquakes.
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The post office used to be the presidents residence.
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Other attractions around the square.
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We then headed to the presidential palace to see the changing of the guards. As per usual it was a bit different from all the others we had seen, but it was still nice to see all of the pomp and ceremony.
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Shane posed with a couple of the guards, they were so much taller than him but looked very smart.
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We are now about to head to the airport for our flight home, so this is Shane and Nicola signing off for this trip. See you all soon.

Posted by shaneandnicola 14:11 Archived in Chile

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