Sandra Dowling

Personal Travel Consultant


Santiago, the capital city of Chile, is nestled between the Pacific coast and the snow-capped Andes. Backed by lofty peaks, the city is home to colonial architecture and sparkling skyscrapers, leafy plazas and parks and a buzzing cafe and arts scene. The modern cosmopolitan city is well worth a visit; particularly its cathedral, the San Cristobal hill and its historic main square. Fashionable neighbourhoods include that of Lastarria, Las Condes and Providencia; all home to sophisticated bars and restaurants. For those wanting a birds eye view of the city and its mountain backdrop, the Sky Costenera is South America's tallest building.


At the foot of the Andes, Mendoza is known for its sycamore-lined wide boulevards, shady plazas, its fair share of modern and art deco buildings as well as many restaurants and cosmopolitan cafes. However, its the surrounding wine lands that many visitors seek out. Now producing over 70% of Argentina's wines, the region is home to many truly magnificent wine-producing estates; thanks to just the right altitude, the snow melt from the Andes and the ideal climate. Choose between enjoying Mendoza as your base and visiting the main areas; the Uco Valley and Lujan de Cuyo, on day trips to various bodegas or base yourself in a wonderful wine lodge and explore from there.

Buenos Aires 

Buenos Aires is often described as the ‘Paris of South America’, and walking down its wide, tree-lined avenues it’s not hard to see why. The city’s buildings are a study in Art Deco elegance, running along airy boulevards that culminate in lush, green parks and colonial plazas. A visit will unveil the city’s many facets, from upmarket restaurants and boutiques to rustic flea markets and tango halls that vibrate to the sound of heels clacking on wooden floors. At the heart of the city, you’ll find Recoleta, where the most classical architecture graces the streets. Bohemian San Telmo is buzzing, particularly at the Sunday market, where you can shop at its quirky antiques market along cobbled streets and admire the faded grandeur of the European-style buildings. Colourful La Boca makes for a fun afternoon, particularly for photographers who will be enchanted by the vibrant buildings – it’s also home to some of the city’s most renowned tango bars and dance halls. The more modern side of Buenos Aires can be found in Puerto Madero, the city’s port district which has been transformed by luxury hotels and restaurants. The neighbourhood of Palermo, divided into Soho and Hollywood, is full of excellent museums, parks and bars and is where Porteños spend leisurely weekends. Buenos Aires is a city well worth crossing the Atlantic for.