Vivir en Santiago de ChileIyna Bort Caruso
Santiago is modern, stable and offers a solid quality of life. As major South American cities go, it’s doesn’t have the glamorous profile of, say, Buenos Aires or Rio de Janeiro. Nevertheless it is a cosmopolitan and culturally vibrant capital.
The city is headquarters for many multinational corporations, home to two symphony orchestras, sports an extensive urban bike trail and has a breathtaking backdrop: the Andes Mountains. The Pacific Coast beaches are less than two hours away. Given the geography and climate, it’s possible to ski in the morning and surf in the afternoon. Santiago is also a base for wine country excursions. Many of Chile’s top producers are within a 100-mile radius.
Well-known architects have been reshaping the city in recent years and stepped-up efforts at sustainable construction have been taking hold. And yet the city boasts noteworthy examples of 19th century neoclassical architecture such as the Metropolitan Cathedral, the Palace of Justice and the national opera house in the downtown Centro district.
Neoclassical mansions are part of the property mix, along with amenity-laden modern apartments. Wine estates in outlying areas have been particularly attractive to international buyers from other South American countries as well as the United States.
Many of the city’s most desirable neighborhoods are in the eastern zones. Providencia is an upscale, walk-to-all area loaded with parks and squares. Affluent Vitacura is a district popular with families. The residential Vitacura neighborhoods of Santa Maria de Manquehue and Lo Curro are especially sought-after with a wide variety of architectural styles.
Lo Barnechea is a leafy district of exclusive estates. Las Condes is another favorite among high end buyers, surrounded by parks. The elite enclave of El Golf is one of the wealthiest. Its Manhattan-like towers have led some to call the Santiago high rise enclave “Sanhattan.”