10 Best Day Trips From Santiago, Chile

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Santiago, the capital city of Chile, boasts a rich and fascinating history that dates back centuries. Today, Santiago is a vibrant and cosmopolitan city, blending its rich history with modern amenities and a thriving cultural scene. Visitors can explore its historic neighborhoods, admire its architectural landmarks, and delve into its museums, art galleries, and culinary delights.

But if you’re looking to escape the bustling city and immerse yourself in the diverse wonders that surround Santiago, you’ve come to the right place. I recently had the incredible opportunity to explore this vibrant region and uncover the most captivating day trip destinations that will leave you in awe.

From the stunning coastal cities of Valparaíso and Viña del Mar to the majestic mountains of Cajón del Maipo and Embalse El Yeso, each day trip promises a unique adventure filled with unforgettable experiences. Whether you’re a history enthusiast, a nature lover, or a food connoisseur, there’s something for everyone in this remarkable corner of Chile.

Join me as we uncover the local secrets, delve into the local traditions, and indulge in the gastronomic delights just a short distance from Santiago that will provide you with an unforgettable experience!

1. Valparaíso

Total Time – Full Day

I felt as though I had stepped into a living canvas

Valparaíso, Chile
Valparaíso, Chile

As the sun-kissed coastal breeze gently swept through the colorful streets of Valparaíso, I embarked on a day trip that left me captivated by the bohemian spirit and artistic allure of this vibrant city.

Wandering through the winding alleys and staircases adorned with mesmerizing street art, I felt as though I had stepped into a living canvas. Every corner revealed a new burst of creativity, from vibrant murals to thought-provoking graffiti. Valparaíso is truly an open-air art gallery, where each stroke of paint tells a story.

The charm of this UNESCO World Heritage City extends beyond its art. Quaint cafés and local eateries lined the streets, enticing me with the aromas of freshly brewed coffee and mouth-watering seafood. I couldn’t resist indulging in traditional Chilean cuisine, savoring the flavors of fresh ceviche and empanadas.

For panoramic views that took my breath away, I hopped on one of the city’s iconic funiculars. Ascending to the hilltops, I was rewarded with sweeping views of the Pacific Ocean, the bustling harbor, and the kaleidoscope of colorful houses cascading down the hills.

Valparaíso is a city that ignited my senses, with its vibrant street life, rich history, and awe-inspiring scenery that captured my heart.

2. Viña del Mar

Total Time – Full Day

Blends elegance with natural splendor

Viña del Mar, Chile
Viña del Mar, Chile

As the sun-drenched shores of Viña del Mar welcomed me, I embarked on a delightful day trip filled with coastal bliss and enchanting sights. This glamorous resort city on Chile’s central coast captivated me with its pristine beaches, lush gardens, and sophisticated charm.

Strolling along the promenade, I felt the golden sand between my toes and listened to the gentle lull of the Pacific Ocean. The refreshing sea breeze felt fantastic as I gazed upon the azure waters stretching as far as the eye could see. Viña del Mar is a paradise for beach lovers, offering ample opportunities for sunbathing, swimming, and enjoying water sports.

One of the highlights of my visit was exploring the iconic and colourful Flower Clock. Whilst I looked at this botanical masterpiece, I marveled at its intricate design and appreciated the precision with which it ticked away, showcasing the city’s commitment to nature and art.

Viña del Mar’s opulent architecture and well-manicured gardens further captured my imagination. I meandered through the splendid Quinta Vergara Park, marveling at its lush greenery and fragrant blooms. The park’s amphitheater is host to the renowned Viña del Mar International Song Festival as well as other musical fiestas as was exactly as I had imagined it to be.

As the day drew to a close, I found solace in one of the charming cafes that dotted the streets. I indulged in the delicious local cuisine, savoring fresh seafood dishes and toasting a glass of locally sourced wine to the beauty of Viña del Mar.

Viña del Mar is a coastal haven that blends elegance with natural splendor. A day trip here promises relaxation, cultural exploration, and a touch of seaside luxury that will linger in your heart long after you bid farewell to this enchanting city.

3. Cajón del Maipo

Total Time – Full Day

Sanctuary for outdoor enthusiasts

Cajón del Maipo, Chile
Cajón del Maipo, Chile

As I ventured into the awe-inspiring depths of Cajón del Maipo, I found myself surrounded by nature’s majestic beauty and a sense of tranquility that only the mountains can provide. This day trip from Santiago took me on a journey through towering peaks, pristine rivers, and dramatic landscapes that left me spellbound.

The scenic drive from the city led me to the start of an exhilarating hike, where I immersed myself in the winding trails surrounded by the beauty of the Andes. Majestic waterfalls cascaded down rugged cliffs, painting a picture of sheer magnificence.

One of the highlights of my adventure was reaching the iconic Embalse El Yeso, a turquoise reservoir nestled amidst snow-capped peaks. The sight of this shimmering oasis against the backdrop of the mighty mountains was a sight to behold, a moment frozen in time.

Throughout the day, I made sure I kept my fuel levels up by indulging in the delicious local cuisine, savoring traditional Chilean flavours. The hospitality of the locals, with their warm smiles and welcoming nature, made the experience all the more memorable.

Cajón del Maipo is a sanctuary for outdoor enthusiasts, offering a perfect escape from the city’s hustle and bustle by providing a sense of peace. It’s an experience that will forever hold a special place in my heart.

4. Isla Negra

Total Time – Full Day

It’s a place where poetry comes alive

Isla Negra, Chile
Isla Negra, Chile

As a travel enthusiast, my recent day trip to Isla Negra was just delightful. Nestled along the picturesque Chilean coast, this quaint coastal town won us over immediately with its serene beauty and the captivating presence of the renowned poet, Pablo Neruda.

Stepping into Neruda’s former residence-turned-museum, I found myself inspired by his creative spirit, as the building was adorned with eclectic collections and unique artifacts that reflected his passion for art, literature, and the sea. From seashells to maritime treasures, each corner revealed a glimpse into Neruda’s fascinating mind.

The coastal ambiance of Isla Negra added another layer of charm to my visit. Strolling along the shore,I felt it was the perfect setting to reflect on the connection between Neruda and the sea, which influenced his poetic expressions.

The peaceful and tranquil town has quaint cafes and local eateries offering a taste of the region’s culinary delights whilst overlooking the vast Pacific Ocean. It is a must-see even for those who are not familiar with Neruda’s work.

5. Colchagua Valley

Total Time – Full Day

It surpassed all expectations

Colchagua Valley, Chile
Colchagua Valley, Chile

Nestled amidst rolling hills and vineyards that stretch as far as the eye can see, my day trip to the Colchagua Valley was to put it simply, a joy. As a wine enthusiast, this picturesque valley in Chile’s central wine region had been on my bucket list, and it surpassed all expectations.

Driving through the charming countryside, I arrived at one of the renowned wineries that are dotted throughout the landscape. Guided by passionate experts, I learned about the winemaking process, from the vineyards to the cellar, and had the opportunity to taste exquisite wines crafted with precision and love.

The vineyards looked fantastic against the backdrop of towering mountains. The spectacular landscape was matched only by the flavors of each sip of wine. The Colchagua Valley offers more than just wine as I found out when I took the chance to explore Santa Cruz’s charming towns and cultural sites which were full of picturesque streets, traditional architecture, and local artisan shops.

With the sun setting in front of me and a glass in hand, I reflected on my day. It was filled with unforgettable flavors, breathtaking landscapes, and the magic of winemaking. The Colchagua Valley is most certainly not to be missed.

6. Pomaire

Total Time – Full Day

Pomaire is a hidden treasure

Pomaire, Chile
Pomaire, Chile

Stepping into the charming village of Pomaire was like entering a world frozen in time. This hidden treasure is only a short drive from Santiago and is full of rustic charm and rich cultural heritage. As a pottery enthusiast, I couldn’t wait to explore this quaint town known for its traditional clay craftsmanship.

Wandering through the cobblestone streets, I was greeted by a vibrant display of handmade clay pottery. The local artisans, with their skilled hands and warm smiles, welcomed me into their workshops, eager to share their craft. I marveled at the intricate details and vibrant colors adorning each piece, from decorative vases to traditional cooking pots.

Pomaire’s culinary offerings were equally enticing. The local restaurants exuded a cozy ambiance, inviting me to savor the mouthwatering flavors while appreciating the rustic surroundings.

Beyond pottery and food, Pomaire offered a glimpse into the region’s history and traditions. I visited the town’s charming church, which is a beautiful testament to its colonial past, and I also learned about the significance of pottery in the local culture.

Even if you are not a pottery fan, you will have a newfound appreciation for traditional craftsmanship once you have spent time exploring this enchanting small town and the warmth of its people.

7. Embalse El Yeso

Total Time – Full Day

The crisp mountain air invigorated my senses

Embalse el Yeso, Chile
Embalse el Yeso, Chile


The journey to Embalse El Yeso was an adventure in itself. It is off the beaten track and nestled in the heart of the Andes Mountains. The scenic drive through the winding mountain roads offered breathtaking views at every turn. As I ventured into its rugged terrain, the turquoise waters of the reservoir came into view, mirroring the surrounding snow-capped peaks with stunning clarity.

I embarked on a hike along the reservoir’s edge, immersing myself in the serenity of the landscape. The mountains towered over me and they reflected within the calm surface of the reservoir which created a surreal and picturesque scene. I captured countless photographs, trying to encapsulate the sheer beauty before me, but none could truly do it justice.

Embalse El Yeso is a sanctuary that allows you to escape the noise of the city and reconnect with the awe-inspiring wonders of the natural world. It’s a place that invites you to pause, reflect, and appreciate the breathtaking splendor that our planet has to offer.

8. Maipo Valley Wine Tour

Total Time – 6-8 Hours

This day trip was a dream come true

Maipo Valley Wine Tours, Chile
Maipo Valley Wine Tours, Chile

The Maipo Valley Wine Tour took me on an unforgettable journey through Chile’s renowned wine region, where I indulged in exquisite wines and immersed myself in its rich cultural heritage.

The scenic drive through the Maipo Valley was picturesque with the vineyards nestled between majestic mountains. I visited prestigious wineries, each with its own distinct charm and winemaking philosophy. From boutique family-owned estates to renowned vineyards, I had the opportunity to explore the diverse range of wines and learn about the meticulous art of winemaking from passionate experts.

The vineyard settings provided a serene backdrop, allowing me to savor the wines while immersing myself in the beauty of the surroundings. Between tastings, I enjoyed leisurely walks through the vineyard rows, capturing panoramic views of the valley. The vineyard staff shared stories of their family legacies and the region’s winemaking traditions, making the trip feel like I was with long lost family.

The Maipo Valley Wine Tour showcased the passion, craftsmanship, and dedication that go into every bottle. The journey allowed me to appreciate the intricacies of wine production and the beauty of the Maipo Valley. With every sip, I savored the culmination of centuries of winemaking excellence.

I recommended spending the whole day there to fully immerse yourself in the wine region and make the most of the experience.

9. Concha y Toro Winery

Total Time – 2 Hours

Captivating blend of history, scenic beauty, and exceptional wine

Concha y Toro, Chile
Concha y Toro, Chile

My visit to Concha y Toro Winery was an extraordinary journey into the heart of Chile’s winemaking heritage. Nestled amidst the lush Maipo Valley, this renowned vineyard offered a captivating blend of history, scenic beauty, and exceptional wine.

As I entered the sprawling estate, the grandeur of the surroundings took my breath away. The picturesque vineyards stretched out before me, with rows upon rows of meticulously cultivated grapevines.

The tour began with a guided exploration of the vineyards, where I learned about the unique grape varieties cultivated at Concha y Toro. Walking through the vines, I could feel the passion and dedication that goes into every bottle of their renowned wines.

Next, I ventured into the legendary Casillero del Diablo cellar, where I got a glimpse into the secrets of winemaking. The dimly lit chambers and the aroma of aging oak barrels added a sense of mystery and intrigue. The knowledgeable guide regaled us with fascinating stories of the cellar’s history and the legend behind the “Devil’s Cellar.”

The highlight of the visit was undoubtedly the wine tasting. From rich and velvety Cabernet Sauvignons to crisp and aromatic Sauvignon Blancs, each sip was just divine The expertise of the sommeliers in guiding us through the tasting added depth and appreciation to the experience.

Concha y Toro Winery was an enchanting blend of tradition and innovation. It offered a glimpse into the artistry of winemaking, allowing me to appreciate the labor and passion that goes into creating exceptional wines. This visit was not just a wine tasting, but a journey through the soul of Chile’s winemaking legacy.

10. Santa Rita Winery

Total Time – 2 Hours

Was an absolute delight

Santa Rita Winery, Chile
Santa Rita Winery, Chile

My recent trip to Santa Rita Winery was an absolute delight, immersing me in the rich history and exquisite wines of this esteemed Chilean vineyard. Located in the scenic Maipo Valley, Santa Rita Winery offered an enchanting blend of tradition, natural beauty, and world-class winemaking.

As I strolled through the vineyards, the aroma of ripening grapes filled the air, creating an ambiance of anticipation and excitement. The sprawling estate showcased meticulously manicured vines, standing as a testament to the winery’s commitment to quality.

The tour took me through the cellars, where the aging process transformed grapes into fine wines. The knowledgeable guide shared fascinating insights into Santa Rita’s winemaking techniques and the intricate balance of art and science that goes into crafting each bottle.

A highlight of the visit was the wine tasting experience. I had the opportunity to sample a range of varietals, from elegant reds to crisp whites, all expertly crafted and bursting with flavor. Each sip revealed the winery’s dedication to producing wines of exceptional quality and character.

The picturesque setting of Santa Rita Winery provided a stunning backdrop for my exploration. Towering trees, manicured gardens, and charming colonial-style buildings added to the allure of the place.

My visit to Santa Rita Winery was a memorable journey through Chile’s winemaking heritage. It was a celebration of flavors, history, and the artistry of wine production. I left with a newfound appreciation for the passion and craftsmanship that go into creating remarkable wines. Santa Rita Winery is a must-visit destination for wine enthusiasts and anyone seeking an immersive experience in Chile’s wine culture.

Continent: South America

Chile, Santiago